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by Isis Crawford
Kensington, June 2022
316 pages
ISBN: 1496734963

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

There is a cul-de-sac in the suburban New York town of Longely with several small businesses taking up the spaces. A LITTLE TASTE OF HEAVEN is a catering shop owned by Bernie and Libby Simmons. Their counterman Googie (aka George) is dating Jennie, who is opening up a doggie day-care center in what used to be BEERLY THERE. Renee owned the high-end dress store next to what is scheduled to be WOOF WOOF. Renee is described as "a little tightly wound." Renee wants Jennie gone. Jennie finds a dead body, loses it, and finds it again. She is, obviously, the obvious suspect. Acts of vandalism occur. Renee is the obvious suspect in those, although nobody believes she would actually get dirty enough to do what was done. Her lover Ivan, a blonde surfer dude, might be acting on her behalf. And then another person is murdered.

Crawford has written over fifteen cozy mysteries centered on various events. She's got all the clichés covered. Small town atmosphere? Check. Strong female sleuths? Check. Romantic entanglements? Check. Twisted plot? Check. Believable story? Check. So why wasn't I impressed? The clues were there, mostly. I think Crawford left out some important back-story details which would have helped an astute reader solve this mystery. The whole doggie wedding sounds a little strange: very much a "hill-billy with money" kind of set-up. Not that these things don't happen. I'm pretty sure they do. It's just a very tiny hook to hang a murder on. The recipes at the end of the book are interesting. I will probably make the molasses ginger cookies at some point this fall. The rest? Far too NY Foodie for me. If you are a fan of Ms. Crawford, then this is probably worth reading wbut I would not recommend starting with this entry in the series.

§ P.J Coldren: I have been reading and reviewing mystery fiction for over a quarter of a century and read broadly within just about all genres and sub-genres. I live in Northern lower Michigan with my spousal unit, one large cat, and two fairly small dogs.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, July 2022

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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