Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One Ends, Another Begins: The Long Quiche Goodbye

Happy New Year! Today is the day I post the first book I found in the adult section of my library for the One Ends, Another Begins two-book challenge.

The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames

Review by Lauren, buy a copy now from The Book Depository

copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Welcome to the grand opening of Fromagerie Bessette. Or as it's more commonly known by the residents of small- town Providence, Ohio-the Cheese Shop. Proprietor Charlotte Bessette has prepared a delightful sampling of bold Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, delicious tortes of Stilton and Mascarpone, and a taste of Sauvignon Blanc-but someone else has decided to make a little crime of passion the "piece de resistance." Right outside the shop Charlotte finds a body, the victim stabbed to death with one of her prized olive-wood handled knives.

Review: The idea of this challenge is that you don't know what you're going to get, but it's a nice way to try something new. The Long Quiche Goodbye isn't a book I would have picked up just by browsing the shelves, but I am very happy that I had the chance to read it. I think it's hilarious that both novels I "chose" for this challenge were mysteries, and that Avery Aames' novel takes place in Ohio (as I'm in Kentucky). As for the actual story, this is a character-driven story that had me guessing until the end as to who-done-it!

Charlotte and her cousin Matthew have taken over their grandparents cheese shop, Fromagerie Bessette, and are determined to make it even more of a success in their town. However, on the night of the new grand opening, someone is murdered with one of their knives and someone in their family seems the current, likely suspect. Charlotte believes in their innocence and becomes a bit of a sleuth to try and find considerable doubt to keep them from going to jail.

I thought Charlotte was a very likeable character. She might get herself into some scrapes and tick off the town policeman, a former classmate, but she honestly means the best. When she starts to suspect certain people and realizes she is wrong, she feels bad and chastises herself for going too far. While she might do some things most people wouldn't, she is very relatable and you can tell she just wants the best for her family.

In simple terms, I would say this book is like Gilmore Girls with a murder, simply because the town reminds me of that TV show. Everyone knows everybody, though they might not be fond of each other. It's small, close-knit, and full of a nice cast of secondary characters. One of those characters is Rebecca, friend and co-worker of Charlotte, who used to be Amish but left her community to live on her own. It's a wonderful backstory and I love that Aames included random information about Rebecca and other characters throughout the book. It just helped the setting come alive and seem more realistic. I'm definitely curious to read more in this series now!

As for the mystery, I was constantly second-guessing myself, just like Charlotte. She comes up with various suspects that all seem plausible and in the end, I never did figure it out! I love a mystery like this, because it's fun to constantly be wondering, only to have your ideas thrown out the window in the end for a shocking reveal!

In the end, an enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend for those that like a fun mystery without all the gore! No need to keep the light on at night after reading this one! I've already ordered the second novel in the series, Lost and Fondue.

Make it a Gift

The cheese shop in the novel is all about cheese and wine. Charlotte focuses on the cheeses, and her cousin Matthew holds wine tastings. As such, I found the perfect thing to pair with this novel if you wanted to gift something unique!

Melted Wine Bottle Cheese Plate from MitchellGlassworks on etsy. They have a lot of other options too, if you don't like this one. However, if you do, you get the wine bottle plate and the cheese spreader! Just perfect!


Giselle said...

This sounds pretty good and I love that bottle plate! So cool!! I love cheese! :D

Liviania said...

I like the idea of Gilmore Girls with a murder.

(And I love that cheese plate! Although I don't really need more than one cheese plate and I have a very nice green marble one that matches my rolling pin.)

bermudaonion said...

Sounds like a cute book. Happy New Year!

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

What a fantastic book challenge! It's like taking a book dare. I don't read a lot of cozy mysteries, but I do enjoy them. This one definitely sounds like a good one to pick up!

Happy New Years!

Eileen said...

Oh wow a murder always is an attention getter isn't it? I've never seen a Gilmore Girls episode but I've heard it's really funny and a classic, so maybe I'll watch a few episodes and then read this book. It sounds really great and I'm glad that you were kept guessing throughout it <3

kimbacaffeinate said...

I love a good mystery and that cheese plate is too cute!

cleopatralovesbooks said...

That sounds like a great mystery and I love cheese it would be perfect on the wine bottle plate. Happy New Year!

Allie @ Little Birdie Books said...

I can't even focus on this review lol, because all I can think is CHEESE AND WINE. It's kind of my weakness and that cheese board is to die for!!!!

Erika Sorocco said...

I know I would love this book - I'm a HUGE fan of cozy mysteries!!


Medeia Sharif said...

I used to read cozy mysteries and I like books centered on food. Thanks for sharing this.

Candace said...

I haven't read a cozy mystery in awhile, but this sounds great! Gilmore Girls with a mystery? Total WIN!

Synchronized Reading said...

I've never heard of this before, but I enjoy a lightweight mystery book every once in a while :) Great review!

Janina @ Synchronized Reading

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Sounds good to me!