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Last Diner Standing by Terri L. Austin
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Last Diner Standing

by Terri L. Austin

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Last Diner Standing is another really fun read in Terri L. Austin's Rose Strickland Mystery series! (Click here for my review of Book 1, Diners, Dives & Dead Ends.)

{NOTE: Diners, Dives & Dead Ends has a surprise ending, and the surprise ending is mentioned at the beginning of Last Diner Standing. If you haven't read Diners, Dives & Dead Ends and you don't want the surprise ending spoiled, be sure to read it first, then read Last Diner Standing.}

Let's see.... What can I tell you about the book, that won't divulge any spoilers?

Last Diner Standing picks up about six weeks after Diners, Dives & Dead Ends concludes. Rose's co-workers, family members, and friends,that we met in the first book, return in this book. The reader gets to know some of these returning characters better, and meets some new characters in Last Diner Standing.

The title refers to the diner war that is getting starting when the book begins. Ma's Diner, where Rose works, has always been open 6am to 1pm, serving breakfast only. For 20 years, Rudy's Roundup Restaurant has never served breakfast -- until now. In retaliation, Ma is keeping the diner open until 3pm to serve lunch. The ensuing skirmishes are hilarious, as Ma and Rudy try to outdo each other. Does Rose save the day? Read the book, to find out!

Rose's friend Janelle, her study buddy and mother of two kids (nine and seven), is arrested for the attempted murder of her ex-husband. Rose finds an attorney for Janelle, but Janelle's attorney is more interested in cutting a plea deal for her with the DA (only two to six years in jail) than in truly defending her against the false charges.
● "When Axton went missing, you found him. Will you find out who put A$$hat in a coma?"
I hesitated. I'd had my fill of danger when I went looking for Axton. I was a boring girl now and that's the way I liked it.
"Please, Rose. I got to take care of my kids and I can't do that behind bars."
I looked into her worried eyes. "Okay." How could I say no?


Rose's crush on Sullivan has intensified, and she discovers evidence that there is a hit out on him.
● Sullivan sat behind a massive desk. Hotter than a bonfire on the fourth of July. Runner of an illegal gambling operation. Object of more than one erotic dream. He glanced up when the door opened and studied me with his gold eyes.
He was gorgeous. Warm, honeyed skin and strong cheekbones. Black hair brushed away from his flawless face. Yeah, gorgeous almost covered it.


● "Why would someone put a hit on you? Who did you piss off?"
He shrugged. "I have a successful business. If I'm out of the way, it's up for grabs."
His business? Illegal endeavors was more like it. Sullivan was a criminal. Period. Of course he would be a target for other criminals who wanted to move up the food chain. I forgot sometimes who he was, what he did.


● I was on my own in the A$$hat investigation. Sullivan had his own problems, but his new threat added to my worries. It was important to me that he was alive and well and involved in various criminal enterprises. Well, I wished he would get out of his various criminal enterprises and go legit. I cared about him.
Damn it, when did that happen?


Rose's mother continues her attempts to control and manipulate Rose. In this quote, at the Stricklands' Christmas party, Mrs Strickland introduces Rose to an eligible bachelor, telling them they "have similar jobs."
● "Tyler is a media consultant and you're in public relations.... Rosalyn works directly with customers for a small, family-owned firm."
She hated that I was a waitress. In her eyes, I was nothing but a failure. I knew she resented me for letting her down, for not living up to my potential.


There are a lot more scenes, situations, and juicy quotes that I would love to share with you, but they're spoilers, so you will just have to READ THE BOOK.

I loved it! and recommend Last Diner Standing to all Cozy Mystery fans!! Last Diner Standing is another Five-Kitty winner for Terri L. Austin!


[Originally published at JaneReads] ( )
  Jane.Reads | Jun 29, 2017 |
Last Diner Standing is another really fun read in Terri L. Austin's Rose Strickland Mystery series!

{NOTE: Diners, Dives & Dead Ends has a surprise ending, and the surprise ending is mentioned at the beginning of Last Diner Standing. If you haven't read Diners, Dives & Dead Ends and you don't want the surprise ending spoiled, be sure to read it first, then read Last Diner Standing.}

Let's see.... What can I tell you about the book, that won't divulge any spoilers?

Last Diner Standing picks up about six weeks after Diners, Dives & Dead Ends concludes. Rose's co-workers, family members, and friends,that we met in the first book, return in this book. The reader gets to know some of these returning characters better, and meets some new characters in Last Diner Standing.

The title refers to the diner war that is getting starting when the book begins. Ma's Diner, where Rose works, has always been open 6am to 1pm, serving breakfast only. For 20 years, Rudy's Roundup Restaurant has never served breakfast -- until now. In retaliation, Ma is keeping the diner open until 3pm to serve lunch. The ensuing skirmishes are hilarious, as Ma and Rudy try to outdo each other. Does Rose save the day? Read the book, to find out!

Rose's friend Janelle, her study buddy and mother of two kids (nine and seven), is arrested for the attempted murder of her ex-husband. Rose finds an attorney for Janelle, but Janelle's attorney is more interested in cutting a plea deal for her with the DA (only two to six years in jail) than in truly defending her against the false charges.
● "When Axton went missing, you found him. Will you find out who put Asshat in a coma?"
I hesitated. I'd had my fill of danger when I went looking for Axton. I was a boring girl now and that's the way I liked it.
"Please, Rose. I got to take care of my kids and I can't do that behind bars."
I looked into her worried eyes. "Okay." How could I say no?

Rose's crush on Sullivan has intensified, and she discovers evidence that there is a hit out on him.
● Sullivan sat behind a massive desk. Hotter than a bonfire on the fourth of July. Runner of an illegal gambling operation. Object of more than one erotic dream. He glanced up when the door opened and studied me with his gold eyes.
He was gorgeous. Warm, honeyed skin and strong cheekbones. Black hair brushed away from his flawless face. Yeah, gorgeous almost covered it.

● "Why would someone put a hit on you? Who did you piss off?"
He shrugged. "I have a successful business. If I'm out of the way, it's up for grabs."
His business? Illegal endeavors was more like it. Sullivan was a criminal. Period. Of course he would be a target for other criminals who wanted to move up the food chain. I forgot sometimes who he was, what he did.

● I was on my own in the Asshat investigation. Sullivan had his own problems, but his new threat added to my worries. It was important to me that he was alive and well and involved in various criminal enterprises. Well, I wished he would get out of his various criminal enterprises and go legit. I cared about him.
Damn it, when did that happen?

Rose's mother continues her attempts to control and manipulate Rose. In this quote, at the Stricklands' Christmas party, Mrs Strickland introduces Rose to an eligible bachelor, telling them they "have similar jobs."
● "Tyler is a media consultant and you're in public relations.... Rosalyn works directly with customers for a small, family-owned firm."
She hated that I was a waitress. In her eyes, I was nothing but a failure. I knew she resented me for letting her down, for not living up to my potential.

There are a lot more scenes, situations, and juicy quotes that I would love to share with you, but they're spoilers, so you will just have to READ THE BOOK.

I loved it! and recommend Last Diner Standing to all Cozy Mystery fans!! Last Diner Standing is another Five-Kitty winner for Terri L. Austin!


Note: The review copy of Last Diner Standing came from my personal library.

{Originally published on my blog at www.JaneReads2.blogspot.com} ( )
  Jane.Reads | Jul 22, 2014 |
In Diners, Dives & Dead Ends, Terri Austin introduced us to part time diner waitress Rose Strickland, her blue haired anime loving best friend Roxy Block, and to her stoner friend Axton Graystone, a fellow drop out from Huntingford’s social elite. All are back for a second dose of mystery hijinks in Last Diner Standing, the second book in the Rose Strickland Mystery series. Further developing her characters, and adding a few more to the mix, Ms. Austin’s series has become an auto buy for me. If you like cozy mysteries, you’re going to want to add this series to your list so you don’t miss the “awesome sauce” of Ms. Austin’s writing.

When Rose receives an early morning phone call from study partner Janelle, she knows her day is off to a bad start. Seems Janelle’s been arrested for hitting her ex-husband (aka “Asshat”) and putting him in a comma, and for the murder of his lover (aka Chicken Licker). Swearing she’s innocent, Janelle begs Rose for her help since they both know the police won’t really bother investigating the case. After making arrangements to meet Dane Harker (attorney and occasional date) and Janelle later in the day, Rose heads off to “Ma’s Diner” only to find she’s caught in the middle of a “diner” war.

As Rose and Roxy, fellow waitress, and best friend, attempt to calm Ma down, they learn Rudy Jorgenson of “Rudy’s Roundup Restaurant” has decided to start serving breakfast and is undercutting Ma’s prices in order to steal their clientele. As Ma and Rudy battle it out with lower prices, new menu items and basically drive their staff insane, Rose is caught between her loyalty to Ma and the reality that the “diner war” is causing both restaurants to lose money and the waitresses to lose tips.

Meanwhile Rose, accompanied by Roxy and Ax, begins investigating Janelle’s case and becomes entangled in a web full of strippers, chop shops and a couple of mob bosses currently at war. When Sullivan, the sexy and dangerous criminal Rose met in Diners, Dives & Dead Ends, takes center stage and winds up with a hit man on his tail, Rose realizes that Janelle and Sullivan’s problems are somehow tied together. Ms. Austin does a wonderful job as she continues to develop Rose’s character and introduces us to Rose’s colorful sidekicks. The mutual and forbidden attraction between Rose and Sullivan adds just the right touch of heat.

Will Rose discover who’s behind both crimes? Will Ma and Rudy agree to settle the “diner” war amicably and go back to serving the meals they both serve best? You’ll have to read Last Diner Standing to find out. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to see if Rose and Sullivan’s mutual attraction makes it to the relationship stage. ( )
  MariaD. | Dec 26, 2013 |
In Last Diner Standing, the second installment in the Rose Strickland Mystery series, author Terri L. Austin transports the reader back to Huntingford, Missouri, for another zany adventure featuring the sassy diner waitress / amateur sleuth Rose Strickland. Rose's latest adventure has her receiving a phone call at 3am from her friend Janelle Johnson, who has been arrested for the attempted murder of her ex-husband Asshat aka Sheikh Johnson, who is in an induced coma. Rose's investigation and quest to prove Janelle's innocence has her turning to hunky bad guy Thomas Sullivan for assistance, and its not long before they are resisting their mutual attraction for each other while searching for the same person: someone who has also put out a hit on Sullivan! And if that isn't enough, Ma, the owner of Ma's Diner, has her hands full when a new diner opens and she drags Rose into an all out diner war to win over the local customers!

Last Diner Standing is an entertaining cozy mystery told in the first person narrative by Rose, who takes the reader along for the ride on her latest investigative adventure. This fast-paced story has a lot of twists and turns that easily engages the reader and keeps them guessing what will happen next, while also providing a lot of laugh-out-loud moments that will keep you in stitches. Author Terri L. Austin continues to provides a story that has a great balance of humor, intrigue, and a touch of romance that is just plain fun to read.

The quirky cast of characters from Diners, Dives & Dead Ends: Ma, Roxy, Axton, and Sullivan are all back in this book along with a new slue of characters who will keep the reader entertained with their quirkiness, witty dialogue, and engaging interactions that makes this latest adventure so much fun to follow.

Last Diner Standing is an entertaining cozy mystery that is full of drama, suspense, comedy and romance with a surprise ending that will leave you looking forward to Rose's next adventure!

The third book in the Rose Strickland Mystery series, Diner Impossible will be released in November 2013.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot.com/2013/10/last-diner-standing-by-terri-l... ( )
  JerseyGirlBookReview | Oct 11, 2013 |
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

Tried of the same old trite cozy mysterious? Of the never ending love triangles that weeble wobble til it drives you crazy? Of the ridiculous plots with lack luster logic in a town where every knows everyone? Of heroines that claim independence and having moxie when all they do is faint and flutter their eyelashes? Of Ms. Perfect Gorgeous with a crew that devotes entirely to her but she never does things for other people and you question how anyone can stand her?

Want realistic regular people who are likeable and will call assshat an asshat? Want a mystery that keeps you guessing and you never see the end coming? Want to laugh out loud? Want a little heat but not a wildfire that scares even rabbits to stop fucking while the characters don't?

Then this is the series for you!

I actually enjoyed this one more than the last. There's more information on the cast of characters and we start to really get to know them. I really liked how the other side of people were shown, people that are usually demonized and shunned. It brought a nice balance. In the romance department the vying for Rose's affection from the entire male population has died down which lead the way for things to get rolling with one person. I'm warming up more to the main attraction dude though I share Rose's hesitation.

The case with helping Janelle was more emotional causing us to see connections, past and present, in a different way. It was a nice switch from everyone being tediously timid and only helping due to Rose's insistence on following a case. The two usual groups were doubtful, cautious and useless while everyone else kicked it into high gear. More laugh out loud moments while the dialogue, characters and actions usually left me smiling.

I was quite happy in general and have really no complains. Nothing stuck out at me as unreasonable, illogical or otherwise stupid. The clues were clues and the surprises were actual surprising. No nit-picking or little gripes. I don't know if I just enjoyed it too much to notice or there wasn't anything to have a problem with, but this nit-picker is rather satisfied. ( )
  BrokeBookBank | Nov 25, 2012 |
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Rose Strickland is having a blue Christmas. Her friend is arrested for attempted murder, her sexy bad guy crush is marked by a hit man, and her boss is locked in an epic smackdown with a rival diner. Determined to save those she loves, Rose embarks on an investigation more tangled than a box of last year's tree lights. With her eclectic gang at the ready, Rose stumbles across dead bodies, ex-cons, chop shops, jealous girlfriends, jilted lovers, and a gaggle of strippers in a battle for freedom she might not survive.… (more)

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