A Game of Cones
Ice Cream Parlor Mystery #2
By Abby Collette
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
In this charming mystery series set in an ice cream shop, no case is too cold to crack!
Bronwyn Crewse is delighted that Crewse Creamery, the ice cream shop her family has owned for decades, is restored to its former glory and serving sweet frozen treats to happy customers in the picturesque small town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. But when a big city developer comes to town intent on building a mall, a killer with a frozen heart takes him out.
After literally stumbling across the body, one of Win’s closest friends becomes the prime suspect, and to make things worse, Win’s aunt has come to town with the intention of taking command of Crewse Creamery. Even though Win has a rocky road ahead to help her friend and keep her ice cream shop, it’ll take more than a sprinkle of murder to stop her from solving the crime and saving the day. (from Goodreads)
This is a luscious second scoop of ice scream in Abby Collette’s new series! Our regular characters are very likable, the setting of a Midwest, family ice cream parlor is pure delight and the mystery had me stumped. The tasty-sounding ice cream that Win makes, many flavors based on her grandmother’s recipes, are an inviting location for this exciting cozy.
Chagrin Falls, Ohio welcomed the new and improved Crewse Creamery. Win has been in charge of the family ice cream parlor for several months after completing a major remodel. She uses her revered late grandmother’s recipes that people loved for decades and some that she creates herself. In a short time, the shop has become very successful again. Aunt Jack, who had run the store before Win did, has returned to town and sounds interested in running the shop again, even wants Win to change it back to how it was when she moved away.
Chagrin Falls is a quaint village with sole proprietors and mom-and-pop shops. Residents love it, but their way of life is now threatened by a developer who has been buying buildings in the village triangle to build a vertical mini mall. One of Win’s best friends, Maisie, has a vested interest in the development. Her community garden that helps many in need is at stake, as is the building she plans to purchase to give those in need a place to spend the day or get meals. The company Zeke works for, Rhys Enterprises, is purchasing the properties. He and his assistant, Veronica, are at the shop owners’ meeting to explain what is underway. Most people don’t welcome them, they want their hometown to stay the same. The day after the meeting, Win is at work early to make ice cream when Maisie came in with the news. Zeke was found murdered, in the alley behind some of the shops.
Detective Liam Beverly came to the Creamery to hear what happened at the meeting. He knows Win hears things as well as ask questions about what she shouldn’t. He asked her to keep him up to date if she does hear anything. Maisie thinks he wants their help to find the killer. She has been watching far too many cozy mystery series. Maisie tells everyone that their help was requested by the police. She suspects almost everyone, including her former boss, Ari.
Win is stunned when a former co-worker from the ad agency in the Big Apple has come on behalf of her old boss. Rory doesn’t like having Win’s former position as she no longer gets to draw or paint. She is extending an excellent offer so Win will take her job back. Win wouldn’t leave Chagrin Falls on a bet, no matter how much she is offered. Rory isn’t going anywhere soon, however, as she becomes the main suspect in Zeke’s murder. She said she accidentally found him, stepped in his blood, and threw her favorite, two-thousand-dollar pair of shoes away. She didn’t even know Zeke, or the company he worked for.
Win talked Rory into telling the police what she knew, since they would find her fingerprints on her shoes. Liam questioned Rory at length, so Win’s family soon joined her at the station. Despite not wanting to get involved, Win wants Rory to go back to Manhattan without a murder hanging over her head, so Win, Rory, and Win’s best friends Maisie and Riya ask questions. They found a killer before to keep her father out of orange jumpsuits, so hopefully they can get Rory off the hook, too.
Win, her family, and friends really make this novel fun! Her family is close knit and loving, each with a personality as unique as Win’s ice cream flavors. Three generations of Crewse look out for and love each other. Each is defined as fitting their roles. Maisie is funny, especially as she jumps in with both feet every time she has a new suspect. Win describes various people and situations through the perspective of ice cream, such as the consistency of a DQ Blizzard. Win, her family and friends have a strong work ethic; some family members help without expecting to be paid.
This novel can be read as a standalone with sufficient backstory included of certain situations to bring the new or returning reader up to speed. The village sounds very attractive, and the ice cream shop a wonderful meeting place in the area. I chased a red herring for a while even though I really liked the person, and the real killer was not someone I even considered! I highly recommend this cozy mystery and series, and look forward to the next in series.