Killer Green Tomatoes
Farm-to-Fork Mystery, Book #2
By Lynn Cahoon
Author’s website: lynncahoon.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
The time seems ripe for success as Angie Turner opens her farm-to-table restaurant in her Idaho hometown—until her new tomato supplier is accused of murder and Angie has to pick the real killer . . .
To Angie, nothing tastes more like summer than her Nona’s fried green tomatoes. Eager to add the recipe to the menu at the County Seat, she’s found the perfect produce supplier—her sous chef Estebe’s cousin, Javier. Just one problem: ladies’ man Javier’s current hot tomato Heather has turned up dead, and he’s the prime suspect. Somehow, between managing her restaurant and navigating a romantic triangle between Estebe and Ian, the owner/manager of the farmer’s market, Angie needs to produce evidence to clear Javier—before this green tomato farmer gets fried . . .
Second in Lynn Cahoon’s new Farm-To-Fork series, this cozy mystery rocks! I really like this new series, and Killer Green Tomatoes is even better than Who Moved My Goat Cheese? Angie compares good food to family for many reasons, including how memories are made through the combination of family and food. It is one of the first premises of the County Seat. I wasn’t familiar with the farm-to-table restaurant concept, and have a new appreciation for the work that goes into it and how a restaurant of this caliber to keep fresh, exciting new dishes to highlight the season’s best produce. I am kitchen-challenged, but can better understand the process of hiring professionals who become a work family, using more than adequate vendors and farms, and through creativity and hard work, “wow” the residents of River Vista, Idaho.
Angie Turner is head chef and co-owner of the County Seat Restaurant, and best friend Felicia is co-owner and in charge of the front of the restaurant, including the bar and waitstaff. Estebe is Angie’s sous chef who invites her to consider his cousins’ Pamplona Farms as a possible provider of locally-grown produce. They meet with his cousin Javier, and Angie is sufficiently impressed with their vegetables to place her first order with them. In the meantime, she and her counterparts are challenged to create the very best fried green tomato recipe to serve as a seasonal appetizer. Angie simply cannot her Nona’s recipe, and can’t quite replicate it.
Angie lives in what had been her Nona’s home and misses her terribly. She has a gorgeous Saint Bernard puppy, Dom, and a baby goat, Precious. And some of the best neighbors in the world. At least some of the more interesting. Take Mrs. Potter, for instance. For a week, please, so her live-in granddaughter, a student and family caregiver, can take a trip to Mexico with classmates. As an introvert, having a houseguest can be challenging, but add in some of the truly funny situations they encounter when this dear lady tries to help…
Estebe calls with a family emergency. His cousin Javier, whose farm they have just begun to buy produce from, has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Heather, found dead in the alley behind the Red Eye, just a parking lot away from the County Seat. He is helping his cousin and family, and they ask Angie for her help due to the murder she recently helped solve. Javier is released, but then he disappears – kidnapped or in hiding.
The characters are so likable and well-defined, one could expect them to step out of the pages and into the County Seat. I couldn’t create a new dish to save my life, but I still like Angie best. She has such a great family home and an instinct to help solve mysteries! Felicia is a delight, and her personality balances out Angie, especially when she goes through the gamut of stressors in the kitchen. Her boyfriend, Ian, who is the nephew of the police chief, is a keeper, and not just for his lively accent. I do love Dom, the sweet pup gracing the cover!
The author drew me in from the start, reacquainting me with those who already seem like friends, and dialing in on some of the small-town gossips. One problem with the life of a playboy, such as Javier, is that there is no shortage of suspects who might want to kill his current lady. Or maybe the handsome stranger who consoles Heather after Javier left with another blonde. The author has planned and executed the plot with care, expertly adding plot twists and even a red herring or two that heighten the suspense. The real killer’s identity, however, is as elusive as Nona’s fried green tomatoes recipe. I had a couple ideas who it might be, based on clues the author left throughout, but was not prepared for who it really was! Everything was wrapped up without loose ends, and I was very satisfied with it. I highly recommend Killer Green Tomatoes to the author’s fans, to those who enjoy delicious cozy mysteries with humor, breathtaking suspense, and food bringing families – and readers – together to make good memories.