A Waffle Lot of Murder by Lena Gregory
For diner owner Gia Morelli, her seasonal fall menu calls for two main ingredients—maple syrup and murder . . .
While the first hints of autumn grace Boggy Creek, Florida, Gia misses the colorful harvest traditions she left behind in New York. On a scramble to make new fall memories—and promote her irresistible pumpkin spice waffles—things take a dark turn when she gets roped into the Haunted Town Festival, a spooky celebration held on deserted farmlands.
A Waffle Lot of Murder by Lena Gregory, The desolate area conjures plenty of eerie vibes at night, but Gia and her best friend, Savannah, are nearly frightened to death upon the discovery of the event organizer’s body buried in the nearby woods. More alarming, the local rumor mill says the woman’s shady dealings may have egged someone into sending her to an early grave. Now, there’s no shortage of creepy clues to feast on as Gia and her pals try to stop a killer with a very scary appetite . . .
Includes recipes from the All-Day Breakfast Café!
Fall in Florida is so different from fall in New York, but Gia is hoping to adjust. She receives an invitation to take part in the Haunted Town Festival, a fundraiser for the local animal shelter. She is unsure if she wants to get involved but her BFF Savannah twists her arm telling her it would be a great promotion for the cafe and her new pumpkin spice waffles. The event takes place outside of town where there are several abandoned houses and farmland. Gia and Savannah schedule an appointment with the woman in charge of the event to see exactly what participation entails. They arrive at the festival site but the woman doesn’t show up but they do find her phone. Turns out the organizer did arrive but she was murdered before their appointment. Will the festival be canceled? Is the killer still around? Gia and her friends soon find themselves caught up in another murder case.
All my favorite characters return in this 4th installment of the All-Day Cafe Mystery series. Savvanah and Gia take some scary risks in their endeavor to catch a killer instead of leaving the investigation in the police boyfriends’ hands. At one point they even discuss the danger –
“Not a chance.” . . . There’s a fine line between being brave and being too stupid to live, and I have no intention of crossing that line. Again”
But sometimes the adrenaline kicks in or a situation presents itself that makes it hard to walk away. Of course, being in a dark creepy woods with who knows how many men and beasts could be hiding there should be a deterrent but these characters go full speed ahead.. I did appreciate that they did try to abstain from getting too involved at first, but it wouldn’t be a cozy mystery if the characters didn’t get involved and in trouble before the story ends. I was surprised that one character was involved and that they had just a little bit of a transformation because of it. I really like Earl, he is Gia’s best customer and a true friend. Even Thor, Gia’s Bernese Mountain Dog, gets involved in the case. Ms. Gregory has created a core group of dynamic characters. They are all believable and relatable.
We also meet several new characters connected with the Haunted Town Festival. Among them is a variety of suspects. Not knowing these people well made asking them questions difficult but Gia wouldn’t give up and she may have pushed too hard. I really enjoyed each twist and that there was more going on than originally presented. The deceased had made some real enemies and I was captivated as the whole sordid tale was revealed. The author has written a tangled web, so much so, my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd guesses at the killer were all wrong.
I loved that the story took place over Halloween and that the fundraiser was to benefit the animal shelter. A wonderful cause and an exciting fundraiser idea.
I can’t get Pumpkin Spice Waffles off my mind. I am actually craving them, but because I read this book months after it was released means I am out of pumpkin spice season. Another reason not to get behind on a series. LOL, thankfully there is a recipe in the back of the book. I am hoping to get our family chef, aka my husband, to whip up a batch.
A Waffle Lot of Murder was a fabulous story filled with action, drama, and suspense. I enjoy the way Gia has made a home in Boggy Creek and has made so many friends. I have become invested in every one of them and am excited to read Whole Latte Murder when it is released next month.
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About Lena Gregory
Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.
Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island. She recently relocated to Clermont, Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, jigsaw puzzles, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.