Still Life in Brunswick Stew came out May 21st from Henery Press.
Take one sassy, southern, persistent heroine add one friend dead of possible poisoning, sprinkle in a bunch of viable suspects, a pickup that won't start consistently, 2 disapproving policemen, and a murderer that's hard to pick out before the end of the book and you have a recipe for a nice humorous, cozy starring CherryTucker.
Cherry Tucker and her friend Eloise are spending the weekend at the
Sidewinder Annual Brunswick Stew Cook-off selling their arts when Eloise suddenly gets sick and dies. Cherry is convinced it is because of all the stew that Eloise consumed. Surely someone must have poisoned her. Then food poisoning breaks out at the festival, and the police dismiss her death as just a bad case of food poisoning.
Cherry can't take that easy dismissal of her friend's death. She starts investigating on her own. The police start getting irritated with this habit of hers, especially her boyfriend Luke and her Uncle Will. Repeatedly she finds herself in more danger than she thinks the situation merits. And of course, the closer she gets to the murderer, the more danger she finds.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It really is a humorous cozy mystery. Cherry is a little off the wall at times in the choices she makes, for example climbing down a rose trellis wearing a dress and flip flops, but she is loyal, sassy and persistent when it counts. Most of the time her train of thought and behavior seem mostly reasonable. And Larissa Reinhart does small towns well.
If you like mysteries with the elements of a cozy, small town south, strong female protagonist and humor, then you will probably like this book.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for my unbiased opinion.