May 6, 2018

Series Sunday: Murder with Macaroni and Cheese

(Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mystery #2) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is Murder with Macaroni and Cheese, the second (and hopefully not the last) book in the Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mystery series by A.L. Herbert. Welcome to Mahalia's Sweet Tea—the finest soul food restaurant in Prince George's County, Maryland. The owner, affectionately nicknamed Halia, has her hands full cooking, frying, and solving another murder with her curvy loud cousin Wavonne.

Halia agrees to cater her upcoming high school reunion. She didn't even plan to attend due to being so busy at the restaurant but the organizing committee really needs her help at the last minute. Like most high school reunions, it is bittersweet. Some ex-classmates have blossomed while others have not changed, like mean girl Raynell Rollins. When Raynell is found dead the morning after the reunion, Halia starts picking possible suspects. Nearly everyone had a reason to want the manipulating, insulting bitch dead. Even though the police believe it was an accident, Halia and Wavonne prove otherwise.

"Some indulgences amass calories. And I guess certain other indulgences burn them." ~ pg. 103

I love how the murder doesn't happen until halfway through the book. It sets the stage for fuller character development and lets readers get to know the possible suspects way beforehand. It also lets readers develop their own opinion of the victim; at only 23% into the book, I was ready for Raynell Rollins to be killedt...yes, with a T. Quite clever pacing, actually. And most of all, it doesn't feel like the mystery is dragging on forever.

Soul Food + Mystery x 2 = Fictional Greatness Leftovers. Once again, I recommend this short series if cozy foodie lit is your thing. There are great recipes inside as a bonus. Now excuse me while I go stalk the author for info on book #3.

Author: A.L. Herbert
Published: August 2016
Pages: 266
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

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