For Cheddar or Worse
A Cheese Shop Mystery #7
By Avery Aames
Author website: http://www.darylwoodgerber.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
In the new Cheese Shop Mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of As Gouda as Dead , an extra-sharp tongued cheese critic is cut down during a summer cheese festival.
It’s time for the annual Cheese Festival in Providence, Ohio, and Charlotte Bessette’s cheese shop is packed with homemade specialties. Meanwhile, her friend Erin is prepping her dairy farm and inn for cheese makers, marketers, journalists, and one surprise guest—Lara Berry, pretentious cheese whiz, pompous bestselling author, and pungent critic whose extra sharp tongue can crumble a reputation.
Even though any love for Lara by her friends curdled long ago, Charlotte is surprised when the foodie is smothered to death in her room at Erin’s inn. Accusations start flying, but the one laying blame on Erin strikes Charlotte as a crock. Now, to clear her friend’s name, Charlotte has to sift through Lara’s ex-lovers, former business partners, and unforgiving enemies to find a killer before Lara’s past casts a tainted pall on the festival’s future.
Sadly, For Cheddar or Worse is the last in the “Cheese Shop Mystery” series. I came to the series a bit late, but really enjoyed the series. This is one of the best yet. Though it leaves you wanting more, author Avery Aames has written a satisfying end to the tasteful series. Sophisticated, yet fun, this read is well written and full of mystery. Charlotte Bassette is very busy not just with her cheese shop which is packed due to the annual cheese festival in Providence, Ohio, but also due to the Brain Trust going on at her friend’s farm. Charlotte and her husband Jordan are ensconced at the farm and inn with others including cheese makers, writers, marketers and a special surprise guest – Lara Berry.
Charlotte is excited to learn Ms Berry is also staying at the farm. She is in for a surprise when she gets a taste of Lara’s wrath. Lara is pretentious and demeaning and her tongue is as sharp as a well-aged cheddar. Even though she was harsh and ill willed, it is a shock when Charlotte and Jordan find her dead. She has been smothered inside her locked room. None of the guests nor farm owner Erin, seemed to care for the brash woman, but who would have wanted her dead and why? Accusations fly and one seems to stick as Erin becomes the prime suspect.
Charlotte and her co-worker Rebecca try to hack out who could have done such a horrible thing and how it could have happened with Lara’s room locked from inside. It seems all of the guests had some kind of former relationship with the dead woman. Charlotte cannot believe Erin is a possible suspect so she has to get answers. She has to be careful not to step on Chief Urso’s toes or put herself in danger.
It really is a shame that this series has ended. Avery Aames has a flare for writing that is crisp, yet cozy. The characters in the end are at a great place and readers can take solace in that fact. If you have never read any of “A Cheese Shop Mystery” books, do not let its ending stop you. They are all well worth the read and highly enjoyable. If you have never read one, you will still enjoy this last one. Well written characters, twists, turns, action, fabulous storyline and an interesting mystery, that and more fill this fabulous read. I recommend For Cheddar or Worse to any reader that loves cozies, any foodies and especially any cheese lover. And honestly who doesn’t love cheese.