Publishing Info: July 6, 2010 by Penguin
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 27th, 2012
Welcome to Aunt Pat's barbecue restaurant, which serves up Memphis fun with a side order of murder.
Named in honor of Lulu Taylor's great aunt, Aunt Pat's family-run Memphis restaurant is known for its ribs and spicy cornbread. But now the Taylor family will be known for murder...
Rebecca Adrian came to Memphis to suss out the best local BBQ for a prominent Cooking Channel Show. Trouble is, a mystery ingredient has killed her-and now all fingers are pointing to Aunt Pat's restaurant. Horrified that her family is being accused of murder, Lulu fires up her investigative skills to solve the crime before someone else gets skewered.
Breaking It Down Further: Lulu Tayor and her family run the BBQ joint Aunt Pat’s, and the whole family is pitching in when food critic Rebecca Adrian comes to visit to assess whether Aunt Pat’s is good enough for a TV show on the Cooking Channel. Despite her rudeness, Lulu and the gang try to treat Rebecca with some southern hospitality until it seems karma got the best of her when Rebecca winds up poisoned back at her hotel. Lulu steps up to the plate to solve the mystery of the murder to keep her family’s and friends’ names out of trouble and to save the good name of Aunt Pat’s restaurant.
This was a pretty quick read and mostly enjoyable. It didn’t knock me off my feet or leave me pleasantly surprised like a few cozies that I’ve read recently. I think I go into most of these expecting it to be average and I think this one came out just above my expectations. I guess what it really came down to was that I didn’t really relate to many of the characters. I didn’t connect with Lulu because once they made the comparison of her competing with Paula Deen, that was how I pictured her for the rest of the novel, despite her accurate description. I think on some level, as much as I don’t like to say that age is a factor to how I relate to characters, it still is and I think that affected me a little bit. But there was also the factor that I didn’t really connect with anyone else in the book either. I never really felt like her children played a role as far as a personality presense goes (although a few fingers were pointed at them, bringing them in the spotlight a bit more). I actually really enjoyed the presense of the Graces who are a group of docents at Graceland. I liked the mix of ladies that ended up in their group, and it was nice to see the different personalities all pulled together just because they were Elvis fanatics. It brought a lot of color and a lot of comedy into the book. And weirdly enough, I really liked the prominence of the granddaughters Ella Beth and Coco. Ella Beth is quite a sharp little girl and it kind of reminded me how I was when I was a kid in a way.
As for the mystery, I was kept guessing until the end. A lot of fingers were pointed here and there and just when I thought it was one person, a new twist was revealed. It wasn’t a super complicated plot, but I still had a lot of fun with it and I must have liked it well enough to finish it so quickly!
There are also recipes for some of the BBQ items in the back — Even though we didn’t follow the recipe, we did get inspired to make some ribs last night. Yum!!
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Close to 4 stars, but I think just below it. It surpassed average by just a bit, but still to the point where I’d recommend it to others to read. I think it’s a fun one.