Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!
We hope you enjoy our choices.
From the publisher: Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition...
Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can't wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.
At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her. Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.
Tortie Shorties Review: Southern fried fun at it's finest! Amy Flowers is fed up with her waitress job at Lou's Joint and being constantly bullied by owner Lou Lou. Wanting to open her own cafe, she offers to buy the place, knowing she can make a huge success of it. But she's met with a resounding "no". Lou Lou's son Pete wants her to sell, as he's ready to break out from under his smothering mother's thumb, but on the night he schedules a meeting between himself, his mom, and Amy, Amy finds Lou Lou dead in her office. Pete immediately goes through with the sale, but under a cloud of suspicion for the murder, how is Amy ever going to make her dreams come true?
Assisted by a cast of characters which includes the quirky cafe regulars, her friends and family, and the cop she's crushing on, Amy uncovers a great deal of skeletons in Lou Lou and Pete's family closet leading to no shortage of suspects. The story flows seamlessly culminating in a very satisfying conclusion.
A word of warning...don't read this cozy on an empty stomach because you'll find yourself longing for a plate of some down home goodness.
From the publisher: Animal photographer Janet MacPhail has just arrived at a sheep herding competition with her Australian Shepherd, Jay, when she learns that two-dozen sheep have disappeared. Police think the animals have wandered off, but Janet is convinced they’ve been stolen.
Janet knows she should leave the snooping to the police while she attends to her own problems—new living arrangements, her mom’s wedding plans, puppy and kitten antics, and extremists bent on keeping people from having pets. But when a livestock handler turns up dead, the police and a pair of thugs pay Janet way more attention than she likes. Setting out to find answers, Janet puts herself in the killer’s crosshairs.
Tortie Shorties: I love how each book in Sheila Webster Boneham's Animals in Focus series revolves around an animal sport of some sort. In Shepherd's Crook, Janet steps into a heap of trouble when she attends a sheep herding competition. Chaos erupts when sheep go missing, and then the next morning their handler Ray is found hanging in a barn outbuilding. The sheep's owner Summer also goes missing and two goons arrive in town hot on her trial, but end up stalking Janet believing that she knows Summer's whereabouts and has incriminating photos of them. Janet finds herself looking over her shoulder at every turn in fear of what they're planning.
In this series pets aren't just sideline characters, they are a prominent part of the story and often involved in the mystery itself. Janet has a dog, a cat, and a new kitten, and her boyfriend Tom has a dog and new puppy. As they make final preparations to take the plunge and move in together, imagine their horror when Janet's new neighbor is hell bent on passing a city ordinance limiting the number of pets allowed per household! Janet's mother's wedding is looming at the nursing home with it's multitude of preparations, and even her training center sessions aren't stress free with a group of animal rights extremists calling for the "liberty" of all pets. All of these storylines come together in a twisted tale of blackmail, corruption, and fake identities. Everything is revealed in one of the very best "killer capture" scenes I have ever read!!!