After Avery Aames' guest blog, how can anyone resist reading the debut mystery in the Cheese Shop series, The Long Quiche Goodbye? Fromagerie Bessette and the town of Providence, Ohio are charming places. It's too bad they're spoiled by murder.
Charlotte Bessette and her cousin, Matthew, are ready for the grand reopening of the cheese shop they took over from their grandfather. They've expanded, adding a wine shop with Matthew as sommelier, and the opening should be a treat for everyone. Business is booming in Amish Country. Unfortunately, Ed Woodhouse, the biggest real estate tycoon in town is threatening to sell the Cheese Shop property, and Charlotte's grandmother, Grandmère Bernadette is in a heated mayoral campaign against his wife. The night of the opening, Woodhouse makes passes at too many women in the shop, and his wife makes a scene, but everything calms down. Just as Charlotte is enjoying a little flirtation with a mysterious supplier of artisan cheese, a scream indicates trouble. And, Charlotte finds that trouble, her Grandmère standing over a victim killed with a knife from the shop.
No one wants to believe the town's mayor, a seventy-two-year-old exotic French immigrant, is a killer, but the police chief is forced to place her under house arrest. As her grandparents wither under the strain, Charlotte's friends recruit her to find the real killer.
Hopefully, The Long Quiche Goodbye marks the start of a successful, long-running series. Aames' characters are enjoyable, and Charlotte stands out from other amateur sleuths as an interesting, determined woman. It's going to be fun to watch the changes in Charlotte and her employee, Rebecca Zook. Rebecca, who left the Amish life, has a fondness for all TV crime shows, and bases her ideas about the case on episodes from TV. And, the mouth-watering discussion of cheeses adds so much to the pleasure of reading this book. I can't say enough about Fromagerie Bessette, The Cheese Shop. Aames has created a shop that leaps off the page, a warm, enticing place that invites customers and readers alike. It's the perfect setting for the launch of an enjoyable new series.
And, if you'd like a chance to win a copy of The Long Quiche Goodbye, check back on Thursday night when I'll start a contest. Avery Aames' will be giving away two autographed copies of the book.
Avery Aames' website is www.averyaames.com and she is one of the bloggers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen.
The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames. Berkley Prime Crime, ©2010. ISBN 9780425235522 (paperback), 304p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me my copy, in hopes I would review it.