A Southern B&B Mystery
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Southern hospitality meets deadly deception in the start of a charming new mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of the Java Jive novels.
Quinn Bellandini loves her life in Savannah, Georgia, where she runs her grandfather’s B&B with her sister, Delilah. From baking fresh scones and serving up grits every morning to ensuring the guests see the best of their historic city, Quinn can’t imagine doing anything else—even if it means dealing with nuisances like the occasional malfunctioning commode. But when Quinn drops by the local restaurant owned by her friend Drew Green, and stumbles upon a murder, her whole world comes crashing down.
Drew’s brother was always a little surly, but Quinn can’t imagine that someone disliked the prickly chef enough to kill him. The police, on the other hand, don’t believe that Quinn was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Before her guests can even digest the next morning’s gourmet breakfast, Quinn learns that she and Drew are suspects.
Drew thinks they should do some investigating of their own. Quinn is pretty sure she’s better suited to playing hostess than amateur sleuth. But with Delilah as her cynical sidekick, Quinn starts looking for the real killer—before she gets put away faster than you can say “sugar.”
Don’t miss Caroline Fardig’s thrilling Java Jive mysteries, which can be read together or separately:
DEATH BEFORE DECAF | MUG SHOT | A WHOLE LATTE MURDER | BREW OR DIE | MURDER OVER MOCHAS
“I was hooked from the first page. I loved it!”—Dorothy Cannell, award-winning author of the Ellie Haskell mysteries, on Death Before Decaf
“This series is delightful, well written, and wildly entertaining.”—Suspense Magazine
Cozy mystery with a bumbling new investigator
Southern Discomfort is a cozy mystery set in Savannah. Quinn Bellandini helps run her family’s bed and breakfast with her sister Delilah, Papa Sal and the ghost of Uncle Fred. Her friend Drew owns Green, the restaurant down the street. Former high school heartthrob Tucker lives across the street. Quinn finds Jason, Drew’s brother, in the restaurant after hours with a knife in his back. Quinn and Drew are both suspects but since no one liked Jason there are countless suspects so they decide to investigate on their own. When Drew is arrested, bumbling investigator Quinn enlists her sister Delilah to help. So far the book has been a formulaic cozy mystery but then Quinn gets sassy and things get interesting. The characters were well developed with enough background on their relationships to satisfy readers. The reader is given several possible killers but the ending was surprising. This is a statisfying cozy mystery with pleasant setting and a likeable heroine. I look forward to more books in this series. I want to thank Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this book early in exchange for my honest review.
First book in A Southern B&B Mystery series
Southern Discomfort by Caroline Fardig is the debut novel in A Southern B&B Mystery. Quinn Bellandini with the assistance of her grandfather and sister run the Bellandini Bed and Breakfast in Savannah, Georgia. Quinn whips up delectable delights for the guests as well as helping with the cleaning chores. One night Quinn stops by Green, the restaurant co-owned by Drew and Jason Green, to speak with Drew. The back door is open, and Jason is on the floor with knife stabbed into his chest. After falling in the blood and contaminating the crime scene, Quinn manages to call 911. Detectives Flynn and King are assigned the case. Detective Flynn is accusatory and believes Quinn aided Drew in bumping off his brother. Drew is arrested, and the police quit investigating the crime. Quinn knows Drew is innocent and sets out to pursue the truth with the aid of her sister, Delilah. Who disliked the unpleasant Jason Green enough to slay him in his own restaurant? That is just what Quinn intends to find out in Southern Discomfort.
Southern Discomfort is a new series for Caroline Fardig who is the author of A Java Jive Mysteries. I was never able to get drawn into the story. I felt the author failed to properly set the stage for her readers with the setting or with the characters. We are given few details on the main characters or the B&B. We are given lovely descriptions of Savannah (I would love to visit). The main problem was Quinn. I kept hoping she would grow on me, but she did not (I did plot some good ways for the author to do her in). She had a chip on her shoulder (regarding Tucker and incident that occurred in high school), judgmental, naïve at times, loses her temper frequently and easily, and wishy washy (she is a contradiction). I found myself cringing at some of Quinn’s comments. Sal, Quinn’s grandfather had a good attitude and his magic act sounded entertaining (also unique for a B&B). Delilah seemed grounded and more realistic. I enjoyed her interactions with Uncle Fred, the resident ghost (Sal’s as well). I would have enjoyed Southern Discomfort more if Delilah had been the main character with Quinn as her sidekick. There was a hint of a ghost in the story, but it was in the background. I wanted more of Uncle Fred (the resident ghost). He provided some good insight into the mystery. Solving the crime is not one that can completely be solved because readers are not given all the details until right before the reveal. Those people who read a significant amount of mysteries will have no problem predicting what will occur (two little nuggets of information give it away). There was a lack of action in the book (there was Quinn asking questions and I wanted something more). I felt too much time was devoted to Quinn thinking and speculating about the mystery and Tucker. Let us not forget the cliché nasty detective (Detective Flynn). The reason for Quinn returning to the restaurant and discovering the body was slim and farfetched. I think there should have been less focus on Tucker and the romance between him and Quinn. As you can tell, I was not the right audience for Southern Discomfort (my mother, though, found it funny—as you can tell we have different reading tastes). To see if Southern Discomfort is the right fit for you, download a sample from your favorite retailer. Happy Reading!