A Clue in the Stew
Soup Lover’s Mystery, Book #5
By Connie Archer
Author website: http://www.conniearchermysteries.com
Soup shop owner Lucky Jamieson stirs up more trouble in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Ladle to the Grave…
When Lucky Jamieson opens up By the Spoonful to host an event with a famous author, she’s not expecting a bunch of nuts to descend on her small-town soup shop. But the author’s exasperating entourage—from a prickly publicist to a snippy son and his tipsy wife—give fresh meaning to the phrase, too many cooks spoil the broth.
The evening is more than spoiled, however, when it ends with a homicide. When the manner of the murder—as well as another recent unsolved crime—echoes the author’s fiction, Police Chief Nate Edgerton realizes he has a copycat killer on his hands. And Lucky hopes that one of her regular customers who has mysteriously gone missing isn’t involved. Once again, the soup shop owner will need to stir up some clues to find her friend and catch a cunning killer—before things really take a tureen for the worse.
A Clue in the Stew is the fifth installment in author Connie Archer’s “Soup Lover’s Mystery” series. Owner of the Spoonful, Lucky Jamieson is called on to open her restaurant for an event that will laud a famous author coming to town. Hilary Stone is well known and rumors are that she is even looking to move to Snowflake, Vermont. When the original site becomes unusable, Lucky lets the party be held at her place. Lucky is shorthanded but wants to help out. Her only wait staff has given her an ultimatum – hire some help or she is gone. Lucky promises to hire the first person that applies. A brash newcomer insists she is the perfect person for the job and Lucky is between a rock and hard place and has to hire her. Nanette is a good waitress, but her insistence that things need to change and her latching on to Lucky’s grandfather Jack are making it hard for her. Then the author’s entourage appear and things really head downhill.
Not only is there a stranger found murdered in the woods nearby, but after the horrible author event, Lucky finds out that Hilary Stone has been murdered. Worse yet, she was murdered using the very same method as her own book. Then Lucky finds out that one of her regulars has gone missing and things go from bad to worse. Witnesses can place her missing friend Hank at the scene of the murder. Lucky knows he is innocent, but if she cannot find him how can she prove it. As far as she is concerned the murdered author’s family should be the prime suspects. They are rude and plain odd. Lucky and her friends dig up old history, buried secrets, hidden relationships and hopefully come up with the true killer. All the while, Nanette is making inroads with Jack and Lucky worries about the future of her beloved Spoonful.
A Clue in the Stew is filled with an intriguing mystery that has several twist and turns and side stories. The characters are interesting and well written. The way the author has woven all the stories together and meshed them so that they flow as one is wonderful. I did think I had it figured out several times only to have my guess dashed by more clues revealed. The author’s family was easy to dislike. I do not think I cared much for the way Jack and Nanette’s relationship was portrayed. Even though I had not read any of the other books, I had a hard time seeing Jack acting the way he was in this one. I did enjoy the friendships Lucky had with her townsfolk. They seemed very real and heartfelt.
A Clue in the Stew is the 5th in Connie Archer’s series and it is the first one I have read. I do not think you have to read the others in order to enjoy this one. It is a well written enjoyable cozy mystery that is wonderfully paced and has plenty of twists and turns. The several side stories meld well with the main story-line and bring everything together. Even though I thought for sure I had figured things out, I had not and was kept guessing throughout. The way the friends come together to help each other is one of the main things I enjoy in cozies and this one had it by the tons. The characters were all well developed and the story is intriguing and well written. This savory read really hit the spot.