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Grilled, Chilled and Killed (Big Lake Mysteries) (Volume 2) Paperback – December 27, 2012
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About the Author
Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office. In her words, “I come to the “Big Lake” to write, hang out in cowboy bars, and immerse myself in the Florida that used to be. No beaches, no bikinis, no sand. Just cows, horses, and gators.”
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The very first things that grabbed me about Grilled, Chilled and Killed were the characters and the author's sense of humor. You learn the major characters' histories as you go along-- finding out what events shaped their lives and make them react the way they do to other people's behavior and to the action as it unfolds. Also, Emily is different from the normal cozy amateur sleuth because she gave her daughter Naomi up for adoption at birth. They are now forging a relationship, and that adds an interesting element to the story.
Emily has two men interested in her: Detective Stanton Lewis and her boss, Donald Green, a man who never met a bass he didn't like. (We're talking fish here, folks.) Both men have a tendency to rub her fur the wrong way, but with the amount of arguing she and Lewis do, you know the chemistry is sparking between them. The romantic element of the book adds spice and doesn't detract from the story one bit, although I do hope Emily and Lewis tone down their squabbling a bit in future books.
A lot of the humor that I appreciate so much is done in flashes: a descriptive phrase here, a small laugh-out-loud funny scene there. For instance, Emily decides that questioning suspects in restaurants isn't a good idea because she seems to be gaining weight; one person wears a shirt that's had "too many meetings with Maytag"; and Detective Lewis has a run-in with an old hound that will make you laugh a few pages later. Humor can be difficult to pull off, but Diehl does it very well.
The villains are good ones, too. They have different agendas, which (as Poirot would say) makes the reader fire up the little grey cells in an attempt to deduce what's going on and why. Emily flirts with danger at one point, and her fear is palpable. What makes that entire section work is the fact that she doesn't allow herself to become so frightened that she can't think of ways to get out of the situation. I like my heroines feisty and smart, and that's Emily Rhodes in Grilled, Chilled and Killed.
Good characters, good humor, good story. I'll be heading to the Big Lake country of Florida again. Why don't you meet me there?
Detective Lewis and Emily tangle up once again as she practices her snooping skills and he sniffs around her skirt. Yep, the romantic sparks from the first book have produced a small fire. There’s no denying they’re attracted to each other, whether they like it or not.
Half the fun was reading about Lewis and Emily. I kept thinking they’d hook up. Then the author threw in a red herring named Donald. He just might upset their apple cart.
There’s plenty of distractions as Emily tries to solve the case. She straightened out one thing that was looming over her from her past. Then, another huge one came knocking on her door. Not to mention hungry gators and giant pigs.
So much in this book reminds me of me. I live in a small southern town. Tended bar at a local pub, as does Emily. And had friends from all walks of life. I felt right at home in the pages of this book and had a grand time.
I’m not going to say you can’t read this without having read the first book. The author fills you in on previous events without slowing down the plot. But I’d recommend you hit the ground running and start at the beginning. You don’t want to miss out on the fun.
I received a complimentary copy. My review is voluntarily given.
Emily is a petite spitfire trying to establish a new normal after the loss of her longtime love.
Now there are two men who may be trying to make a love connection with her and they are total opposites. The only thing they seem to have in common is a competitive nature and a desire to keep Emily from causing herself harm. That is a full time job.
Emily sees herself as a detective of the private investigator version. She doesn't look for murders to solve but somehow the bodies throw themselves in her path. The daughter she gave up for adoption decades ago had found her and together they manage to get deeper into trouble.
The book visits the wilds of Florida and some less civilized activities.
It centers around a very competitive world of barbeque cook-off and sauce creation but the danger and action move beyond the fairground setting. Can Emily and Naomi survive this time?
Many decisions need to be made.
Spiders and gators and feral hogs all play a role. Some of the topics are quite dark but the author keeps the action moving and adds her brand of humor to keep this an enjoyable read
I received a copy for review purposes but the opinions are my own.
Most recent customer reviews
Grilled, Chilled, and Killed is the second book in the Big Lake Murders series. I enjoyed this book quite a bit.Read more
Emily returns with the complete cast from book 1 along with the two villains from book 1.Read more