A Spoonful of Murder by Connie Archer is the first book in the new “Soup Lover’s” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, August 2012

Winter is big business in small-town Snowflake, Vermont. Tourists arrive to hit the ski slopes–and what could be more satisfying after a chilly day of carving powder than a steaming bowl of soup?

When Lucky Jamieson inherits her parents’ soup shop, By the Spoonful, she realizes it’s time to take stock of her life. Should she sell her parents’ house or move in herself? Does she really want to run a restaurant business? And what about her grandfather Jack, who seems to be showing signs of Alzheimer’s?

But her life decisions are moved to the back burner after an icy blonde tourist is found frozen to death behind the soup shop. And Lucky is bowled over when her soup chef, Sage DuBois, is led out of the kitchen by the police. As suspicion and speculations snowball, Lucky decides that the only way to save her employee and her business is to find out herself who iced the tourist–and landed her chef in the soup.

Coming back to Snowflake and keeping her parent’s business operational was top of mind until a dead boy is found in the back alley. When her chef is arrested, believing in his innocence and trying to keep her business afloat, Lucky seeks clues to find the real killer. I like this book. The writing was comfortable as was the tone of this endearing drama. The mystery was good and every time I thought I knew the identity of the killer, the author changed directions and caught me by surprise when the killer was revealed. Lucky is a great character who is surrounded by a wonderful supporting cast which includes her grandfather Jack, a friendly doctor and patrons who dine at her soup shop. This is a terrific read and I hope we get to see more of Lucky and her friends for a long time in this charmingly enjoyable debut with a bonus of delectable recipes.

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