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A Spoonful of Murder (A Soup Lover's…

A Spoonful of Murder (A Soup Lover's Mystery) (edition 2012)

by Connie Archer

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979183,129 (3.57)12
Title:A Spoonful of Murder (A Soup Lover's Mystery)
Authors:Connie Archer
Info:Berkley (2012), Edition: Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed, Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:*read, 2012, genre: cozy mystery

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A Spoonful Of Murder by Connie Archer



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Lucky Jamieson inherits her parents’ restaurant, By the Spoonful, which is popular with both locals and the winter tourists who come for the skiing in Snowflake Vermont. The eatery’s chef does wonders with soup and the business seems to be thriving … until a woman is found frozen behind the soup shop, and chef Sage DuBois is arrested for her murder!

This has all the elements of a successful cozy mystery series: amateur sleuth, lots of mouth-watering dishes mentioned, a colorful cast of characters to help (or hinder) Lucky’s attempts to investigate, and a potential love interest. I particularly liked the way Lucky went about ferreting out information, although she did take some unnecessary chances. But it wouldn’t be a cozy mystery without our heroine in some danger.

I’d be willing to read more of this series. I might even be willing to try one (or more) of the soup recipes. ( )
  BookConcierge | Nov 27, 2018 |
I decided to choose this book because it has a slightly different premise - the protagonist owns a soup shop - and I thought it would be interesting. It wasn't. In fact, I don't understand how it got five star ratings when there was so much wrong with this book.

First, she's afraid to lose her 'wonderful chef'. Really? Let's be honest, shall we? You don't need to be trained at a culinary school to make soup. It's not that difficult, unless you're making Bouillabaisse or something similar. None of these soups are in that category (and none of them are interesting enough to make, either). Let's face it, he could be replaced with anyone's grandmother. Plus there's the fact that all she serves other than soup is sandwiches, and we're supposed to believe that this is a successful business. Anyway...

Then the police just 'prop' the dead woman against a dumpster so the doctor can look at her. Say what? He's going to examine her in the snow? Doesn't this town have an ambulance? A morgue? I guess if you die here in the winter they just throw you outside and prop you against a tree or something. Why not? You'll freeze in no time!

Then she hounds a realtor until she gets a key to the dead woman's home. The realtor tells her not to tell anyone, so what does she do? Tells the first person she sees! Can you say "Go ahead, lose your license, I don't care". Plus when she worms information out of people and is asked to keep it secret, what does she do? You guessed it - she tells someone else and asks them to keep it secret. What kind of person is she?

She cleans up a crime scene, and even gets her grandfather's help in stealing police keys in order to look at the evidence they have against Sage. Um, those are criminal actions and she can be prosecuted. But does that happen? No. She confronts people outright and asks them if they were sleeping with the woman or if they killed her. She's certifiable, and doesn't care who she hurts or tells things to as long as she gets what she wants. Man, she should have stayed in Madison and left this town alone.

Then there are things that don't make sense: She wants to sell her parents' home because she doesn't want to pay a mortgage (but is paying rent at an apartment); doesn't want to fix up the home (but is fixing up her apartment). She's an idiot. Why doesn't she keep the house and just have her grandfather move in with her? It would make more sense. (Then the little things like a reporter getting her name completely wrong - not likely).

Not to mention what kind of people are in this town? They take advantage of her by eating at the restaurant for free but when a body is found outside behind the restaurant, not inside, they won't eat there anymore so she can stay open? Guess they'll have to find another restaurant to leech off of. She's dumber than a box of rocks if she forgives any of them. Gee, I guess if someone was killed outside the bank these people would go crazy because they wouldn't be able to get their money. This entire town is full of nutcases.

As you can see I'm no fan of this book, but since it's the first in the series I will cautiously wade into the next and see if it improves. If not - or if it's as bad as this one - I'm done with the series. ( )
  joannefm2 | May 31, 2018 |
As Mrs. Todd tells Hercule Poirot in The Case of the Clapham Cook, "Well, let me tell you, Mr. High-and-Mighty Poirot, a good cook is a good cook. And when you lose one, it's as much to you as pearls are to some fine lady.", so it's no wonder that when the soup master chef of By the Spoonful Soup Shop is arrested for the murder of a wintering socialite, Lucky is motivated to find the real killer.

Lucky was an interesting heroine. I liked her well enough but she was also fairly obnoxious at times. I didn't really take to her general disdain for the police department of Snowflake (consisting of 2 people) nor did I care for her complaining often about gossip when that's basically how she procured all her intel on the murder. She was as much a gossip as anyone and she really had a hard time keeping anyone's confidence. Not good or cute. Still, I rooted for her to exonerate Sage and save her parents' business. I most liked Lucky when she was interacting with her grandfather. I felt the mystery was, for the most part, well done. Lucky pretty much accused half the town and irked them all, before the obvious finally dawned on her, but this was her first case so I can forgive her lack of finesse, absent sharp critical thinking and terrible negotiation skills with emotionally unhinged parties.

I thought the supporting characters were well done, most especially Jack (Lucky's grandfather), Elizabeth (a family friend & also the mayor of Snowflake) and finally, Sage & Remy. Sophie was brusque in a Peppermint Patty way but I hope she gets more characteristics as the series progresses. I don't read cozies for the romance so I didn't much dial in to the Dr Scott thread.

For the life of me I need cozies to stop having business owners who are in dire straits giving away their profits. There were too many instances here of customers offering to pay and Lucky shooing them off. She lamented all the IOUs her parents had collected from people, she was hard pressed for customers after the murder and for the few that came in, she wouldn't take their money. I wanted to throttle her and it really killed my sympathies. Kindness is nice but it doesn't keep you in ingredients or rent. Also, I wondered why her parents decided to have a soup shop when it seemed that no one in the family was a cook or foodie. It felt very random. I kept hoping/expecting that Lucky would find a clutch of beloved recipes from her parents that the shop was built on or something that explained the passion for soup. The recipes the shop is using seem to be Sage originals & nothing was written down so what did these folks do in the years before Sage? Did they always just go with any cook who could make a serviceable soup since they couldn't afford a high end soup master? I have questions. There are recipes at the end of the book but none of them sound as appealing as some of those mentioned in the book. I need to look up recipes for those.

I'm definitely continuing with the series. It was just the thing to read on a sweltering and humid few days. ( )
  anissaannalise | Feb 28, 2018 |
Lucky Jamiesen isn’t all that lucky when she finds the body of a visitor to the local ski lodge in the alley behind By The Spoonful, Lucky’s soup restaurant. Turns out the female victim and the restaurant’s chef, Sage Dubois, have history and soon he finds himself in jail charged with her murder. Lucky is convinced her chef didn’t kill anyone. She trusts not only her own judgment but that of her parents, who employed Sage for several years before they died.

If that’s not enough, Lucky is worried about her grandfather, Jack, who’s a key person in By the Spoonful’s operations. Jack, a World War II veteran, has been exhibiting some strange behavior and Lucky needs to convince him to see a local doctor (and a hunk, to boot) for a physical examination.

And the murder seems to have affected the restaurant’s bottom line – even the regulars aren’t showing up now that the soup shop has been tainted by murder. What’s a girl to do? Why, this girl puts on her sleuthing shoes and starts asking questions.

A Spoonful of Murder (set in Snowflake, Vermont) is a sweet mystery with great characters. It’s hard to keep track of all the cozy mysteries with recently orphaned (or divorced or widowed) young women who now find themselves owning and running a food business (pie shop, cheese shop, cupcake shop, bait shop) and falling in love with a hunky guy in town, one she was crazy about all her life but left to move to another part of the country until returning recently. After awhile the heroines, stories, settings all seem the same. I feel as if I need a scorecard.

I still liked it. ( )
  NewsieQ | Oct 2, 2015 |
This is the first book in the Soup Lover's Mystery series. An entertaining series it looks to be.

Lucky Jamieson has returned to her hometown of Snowflake, VT. after her parents have been killed in an automobile accident. Her main priority is to decide what to do with her parents house and really foremost, what to do with family business, By The Spoonful. Her grandfather, Jack, spends his time helping out at the restaurant and who might be showing the onset of Alzheimer's.

The little soup shop has its regular customers who are always willing to gossip, and add a little humor to life in the small town. Lucky is fortunate to have a very skilled soup chef, Sage DuBois, who works wonders in the kitchen.

One day a stunning blond lady enters and places an order for two take out lunches, just as
Sage is coming out of the kitchen. Sage freezes and immediately return to the kitchen, Which Lucky didn't understand and Sage wasn't going to share why. This sets the tongues of the regular customers to wagging. It seems that Tuesday she always orders two lunches and there is a lot of speculation as to why. A couple days later, Sage takes the trash out to dumpster and discovers the dead body of the blond next to the dumpster. Soon the police have arrested Sage for the murder.

Lucky goes to visit Sage, but again he doesn't say why he turned around and left when she was in the shop or did he want to talk at all. Plus with the murder and arrest, nobody is coming to the shop, except for the regulars. She has to come up with the murderer or at the very least get Sage released to save the business. So Lucky starts checking around and find that the victim has supposedly had many lovers. Now it time to determine if it was a possible jealous lover or jealous wife. She enlists the help of Dr. Elias Scott, who runs the Clinic close to Spoonful, who is as handsome as he is helpful. Also helping are Cecily and Marjorie, two sisters who run a clothing store nearby and are a source of information and gossip. Also helping are Hank and Barry, a couple of old-timers who also like to keep their fingers on the pulse of the little tow.

A wonderful cast of characters and a very enjoyable story.

Looking forward to the next book. ( )
  FredYoder | May 14, 2015 |
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After Lucky Jamieson inherits her parents' soup shop, by the Spoonful, she realizes it's time to take stock of her life. But when a tourist is found frozen to death behind the store, and the police arrest her chef, Lucky decides the only way to save her business and her chef is to put life decisions on the back burner and investigate the murder herself.… (more)

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