Fillet of MurderFillet of Murder by Linda Reilly is the first book in the NEW “Deep Fried” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, May 2015

Talia Marby serves up delectable English deep fried fare in the heart of the Berkshires—but she soon discovers there’s something fishy going on.

Sometimes in this life, you have to fish or cut bait. After walking away from a miserable job and an even worse boyfriend, Talia Marby has no regrets. She’s returned to her hometown and is happy to help her dear friend Bea Lambert by working at Lambert’s Fish & Chips, a cornerstone of a charming shopping plaza designed to resemble an old English village.

But not all the shop owners are charming. Phil Turnbull has been pestering Bea to sign a petition against a new store opening up, and his constant badgering is enough to make her want to boil him in oil. When Talia and Bea stumble upon Turnbull murdered in his shop, the police suspect Bea. Now it’s up to Talia to fish around for clues and hook the real killer before her friend has to trade serving food for serving time.

I enjoyed this evenly paced and light fare drama that was delightfully entertaining. We are introduced to Talia whose return home is marred when her beloved boss becomes a prime suspect. What else is she to do but look for a murderer among the other shopkeepers.

I love the flow of this well-written plot that moved effortlessly towards a conclusion with bits of Talia’s backstory and a slew of suspects that was fun to watch as the clues populated this tale. The author was very adept at pulling it all together with a sizzle of suspense and intrigue into the characters’ life that enable me to keep up with the story as the search for the killer narrowed down as I moved closer to the end. The conversational dialogue was believable and I like that Talia forced herself to get involved when it looked like the police was stalled. Talia is a likable heroine who is surrounded by an eclectic cast of characters and I look forward to the next book in this series that will bring new and exciting opportunities to Talia and her friends.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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