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Second Helping of Murder

Book by Christine Wenger

Book by Christine Wenger

A missing girl’s body surfaces in the second book of the Comfort Food Mystery series.

Trixie Matkowski “fondly remembers summers as a child spent visiting the shores of Lake Ontario.”  Now, Trixie owns the Silver Bullet Diner and the cottages once owned by her aunt and uncle and where she had spent those summers.

Unfortunately, for Trixie, just as the cottage season is about to begin, the body of a teenaged girl who had gone missing twenty-five years ago is found in a hidden cave nearby.  Trixie remembers Claire Jacobson.  She had looked up to the beautiful teenager who had befriended her.  “I always hoped that she ran away to Europe with her Prince Charming…”

Recalling those long ago summers, Trixie also wonders if perhaps the killer is someone she knows.

But business calls, and Trixie needs to deal with her first guest of the summer.  David Burrows had some unusual requests.  He wanted to rent Cottage Eight–the one Claire and her family stayed in and which is now reputed to be haunted.  He wanted the cottage for the entire summer.  He wanted to be left alone, restricted housekeeping, and meals delivered to him.  But what does he really want?  Might his sudden arrival have anything to do with the recent discover of Claire’s body?

As a member of a mystery tour that shows up unexpectedly at the diner–to great comedic effect–says, “This is the best mystery setup that we’ve had all week.”

Too bad they didn’t stick around!  Later that night, during an oh-so-appropriate thunderstorm, Burrows is shot.  Poor Trixie finds him laying on his back dead.  And the cottage has been ransacked.

At just the right moment, Deputy Ty Brisco shows up to take charge of the scene.  This good ole Texas boy certainly seems to show interest in Trixie.  She, on the other hand, isn’t quite ready for a relationship…yet.

When prospective summer guests start cancelling their reservations for the cottages, Trixie is motivated to get to the bottom of who shot Burrows and, as it turns out, who shot Claire.  Is it the same killer who committed murder twenty-five years apart?  Or two separate killers?

Trixie sets out to unmask the killer by questioning potential suspects who attended a high school bonfire the same night as a Saturday night dance hosted by Trixie’s aunt and uncle.  The same night Claire disappeared.  In particular, she’s determined to find out who may have been Claire’s beau.

With ample help from Ty, Trixie delves into the past, snoops for clues–in some places she’s not supposed to be–and questions her pool of suspects, who include some of the first book’s characters.

Savvy mystery readers may catch on to the killer’s identity before Trixie, but this enjoyable cozy definitely holds your interest to the end.

As one character says, “A good diner employee remembers how you like your coffee.”  And this Comfort Food Mystery is like revisiting old friends that know who to serve up a good time.

Of course, this being a culinary mystery, the book contains recipes for various dishes.  Of particular note, I suggest the bite-sized cheesecakes.  And the pulled-pork recipe sounds mouth-watering.

It should also be noted that early on in Chapter Two, there is a mention of past events which relate to the murder in the series’ first novel and a reveal of whodunnit.  I recommend reading Do or Diner first, unless you don’t mind the spoiler.

For more about author Wenger, visit her website, and be sure to check out my two-part interview with her:  Part I.  Part II.

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Categorised in: Mystery, Reviews

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