Tourist season’s in full swing in the small seaside town of Wildwood Cove, and Marley McKinney couldn’t be happier. Since taking over the Flip Side restaurant, she’s made a few close friends, adopted a cat named Flapjack, and started dating her childhood crush. The only cloud on the horizon is local nuisance Ida Winkler, who blames Marley for landing her nephew in prison. Trying to get a rise out of Marley, Ida’s been making crank calls and even vandalizing the pancake house.
The police can’t do much about the pranks, so Marley sets out to bury the hatchet once and for all. But someone’s beat her to it—in the most shocking way possible. After stumbling across Ida’s dead body, Marley’s suddenly the number-one suspect in her murder. Clearing her good name is going to be a tall order, but Marley’s not about to let Ida keep ruining her life—especially from beyond the grave.
It’s been so long since I read The Crêpes of Wrath, that I truly couldn’t recall the original plot line until I reviewed my review of the first book. However, I found that even if I hadn’t, I could have easily slipped back into this particular series without any trouble.
Occurring only a few weeks after the end of The Crêpes of Wrath, Marley finds herself settling into her routine of running the Flip Side and living in the small town of Wildwood Cove. However, one of the townspeople, Ida Winkler, is determined to make Marley pay for having her nephew put in jail. Marley’s found several instances in which her business has been defaced and someone has stolen a lamp base from her front porch. After several days of receiving prank calls from Ida’s home number, Marley decides to pay the bitter woman a visit in hopes of calling truce. But what she finds is Ida’s lifeless body.
This particular book had a less light hearted tone to it compared to the original. Marley is highly anxious and stressed throughout the entire book and it left something to be desired. It’s one thing to worry about clearing your own name in a murder mystery, but I feel that the relationship drama was unnecessary for this story. She and Brett have only been dating a few weeks and yet, she’s acting like an anxiety teen. She’s worried about things going awry and getting hurt. As a reader, I am just not interested in that kind of whining, especially from a grown woman. It just served as a filler for the book and it didn’t contribute to the overall plot. So why waste time on it?
Marley also spends much of the book worrying about the Flip Side going under because there’s a cloud of suspicion over her. This I can actually understand, especially for someone who has just recently taken over a family member’s business. But coupled with the stress over being a murder suspect and her relationship melodrama, it was all too much. Remove the relationship stuff and this book would have been perfect.
The author has a strength for not making the perpetrator too obvious. While I had noticed the person and considered it multiple times, I wasn’t 100% sure of their guilt until it was revealed in the book. That’s a great attribute for mystery books, because if it’s too obvious, then there’s not really much of a mystery to enjoy.
I hope the author will continue to build and develop the townspeople as the series goes on. Cozy mysteries seem to work out best when there are quirky townsfolk and events. These elements help to create a more enjoyable reading experience, but they add a touch of humor. They also help to serve as amusing red herrings in these kinds of books.
Overall, I liked this book well enough. Sometimes the second book in a series isn’t as entertaining because there is a high demand for plot and character development. I’m eager to see where the author goes with the next book, Of Spice and Men.
Reviewers Note: I received this book from Netgalley to review. All opinions are my own. They are honest and are not guaranteed to be positive.