Title: Death on Eat Street
Author: J.J. Cook
Genre/Audience: Cozy mystery, adult
Publication: Berkley, 2014
Source: For review
Man oh man, do I love cozy mysteries. It’s one of my favorite genres that I don’t get to read often enough, so I was thrilled to read Death on Eat Street, the first in the new “Biscuit Bowl Food Truck” mystery series.
The story centers around Zoe Chase, an Alabama girl and former banker turned diner owner. When she buys an old run down diner in the sketchier side of town, she starts a food truck company to try and make some money while renovating the diner and trying to get it open. She serves her own special deep fried biscuit bowls from her truck, along with her friend Ollie, from the homeless shelter down the street. Business finally starts picking up and things are going great until a competing food truck driver (from Tacky Tacos) winds up dead in HER food truck. Now there are all sorts of people after Zoe, accusing her of stealing something very valuable, and starting to turn violent. Already battling with her snobby family who are disapproving of her new business endeavor, Zoe must rely on her new friends and cute lawyer to help her track down the real killer before she gets hurt.
This was a really fun and fast paced mystery centering on two of my favorite things: food and the South! I love all cozy mysteries, but as a foodie, I was particularly drawn to this one for its story line and Southern setting. The cast is unique and varied, from Zoe’s swamp-living Uncle Saul, to her down on his luck but intriguing (not to mention CUTE) lawyer, to her conniving, snobby ex-boyfriend Tommy Lee; this book has quite a colorful cast! I grew to really like the characters and was really rooting Zoe on, hoping her new business would flourish, despite the protestations from her family. I liked that she stuck to her guns and followed her dreams, even when they didn’t align with her family’s vision and dreams for her.
This story also had so many twists and turns, with nearly every single chapter ending on a cliffhanger, which really kept me turning the pages. I was constantly racing to find out what drama would happen next.
I have a couple of minor complaints, one being the constant cliffhangers, even though I enjoyed them a lot too. I felt like there was just SO much action that I didn’t see quite as much character development in Zoe that I would have liked. I really liked her as a character, but would have really enjoyed getting an even better glimpse of who she really was. Maybe this will happen in subsequent books? One other little thing was that I would have liked to see was a bit more Southern-ness, if that makes any sense. I knew it was set in the South, but aside from the Southern cooking and some elaborate homes, I didn’t get quite the Southern feel I was hoping for… y’all.
All in all though, I thought this book was a lot of fun. I am really looking forward to future books in this fresh new series!
My Rating: 3.5/5