Carbs & Cadavers
A Supper Club Mystery, Book #1
By Ellery Adams
Author’s Website: www.elleryadamsmysteries.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Meet the Supper Club, a group of friend’s dead set on counting calories and catching killers . . .
After giving up his dream job and moving back home to the small town of Quincy’s Gap, English literature professor James Henry is tired of finding his happiness at the bottom of a bag of cheese doodles. In an effort to expand his social life and reduce his waistline, he joins a supper club for dieters who lovingly call themselves the Flab Five. He knows he and his new friends will have to watch what they eat, but he never expected to find murder on the menu.
Former high school football star Brinkley Myers was worshipped by fans and loathed by women. When he mysteriously drops dead in the local bakery, a young waitress at the town diner is suspected of foul play. Convinced she’s innocent, the Flab Five team up to weigh in on the investigation.
As the group begins to digest the clues and track down the real killer, they start to worry that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, and it will take every ounce of willpower they have to keep losing weight without losing their lives.
Carbs & Cadavers is the first book in the ‘A Supper Club Mystery’ series. And what a start to this new series! As a re-introduction to the writing of Ellery Adams I must say bravo. I was captivated by the characters and the mystery and spellbound by the writing.
The story begins with English literature professor James Henry having moved back to Quincy’s Gap to look after his recently widowed father a couple of months earlier. In the opening paragraph, after over a year of not weighing himself, when he was able to see the results of stepping on the scale again:
“James leapt backward off the scale as if it had suddenly caught fire.”
Well, I must say, at times I can relate; who doesn’t hate the scale once in a while? As a result of his need and desire to lose more than fifty pounds, when Lindy askes to post a flyer up in the county’s main library (where James is the head librarian) looking for like minded people who want to join a supper dinner club for those looking to shed a few pounds, James agrees to the flyer being posted in the library.
Are You Feeling Out of Shape?
Not So Pleasantly Plump?
Downright Miserably Fat?
Join our New Supper Club!
We Plan to Get Fit Together!
We Meet Every Sunday Night!
Call Lindy at 555-2846
James further questions Lindy to clarify what a Supper Club is. Lindy then suggests that since James is new in town and single, that he might like to join and make new friends! James then agrees that he would like that. Early on we learn that cheese puffs are James kryptonite. Subsequently, the guilty pleasures of all the other members (Lindy, Lucy Hanover, Bennett Marshall and Gillian O’Malley) is revealed J. I love how early on James (of course it would be the librarian taking on the role) went on to conduct the research for the diet they chose to follow, which I am sure had a lot to do with some of the successes they had.
You ask how a Supper Club gets involved with a murder? Well, Lucy works for the local sheriff’s department. She has aspirations of getting into the academy, once she has become a healthy weight. So when Brinkley Myers turns up dead in the town bakery and the only suspect is a local waitress (whom the supper club members think is innocent), they take it upon themselves to investigate. It was good that there were numerous potential suspects for the group to follow up on.
I found the interactions James had with his father Jackson a bit disconcerting in the beginning. Jackson behaves as a curmudgeon, with little interest in interacting with his son. At almost every meal time, when James has fixed Jackson’s meal, Jackson is silent and frequently rude.
“Jackson hadn’t had much to say since he sold the hardware store, and when he did speak his words were usually critical. These days, he rarely opened his mouth unless he wanted to issue a complaint. James preferred his father during one of his quiet moods. He Wondered how his mother put up with such morose company.”
I absolutely loved the twins Frances and Scott Fitzgerald (long0limbed, brainy bibliophiles). They were not part of the Supper Club, but in my mind, very important supporting characters. Their ideas and implementation of said ideas surrounding the float for the parade were excellent. And the many ideas they had for bettering the library were spot on, in my opinion.
As the week’s pass, the Supper Club members have success in their weight loss endeavors. They also have success in proving the innocence of each and every suspect that the local police deemed the culprit. I really enjoyed the methodical way (for the most part) the group worked. Another bonus is that I did not have an inkling as to “whodunit” until the end – just the way I like my mysteries!
There might actually be some romantic pursuits happening? Time will tell. There was just the bud of a relationship opening up, but with many issues still to be resolved (one of them is a slob…can James get past that?). I cannot wait to see where this relationship may or may not go in the books to come in this series.
If you are a fan of the cozy mystery genre, then I highly suggest this series by Ellery Adams. I for one cannot wait until I get to crack the spine of the next book in the series “Fit to Die”.