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Caught Read-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran

Caught Read-Handed (2015)

by Terrie Farley Moran

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I feel like I have read this series before though I don't remember the characters. I remember the tables in the cafe having author names--so if it wasn't this series, it's either another one by the same author or someone else is using a similar idea.

The plot itself was interesting, but I didn't find the characters very compelling. I think I would like the Read 'Em and Eat though. Sassy Cabot notices a man who looks very similar to her former employer--she later finds out the man is his brother. Unfortunately, he is implicated in a murder because he had a public dustup with the victim at the library. Can Sassy help her former employer free his brother?

There's a side plot about an anaconda that threatens to divide the town between those that want it killed to protect people and pets and those who feel all animals's lives should be protected. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jul 8, 2017 |
After reading and enjoying Well Read, Then Dead, I found that this second book in the series fell a bit flat for me. Part of the reason for this is the character of Aunt Ophie, a Southern belle type that just rubs my fur the wrong way (although I know she's meant to be cute, eccentric, and colorful). In the first book, Ophie was amusing because she'd been called in as replacement chef and wreaked havoc in the Read 'Em and Eat kitchen. In this book, she's out of the kitchen and into her true milieu: gossipmongering and flirting. Flirting I can take or leave, but I truly can't stand gossips. Ophie's niece Bridgy gets into the act as well when both of them gang up on Sassy to force her to tell them everything they think she knows about something. Sassy eventually caves. I wouldn't. Anyway... you can see that I was having a major problem here!

Each table in Sassy and Bridgy's cafe is decorated with things representing different authors, and the author usually mentions the specific table at which the characters are seated. I like the idea for the tables, but the constant reference to each one by its author's name stops being cute and starts getting a bit stale and affected rather quickly.

When Sassy calls her former boss, he, his wife, and his sister all come to Fort Myers Beach. I can see why they would. Makes perfect sense. But once they're in town, they have very little to do and they slow the story down.

So far all I've done is complain, but that's so I could then concentrate on the good stuff-- and there is quite a bit of that in Caught Read-Handed. There is a subplot involving an anaconda snake on the loose threatening the local pets, and Miguel, cat owner and chef of Read 'Em and Eat, is very vocal about the need for action. I liked how this subplot played out with locals getting together to do something logical to take care of the problem. (And some of Miguel's recipes made my mouth water!)

Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the scenes with the teen book club. Several book clubs hold meetings at the Read 'Em and Eat. The clubs are for all ages and run the gamut of genres, but I particularly enjoyed reading how the teens reacted to different books.

Last but not least in the list of the good things in this book is the mystery, which did indeed keep me guessing.

If you don't have any aversion to the types of characters who annoy the stuffing out of me, you're going to get a lot more pleasure from this book than I did. Caught Read-Handed is a good, solid book that will please almost everyone who reads it. But when I think of Aunt Ophie and Bridgy, I'm left with doubts. ( )
  cathyskye | Nov 19, 2015 |
Caught Read-Handed is the second book in the Read 'Em and Eat Mystery series.

A wonderful sequel to Well Read, Then Dead which won an Agatha for Best First Novel of 2014.

Sassy Cabot has culled the shelves in the Read 'Em and Eat bookstore/ cafe and has headed for the library to donate the books. As she enters, she notices Tanya Lipscome in an argument with Alan Mersky, a veteran with PTSD. A day or two later when the body of Lipsome is found in her hot tub, Alan becomes at prime suspect. Then when the limb that she was bludgeoned with matches a similar one in Mersky's car, he is arrested and committed to a hospital to determine his mental status.

Sassy soon learns that Alan is the brother of her former boss and feels the need to do a little personal investigating to clear his name. Having learned that Lipscome was known as Tanya the Terrible she is sure that Alan had nothing to do with the murder.

The series has a wonderful cast of characters and most are back to help Sassy and Bridgy. Jocelyn Kendell is back once again exhibiting her ability to open mouth and insert foot. Her husband, Pastor John, is back and helps Sassy along with other veterans in area that have problems similar to Alan's'. Miguel, their cook at the cafe is back to plate up comfort foods when so badly needed. And of course Aunt Ophelia is back once again to provide some humor and light moments.

Will definitely be watching for the next book in this sunny series. ( )
  FredYoder | Jul 4, 2015 |
The first book in this series, WELL READ, THEN DEAD, was one of my top three favorite first books in a new series in 2014. I devoured it. So, to say I have been looking forward to CAUGHT READ-HANDED, well, that doesn’t even come close to how much I’ve wanted to read this book. I have to say . . . it was worth the wait!

Author Terrie Farley Moran has done it again in the second installment of her Read ‘Em And Eat Mystery series. She has taken her gift of amazing story telling and lifted it to a whole new level. The murder mystery in this story was so well plotted, every page bringing clues and misleads. Ms. Moran kept the story fast moving and intriguing, make this book very hard to put down for any length of time. When the reveal came toward the end of the story, it was a real surprise. I never saw it coming!

I really did love my trip back to Fort Myers Beach, FL, and the time I spent at the Read ‘Em And Eat café with Sassy, Bridgy, Aunt Ophey, and the cast of supporting characters. Like my last visit, it was over far too soon, and I found myself back in the real world of DE looking forward to my next visit.

In the pages of this book, with every word, through every character, I could feel the author’s love for her series. Knowing that this story was penned with such care, made reading it even more enjoyable. Well done Ms. Moran. Brava!

Make sure to check out the back of the book for the yummy recipe for Miss Marple’s Orange Ice Scones by Karen Owen, and featured in CAUGHT READ-HANDED. ( )
  LisaKsBookReviews | Jul 1, 2015 |
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Joan Moran Schlereth: best daughter ever.
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Bridgy Mayfield's Aunt Ophelia tapped her extra-long, shocking pink fingernails impatiently on the countertop beside the register
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425270297, Mass Market Paperback)

From the national bestselling author of Well Read, Then Dead comes the second mystery featuring Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, who bring Fort Myers Beach, Florida, residents plenty of sinful treats and killer reads at their bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat.

Happy to help her fellow bibliophiles, Sassy visits the local library with book donations for their annual fundraising sale. Unfortunately, the welcoming readers’ haven is in turmoil as an argument erupts between an ornery patron and new staff member, Tanya Lipscombe—also known as “Tanya Trouble.” She may lack people skills, but everyone is shocked when she’s later found murdered in her own hot tub.

The man last seen arguing with Tanya is soon arrested. But Alan Mersky, a veteran with PTSD, happens to be the brother of Sassy’s former boss—and he’s no murderer. Now it’s up to Sassy and Bridgy to clear Alan’s name and make sure the real killer gets booked.

Includes a recipe for Miss Marple scones!

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 04 Jul 2015 21:36:57 -0400)

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