4 star

Buttered and Scrambled With Murder

Series:  Josie Rizzo Cozy Mystery, #4

By:  J R Pearson


Author’s Website: http://JosieRizzoCozyMysteries.weebly.com

Review brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra

Synopsis:  buttered-and-scrambled

Murder & Maple syrup… 

Josie and Tony are back for another savory mystery! 

This time, with a stack of pancakes on the side. 

Since having their relationship outed—much to Josie’s dislike—the couple has been summoned by Mama Rizzo to the family’s breakfast diner for a Sunday morning brunch. 

A mouthwatering spread is expected from Josie’s culinary-genius parents, but serve up a rebellious older brother, a furry bacon thief, and a wealthy businessman bludgeoned to death, makes for a very unappetizing event. 

Josie soon learns that before the wealthy stranger’s demise, his plans of rebuilding the town into a flashy money-grabbing hotspot would’ve affected the town’s hardworking locals. Which leaves quite the list of suspects of who may have wanted him dead. 

Unfortunately, Josie’s parents are on the police’s radar for the crime. 

Backed by an army of Rizzo brothers, she, Tony, and best friend Brad set out to uncover the truth in the beachy town of JewelCove, where a killer lurks deeper in the shadows than french toast sticks do in a bowl of maple syrup… 


As an introduction to the writing of J R Pearson, it was an enjoyable start.  I might have picked up on some nuances, etc. if I had started at the first book in the series, but frankly, it really did not matter.  The author provided enough of a background so that I was not lost or felt as if I was missing anything.  However, the story was enticing enough that I am now going back and reading the series from the beginning.

Josie (a food blogger for Good Eatin’ For the Curvy Soul) and Tony were keeping their relationship on the down lo when Josie’s younger brother, Reese, confessed to outing her and Tony’s new relationship to their mom.  So now….Josie and Tony were summoned for a mid-morning brunch at the family’s breakfast diner, Sunny Side Up, by Gina (mom to Josie and Reese). This of course was not ideal for Josie as she knew her mother well and figured instead of a nice, leisurely brunch, it would be more of an interrogation….loaded with wedding-bell questions.  And who needed that pressure on a new relationship?  I laughed out loud at the dialogue between Tony and Josie:

They were bound to find out about us eventually.” Tony shrugged. Oh, how Josie longed to gain his nonchalant composure.

“Yeah, but I planned on that happening when scientists eventually discovered another planet for humans to live on, and me securing a spot on the next shuttle.”

So while in JewelCove to introduce Tony as the boyfriend (as opposed to just a friend from 10 years ago that the whole family knew) to her parents, a murder occurs!  

Tony has not been in town for the last 10 years, following the death of his mother.  Though he did remember Josie’s parents fondly:

But David and Gina Rizzo were the pure essences of what loving parents should be-bat crap crazy, all which he was robbed of when his mother has been murdered by his father.”

In order to clear Josie’s parents from the suspect list, she takes it upon herself to play amateur sleuth.  She engages her brothers, Brad (a best buddy of Josie’s) and Tony to unearth the killer.  

I also loved the dialogue between dog owner Jennie, with her new Dalmatian puppy, and Josie; discussing setting up a play date for their two dogs (Petey and Jade). This seems to add such normality to the dynamics of the cast of characters.  And bringing in adorable dogs to any story is always a positive as far as I am concerned.

The mystery does get solved (sorry – not going to give any spoilers!) and the relationship of Josie and Tony plugs along at a nice pace.  This book is an easy to read in one sitting, cozy mystery with a pleasant cast of characters and lots of chuckle worthy moments. I look forward to going back and reading the first three books in the series.  Then I will most likely re-read this title again to get the full flavour of the series.