Stiffs and Swine
A Supper Club Mystery, Book #4
By Ellery Adams
Author’s Website: elleryadamsmysteries(.)com
Having gained local fame for their role in solving murders, James and his friends are invited to serve as guest judges at Hog Fest, a celebrated barbecue festival in the Virginia mountains. The heavenly aromas and succulent samples are enough to make anyone fall off the diet wagon, but when the reigning champ rubs someone the wrong way and turns up dead, James and the others will find themselves hungry for justice.
Stewing over the murder with tensions simmering and no shortage of suspects, the supper club members will confront saucy chefs, heavy smokers, and a boisterous brisket king. And in a final showdown, a cold-blooded killer with his eye on the gravy train will force James and his friends into a rare display of courage, because Hog Fest is serious business and innocent lives are at stake.
This brand-new, fully revised edition includes mouth watering recipes! (Goodreads)
Stiffs and Swine is the fourth book in the Supper Club Mystery series by Ellery Adams. In true form, an enjoyable installment of this series that kept my interest until the very end. I love hanging with James and the rest of the gang (Bennett, Gillian, Lindy and Lucy).
The Flab Five have been asked to be judges at Hog Fest. Naturally all does not go smoothly and a murder occurs. There are many suspects in the eyes of the flab five but the local police believe and hold Gillian, one of their own, for the murder. Gillian is held because she has a past with the deceased, Jimmy Lang… and that past is intense. Many things come out that are a surprise to Gillian’s friends (and to this reader). Needless to say, the remaining four (James, Bennett, Lindy and Lucy) jump right in to find the real killer!
To confound matters, James current girlfriend, Murphy, shows up in Quincy’s Gap to get the story (she is a reporter after all). One quickly gets the sense that the relationship between James and Murphy seems a bit rocky. In a previous book in the series, Lucy and James dated for a bit. I know I was sad to see that did not work out and I must say this current pairing is not my favorite. Time will tell, though some good old fashioned advice for James on courting a woman might be in order.
“Thinking of his failed relationship with Lucy reminded him that he should check in with Murphy at some point, but that could wait…”
I really enjoyed Bennett find a woman he could be interested in… but did it have to be Sheriff Jones?
“Now, that’s a woman,” Bennett said a little breathlessly. “Holy smokes.” “Get a hold of yourself, Casanova.” Lucy gave Bennett a pinch on the arm. “Gillian needs us. Instead of daydreaming about Jade Jones, use your time in the car to think of specific statements to take the heat off Gillian.”
I love how each of the supper club members are able to pick out flavors in the food/beverages that Eleanor provides her guests. Definitely a skill worth having. While they were discussing what was in (for example – the tea had a subtle hint of almonds) my mouth was watering! And if the following does not wet your appetite, I do not know what will:
“Bennett received a mammoth bacon and Monterey jack burger accompanied by a mountain of French fries and a dish of baked beans. A platter of fried catfish and hush puppies was slid beneath Lindy’s nose, and Lucy was given slices of turkey resting on pillows of mashed potatoes and stuffing, a bowl of cranberry sauce, and a small pitcher of thick brown gravy.”
The setting was interesting, a BBQ festival. Lots of competition for first place and all the perks that go along with that (endorsements for one!). Now if that does not set the scene for some big time potential…not sure what does.
I quite liked the other sub stories underlying the main murder mystery. I felt this gave the story a bit more character than the classical cozy mystery. Why were all these teenagers hanging out in the library on Friday nights – what are the details and who is actually involved in these illegal activities being carried out right under their noses? How did this happen?
Another character whom I quite enjoyed was Bob Barker (and not just because of his name). He seemed like a genuinely nice guy who cared for Hailey Mellon (girlfriend of the deceased). Now that was a twisted triangle which I am sure you will enjoy reading about.
I have to say that I was kept guessing until the end as to who the murderer was, just the way I like my cozy mysteries! But this has been a theme throughout the Supper Club Mystery series. Now to move on the next book in the series, The Battered Body.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*