Review: When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day

When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day
Series:  A Country Store Mystery (# 3)
Release Date:  March 28, 2017
Publisher:  Kensington
Pages: 301
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review



Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer?

Before she started hosting dinners for Indiana University’s Sociology Department at Pans ‘N Pancakes, Robbie never imagined scholarly meetings could be so hostile. It’s all due to Professor Charles Stilton, who seems to thrive on heated exchanges with his peers and underlings, and tensions flare one night after he disrespects Robbie’s friend, graduate student Lou. So when Robbie and Lou go snowshoeing the next morning and find the contentious academic frozen under ice, police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie is absorbing local gossip about Professor Stilton’s past and developing her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way . . .


Review:   While I mostly read romance novels, every once in a while I have to read something different.  And my go-to is generally a cozy mystery.  Most cozies are pretty light on the violence (nothing graphic) and then tend to have some romantic elements, which make me happy.

So on to When the Gits Hit the Fan.  This is the third book in the series.  It completely stands alone.  While there are carry over characters, since the book is set in a small town, Ms Day does a good job of reintroducing people without  that overwhelming recap feeling you get with some series books.  This series revolves around Robbie, a native Californian, who has moved to small town Indiana to be close to her great aunt.  She’s opened a country store that’s half cafe and half a store that sells kitchen items.  Oh, and she lives in the building that houses her store.

As this is the third book in the series and Robbie is our heroine, we know that she has two mysteries under her belt.  And while on a snowshoeing expedition with one of her friends, she stumbles upon a body and starts sticking her nose into this new mystery.  She fumbles around, ticks off a lot of people, frustrates the police, and kinda falls into solving the murder.  And therein lies my biggest problem with this installment of the series.  Robbie really doesn’t solve the mystery from any sort of deduction, but rather finds the answer while working on a remodeling project.

On the plus side, I liked the characters and the setting.  I’ll probably come back to this series when the next installment releases with the hopes that Robbie will do more sleuthing and deduction rather than just having the answer fall into her lap.

Fans of cozy mysteries may want to check out this series.  And as a bonus, a couple recipes are included at the end of the book.