Sunday, July 3, 2016


Publisher:     NAL
Published:     June 7, 2016   
ISBN:        978-1101990780
Genre:       Cozy Mystery
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Amy Flowers’s long time dream has to been to open and operate her own café.  With the passing of her beloved Nana she has the money to begin to achieve her goal.  If only her Nana was there to celebrate with her. Now that she’s ready to move forward she approaches her current employer, Lou Lou, to see if she will sell her café, Lou’s Joint, to her.  Lou Lou not only says no, but mocks Amy.  Undaunted Amy begins to make plans to build her own café, the Down South Café, from the ground up.  She is then surprised to receive a call from Lou Lou’s son, Pete, later that night telling her that he’s gotten his mother to change her mind and they will in fact sell her Lou’s Joint.  There is one catch, however, Pete tells Amy they need to seal the deal that night, before Lou Lou changes her mind.  Amy agrees and full of hope she heads off to Lou’s Joint.  When she arrives it isn’t Lou Lou and Pete she finds—rather it is Lou Lou alone and she is dead.  When the police arrive their questions point to quickly solving the crime – in other words, pointing the finger at Amy.  After all, Amy has the most to gain from Lou Lou’s death.  Or does she?

THE CALAMITY CAFÉ is the first of Gayle Leeson’s Down South Café mysteries and my first of her books for me but it will not be the last.  What a fun read with a good mystery and some interesting twists.  If this is her way of telling a story I’m all in for future reads.  When I first started THE CALAMITY CAFÉ I was a little turned off by what looked like was going to be a rendition of dumb southerners.  It’s been done before and not well and I was about ready to put the book down rather than go along that road.  I’m glad I stuck with it because it wasn’t long before I really started to like Amy Flowers.  She’s epitomizes the kind of person you’d like to have as your friend.  She’s warm, friendly and cares about her friends.  She’s also smart and determined and a great problem solver.

Cafes serving southern dishes have been done before as well, but there’s some differences in Leeson’s book that make for creative cooking.  The mystery had some nice twists to it.  A decent spread of red herrings keep the reader guessing just who done it.

Definitely a series I’ll be keeping up with.

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


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