Title: Fit to Die
Series: A Supper Club Mystery
By: Ellery Adams
Author’s Website: http://elleryadamsmysteries.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Head librarian and cheese doodle enthusiast James Henry returns to the table, dead set on counting calories and catching killers . . .
A new ice cream shop has just opened in Quincy’s Gap, and James Henry and his supper club friends have become its best customers. But when the shop’s proprietor locks horns with the fanatical owner of the Witness to Fitness weight-loss center, sparks fly—literally—and what begins as a case of arson quickly turns into a murder investigation.
As the Flab Five try to discover who was behind the foul deed, they find a second body, causing them to wonder if it’s time to scale back on their sleuthing. But the case keeps heating up, and despite his full plate, James and his friends need to cook up a plan to nab a dangerous killer before they all get burned. (Goodreads)
Fit to Die is the second book in the Supper Club Mystery series by Ellery Adams. This book continues on six months after the first book in the series, Carbs & Cadavers. One of the things I love is the succinct introduction of each of the main characters. If I had not just finished reading the first book, I would have been sufficiently apprised of the characters and not have had to worry about “missing” something from the first book.
The book begins (literally) with librarian James Henry (one of the Flab Five dinner club members) breaking his diet yet again by indulging in free goodies at a neighbouring town’s big box store. I certainly understand breaking a diet, but I do wish the members of the Flab Five were not so hard on themselves when their dieting plans go off the rails. While trying to score some chocolate during this shopping trip, James runs into another member of the dinner club, Lindy. While waiting in line, a woman begins plugging her new business, “Witness to Fitness”, that was having its grand opening in Quincy’s Gap the next week. Needless to say, Lindy was very interested and subsequently brought it up to the Flab Five. Also having a grand opening in Quincy’s Gap was a new ice cream shop, Chilly Willy’s Polar Pagoda. Well now, I can certainly see where some friction might occur, with such diverse businesses starting up at the same time in the same block.
As with all good cozy murder mysteries, there is a murder… and then there was a second one. A fire occurred in Chilly Willy’s Polar Pagoda and a body was discovered. There was a myriad of suspects – as to be expected. Given that the Flab Five are friends with Willy and love his Polar Pagoda (really just the ice cream – but you get the picture), they jump right in and try to find out what really happened. Lucy’s innate police instincts certainly kicked in high gear. While hot on the trail of the truth, a second murder occurred.
Through all of this, the supper club is attending classes at the Witness to Fitness weight-loss center and even losing weight. They are also complaining bitterly about the food they must eat and the exercise. But positive results are occurring. Glad to see that everyone persevered regardless of their opinion of the program.
I am happy to report that I was stumped on both murders until the very end… just the way I like it!
There were many other story-lines which definitely added to the fulsomeness of the read. James crotchety father is starting to come out of his depression and take an active part in his life since the death of his wife. I can’t wait to see how the relationship between father and son grows. Speaking of growing relationships – we got a hint of something in book one between James and Lucy and while it was slow progress (and a few hiccups along the way) – we were presented with some movement on that front ☺. We also got to see more progress on the Lucy becoming a police officer front. I love a strong woman going after what she wants, especially when the odds are stacked against her. Hopefully in the next book or two of the series Lucy will attempt to get on the force in more than an administrative capacity.
The writing is certainly descriptive when talking about food. After these words, who wouldn’t want a cheese puff:
“All his life, James Henry had had a love affair with cheese puffs. The crunchy, salty, cheesy ambrosia comprised of baked air and addictive, electric-orange dust made James weak in the knees.”
I loved the scene when certain towns folks were having issues with the Polar Pagoda t-shirts, which read:
HAVE YOU GOT A CHILLY WILLY?
This certainly put a smile on my face, especially when the teens were defying the adults and purchasing more of these shirts and parading around while the irate mothers were protesting.
Fit to Die is a cozy mystery with an entertaining storyline, interesting cast of characters and many side stories which kept this mystery interesting. I will most assuredly pick up the third book in the series, “Chili Con Corpses”. Thank you Ellery Adams for penning such a delightful cozy mystery series.