The Calamity Café – Gayle Leeson


3.5/5 Down South Cafes

On The Back:

First in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking that is to die for.

Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition…

Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can’t wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.

At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her.  Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!

My Thoughts:

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Berkley and Netgalley. This title will be released tomorrow, June 7! All thoughts stated in this review are entirely my own.*

A sound start to a new series by a tried-and-true cozy author, The Calamity Cafe was both enjoyable and a fast-paced read.

I liked the MC, Amy. She was kind, and determined; however, she was a bit too ready to investigate for my taste. I felt she was making a huge deal over some small things and comments that were made towards her about the investigation, and that caused he to go out and investigate on her own. The rest of the characters; Jamie, Pete, Cara, Roger, and others were all wonderful and developed characters.

The setting was absolutely wonderful. Ms. Leeson did an absolutely wonderful job of describing Lou’s Joint and making it sound like a dive! The only real drawback about this book was the mystery. I found it incredibly transparent and I had correctly guessed the killer in the first 150 pages.

A cast of great characters, a solid setting, great writing, yet a transparent mystery all go together to give this book 3.5/5 stars. I will probably read the next one.


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