Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Publisher:     Berkley
Published:     July 7, 2015
ISBN:       978-0425278383
Genre:      Cozy Mystery
Format:    Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com


Nola Mae Harper is back in Cays Mill, Georgia for a short time.  Really, it’s just for a short time because she has this really great job that she’s eager to get back to.  In fact, the only reason she’s come home at all at this time is because her parents are finally getting to go on their honeymoon courtesy of a contest her mom won with one of her yummy peach recipes. 

Well, actually, her job is great because it is a job of the heart, but things have changed, including her particular role in the job.  Nola Mae just isn’t quite ready to own up to that just yet.  In time she will…really.  And then there’s the big secret about why she left town in the first place right out of high school.  Something she’s never told another living person. 

Before her parents leave on their honeymoon-vacation cruise they’ve planned a fabulous anniversary party complete with a massive tent, music and food. 

The party is in full swing, everyone is having a grand time…well almost everyone.  Her sister, Ida, just about 9 months pregnant is having a few pregnancy issues.  And then there’s all the local, small town gossip which includes some tales about Ida’s husband, Hollis.  On the flip side are some of Nola Mae’s childhood friends who are all glad to have her back in town and wondering just for how long.

The next morning, her parents on their way Nola Mae decides to get an early start on the post-party clean up.  Unfortunately she finds a bit more than discarded dinner plates when she stumbles on the dead body of local lumber magnate Ben Wakefield.  Not only does she have a dead body to deal with.  Oh no, more than that, the last person to see Ben alive was her brother-in-law, Hollis.  Can Nola Mae find the real killer before the sheriff, with a long standing bone to pick against the Harper family, arrests Hollis?

Susan Furlong’s PEACHES AND SCREAM was the perfect read for my end of the week commute.  It was fairly easy to follow, moved at an even pace and had yummy tasting recipes – a few of which are included at the end of the book.

I pretty much figured out who did it pretty early on and when the killer was revealed, the way it came about, was kind of a let-down.  It was too easy. 

While I liked the descriptions of the farm and town of Cays Mill, I never warmed up to any of the characters.  If I read one more time that Nola Mae left town because of a big, upsetting secret (that I also figured out what it was the second time I read about the secret) I was ready to put the book aside.  I’m not a fan of the love triangles in cozies – if I want to read a romance I’ll pick one up.  Normally cozy authors wait until at least books 3 or 4 to introduce those love triangles—Furlong gets right to it in book 1, PEACHES AND SCREAM.  Hopefully it will not drag on into future books.

I did enjoy the little “Georgia Belle Facts” at the beginning of each chapter.  They were funny and entertaining. 

At this point I do not see myself continuing on with the series—there are far too many with characters I find more memorable and engaging but if you are a fan of cozies this may be a fun one for you.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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