Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, excerpt, Monday, mystery, Review on June 20, 2016

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The Calamity Cafe

The Calamity Café: A Down South Café Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Series: A Down South Café Mystery (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: NAL (June 7, 2016)


First in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking that is to die for.

Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition…

Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can’t wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.

At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her.  Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.

Includes delicious Southern recipes


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I loved this book!  Probably because it centers around a cafe and I love food and new recipes (or even twists on old favorites).

Amy has brought her culinary skills to this small town and wants to open up a southern cafe…you know what that means, comfort food!  She doesn’t want to compete with the local diner and offers to buy it from the current owner, Lou Lou, but she isn’t having any of that.  Until her son changes her mind and as Amy goes to meet Lou Lou, her son Pete, and the lawyer, Amy comes across her own surprise – Lou Lou face down dead.  And like all mysteries, Amy takes it up on herself to figure out who did it and why.

I really did like this book a lot and the only thing that started to irritate me is that Amy couldn’t let go that she really wasn’t a viable suspect despite finding the body.  She has an alibi and doesn’t seem to trust in that information.  She would panic at thinking she was going to be arrested when it was so far from the truth.

That aside, the mystery was well written and while I suspected who the killer was I didn’t really know why until Amy started digging up more information on Lou Lou’s past and her family.  The killer did do some things that made me suspicious of that character, you’ll just have to see if you can pick up on the same clues!

Oh and I loved Homer’s character and his hero of the day.  What a way to look at life.

We give this 5 paws up.

About the Author


Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!


Webpage * Gayle Trent Webpage * Facebook * Twitter * GoodReads


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