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Do Or Diner: A Comfort Food Mystery by Christine Wenger
Review by Mel Jacob
Signet Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451415080
Date: 06 August 2013 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Facebook / Show Official Info /

The first of a new series (Comfort Food Mysteries), Do or Diner introduces Trixie Matkowski and the Silver Bullet Diner. When the county health inspector dies from eating a meal in Trixie's diner, suspicion falls on her. She quickly becomes the prime suspect. As the new owner of the restaurant, she fears the negative publicity will spell the end of it and plunge her into bankruptcy.

Trixie has hardly arrived in Sandy Harbor when the mayor, and rival restaurateur, Rick Tingsley demands she sell him Sandy Harbor Point. The property includes a Victorian house, guest cottages, a bait shop, and the diner. He has plans to build a luxury resort. The diner was started by her Uncle Porky and her Aunt Stella. Like her aunt, Trixie refuses to sell.

Marvin P. Cogswell, county health inspector and first-class moocher, eats his last meal in the diner kitchen and dies. Once the police determine poisonous mushrooms in the pork and scalloped potatoes caused his death, customers desert the diner. With no customers, Trixie's money disappears at an alarming rate. Lucky for Trixie, macho Deputy Tyler Brisco is on the job.

Trixie, initially a suspect, insists the restaurant never used or stocked mushrooms. Deputy Brisco doesn't believe she killed Cogswell. Nonetheless, she faces almost certain ruin. Determined to save her restaurant and prove herself innocent, Trixie decides to investigate.

With a background in Criminal Justice, Wenger brings that experience to bear in her new series of mysteries. Her second novel in the Comfort Food series, Second Helpings for Murder, is scheduled for release in 2014. She has another as yet untitled one to follow. Wenger is noted for Harlequin cowboy romances and has one other romantic mystery out in ebook format.

A spunky heroine, a handsome cowboy from Huston, a Latino cook, and assorted colorful others, make for a fun read. Typical of other such career-oriented mysteries, the novel includes a variety of interesting recipes. Readers can look forward to more romance, murder, and recipes in the next Comfort Food Mystery.

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