If Fried Chicken Could Fly (Gram’s Country Cooking School Mystery #1)
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If Fried Chicken Could Fly (Gram’s Country Cooking School Mystery #1)

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  469 ratings  ·  79 reviews
At Gram's Country Cooking School, Betts and Gram are helping students prepare the perfect dishes for the Southern Missouri Show-Down, the cook-off that draws the first of the summer visitors. Everything is going smoothly until they discover the body of local theater owner Everett Morningside in the school's supply closet, and Everett's widow points an accusatory finger at...more
Mass Market Paperback, 296 pages
Published 2012 by Berkley Prime Crime
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Community Reviews

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J.
3.5 Stars

I was drawn to this book because the premise sounded good: a woman and her grandma can see ghosts and they cook. I honestly felt let down by it though.

First, the food is nowhere near as prominent in the story as the blurb or title would suggest. Yes, there is a cook-off with fried chicken and such, but at no point is it airborne or do any of the characters use the title as a phrase.

Second, the part about the ghosts is poorly formulated. Only the main character and her grandmother can s...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
I will begin this review with the simple mention that I do enjoyed books written by Paige Shelton. That being said, I now have to admit, I think this new series "A County Cooking School Mystery" is my favorite right off the debut novel.

The premise is gentle and fun. The mystery is solid and even though the motive becomes visable early on, finding the culprit was just a purely enjoyable adventure with laughter along the way.

We have an introduction to our new sleuth, Isabelle "Betts" Winston. She...more
Karen
After a book signing at Murder by the Book (Houston), I was wandering around - as I do when I don't really NEED to buy ANOTHER book.

But I stopped and laughed out loud when I read the title "If Fried Chicken Could Fly" and immediately knew I had to read it -just for the title.

What a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be and I love that!

It's warm and humorous with a little mystery to boot. If there were a Broken Rope, Missouri - I would surely go visit it.

Halfway through the book, I went o...more
Kimberly
I guess I'm the only one that didn't know about the ghosts. I picked this book because I like the author's Farm Fresh series and I was pleasantly surprised by it.
I'm going to have to read another book in the series to see if I warm up to Betts.
The reason behind the murder was interesting. The fact that it tied into why the ghost was there in the first place helped to justify the ghost being there in the first place. A lot of clues found were with the help of the ghost and I don't think the clue...more
Lauren
Maybe if you find out someone you know (and are closely related to! and love!) shares your ability to see ghosts, you should carve out 5-10 minutes to share everything you have learned about that ability. Especially if they are working to clear you of a murder charge. Seriously, FIVE freaking minutes to prevent them from bumbling around. It's not a character-building trait they have to learn their-selves!
Janice
I almost gave up reading when the ghost showed up..but it ws okay. I may read the sequels, we'll see.
The "mystery" was not crafted very well. I did enjoy the charactors. Bett's and her Gram, Grams cooking school and the old boyfriend who shows up as the town sheriff of Broken Rope Missouri.
❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes)
I didn't have high expectations for this book - the synopsis didn't grab me. But I was pleasantly surprised once I started reading and didn't stop until I was through. It's a ghost story! It's a good first start to a new series, although I didn't warm up to the main character a whole lot. But I had the same problem with this authors other series, the Farm Fresh Mysteries. I've just recently read the third in that series and found the characters much more likeable and 3 dimensional than I found t...more
Marja McGraw
If Fried Chicken Could Fly by Paige Shelton is delightful and brightened my day.

After dropping out of law school, Isabelle (Betts) Winston returns to her hometown of Broken Rope, a town with a colorful past and a history of hangings. Betts joins her grandmother, Missouri (Miz) Winston, in teaching at grandma’s cooking school. The story begins with a fire in the kitchen and a dead body in the cleaning supply room. Unfortunately, the cadaver is Miz’s latest beaux, Everett Morningside.

From cookin...more
Rich
While the characters and setting were charming, the mystery wouldn't have been solved without the help from a friendly ghost that is visible to only the protagonist, Betts and her grandmother. Rather ridiculous even for a cozy mystery.

I didn't hate it, but it really was a poor mystery.
Terri
Once again I've broken my own rule "No cozy paperback mysteries". Once again I know why I have that rule. Not only does the girl see a ghost, there are more to come..nothing specific, but the hints are throughout the book. And I just wish that authors today or their editors, knew or followed the rules of grammer/syntax, all that stuff that seems to be extraneous any more.
Melanie
After the death of Gram’s 2nd husband, she decides to follow her dream of opening a cooking school in her small Missouri town, Broken Rope. Granddaughter Betts, law school dropout is assisting Gram in her endeavor. The participants are getting ready for the big tourist event, The Southern Missouri Showdown Cook-off.
Finding local theater owner Everett in the school’s supply closet- DEAD, is throwing a wrench in the plans for sure. Especially when all fingers seem to be pointing to Grams!
Broken R...more
LORI CASWELL
Dollycas’s Thoughts
Everyone loves their grandma’s cooking. My grandma even ran a restaurant for awhile. Gram reminds me a lot of my Grandma Lue. She also made the best fried chicken. The whole idea of a country cooking school fascinates me. I was just a teenager when my grandma passed away so I never really had a chance to learn from her but do have a few of her recipes in my recipe box.

I have to say the appearance of Jerome Cowbender did surprise me but as he became a major player in the plot I...more
Kourtney
Paige Shelton’s If Fried Chicken Could Fly is a delicious romp in the former wild west town of Broken Rope, Missouri, with a cast of absolutely engaging characters that you are dying to spend another book with. I’d jump in my car and roadtrip to Ms. Shelton’s Broken Rope any day.

From the back cover: “Isabelle ‘Betts’ Winston loves teaching the secrets of mouthwatering country food in her hometown, Broken Rope, Missouri–famous for its past of outlaws, knife battles, and hangings. But now an all-t...more
Amanda
Betts is an awesome female lead in this novel, Gram is one tough old lady (she reminds me of my grandmother in some ways).

I really hope that Betts sees Jerome again.

Jake seems like a really great friend, and I think he is a great asset to Betts and to the town in general. He really seems to care about Broken Rope and the people who reside there (living or deceased).

Teddy sounds like a really fun character, I wish my brother were more like him. He certainly seems to keep things interesting.

Cliff...more
Heather
Of fried chicken and champagne cookies with a southern flair! If Fried Chicken Could Fly is a whimsical mystery with southern comfort and humor. Betts (Isabelle) and her Gram ( Missouri) teach at a cooking school, where is learned all of Missouri's secrets of traditional and real interesting cooking styles. Even high chain restaurants know her name and her students get really great jobs as chefs. But when a murder happens in this small town of Broken Rope, Missouri is arrested because the body i...more
Cathy Cole
First Line: If the items in the cast-iron skillet hadn't burst into flames just as Gram was dunking the coated chicken breast into the hot bubbling grease, we might not have found the dead body so soon.

Everything was going fine until then. Betts Winston and her grandmother were helping their students in Gram's Country Cooking School prepare for the Southern Missouri Show-Down-- the cook-off that begins the summer tourist season in Broken Rope, Missouri. Then that kitchen fire occurred, and Bett...more
Carol
If Fried Chicken Could Fly by Paige Shelton has all the fixings to be a great cozy. It has wonderful quirky characters, a sizzling mystery, a stubborn grandma but great cook, and a ghost cowboy.

The story is set in Gram's Cooking School in Broken Rope, Missouri. The teller of the tale and investigative cook is Isabelle "Betts" Winston. She is a law school dropout who loves learning how to cook from her grandma and is a little embarrassed about being a dropout. Like any great cooking cozy that are...more
jingles
This was a really cute cozy mystery. Betts and her Grandmother own and operate a cooking school in the small Missouri town of Broken Rope. Strange things have always happened in Broken Rope--hangings, ghosts, buried treasure, etc. When Everett (Gram's good friend) is suddenly found dead in the school and Gram is arrested for the murder, Betts sets out to find the killer.

What I liked: I loved the characters. Betts and Gram are funny, witty and lovable. The story has the typical small town family...more
Lisa Shafer
This was another delightful mystery from Shelton!
Her Farmers' Market series is very realistic, but this new Cooking School series adds in just a hint of the supernatural to make it quite different. And, as always, Shelton does very well with Characterization. (Jerome is my favorite, but I loved Gram, too!)
I like well-written cozies, and so often authors disappointment, but Shelton never has with hers. I'm so glad to see that If Fried Chicken Could Fly leaves us with a few hints at the end that t...more
Arlene
Betts and her grandmother own cooking school in Broken Rope, Missouri. Their down-home recipes are used to teach students some old-fashioned menus and form the basis for a cook-off at the beginning of a summer festival. Broken Rope is famous for its "Wild West" history that tourists find fascinating. When Gram's friend is found dead in the store room of the cooking school Betts is drawn into the investigation to try to clear Gram. She is unsettled to find that her high-school sweetheart is back...more
MomIsReading
I usually avoid cozies with a paranormal element...can't stretch my brain that far I suppose. However in this book it worked for me. I'm a big fan of the author's Farmers Market series and this series is quite different. What this shows me is that Ms. Shelton can write a wide variety of different characters and story lines. I know some read series by authors expecting them to be the same as other series written by them and then are disappointed. If the author wanted to write the same characters...more
Katherine P
After reading the first 10 pages I really didn't expect to finish this book and I certainly didn't expect to enjoy it. One of my pet peeves with a book is when the setting is the South everyone talks in cutesy little expressions every time they open their mouth. We don't and after awhile its just irritating. Also I had a hard time believing that a certificate from Gram's Country Cooking School would be highly regarded across the country. But I ended up enjoying it very much. Shelton's pacing is...more
Linda
The whole ghost thing through me off but it is an interesting twist on the mysteries. I did enjoy the book and intend to read the sequels.
Susan
Isabelle, known as Betts, helps her Grandmother run a cooking school in the eccentric town of Broken Rope. When they discover the body of one of Gram's friends in the storeroom, the local police are forced to arrest Gram--all the evidence points to her, and the dead man's widow says she's a murderess. Fortunately, Betts' old high school boyfriend is back in town, working for the police department, so as soon as she figures out how she feels about him, she'll have a pipeline to the investigation....more
Amanda
Law school dropout, Isabella aka Betts, is helping her Gram in Grams cooking school when a body is found- when the police show up, Betts finds herself face to face with her high-school sweetheart. Cliff has returned to Broken Rope just as Betts has- to start fresh. Betts has to keep Gram out of jail, deal with her feelings for Cliff and deal with "seeing" a new friend... Lovely paranormal cozy.. I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced read. Interesting characters, love the setting and history of th...more
Penny McGill
Paige Shelton is going to have to join Jenn McKinlay and Julie Hyzy as competing to be my favourite cozy author. At first I had a feeling that adding a ghost as a main character + setting her mystery in a town that spends the summer encouraging tourism by re-enacting the old-time Westerns would be too much clutter in a book but it really wasn't. Paige Shelton made it work. She definitely created a world I'd like to visit and will look forward to reading about it again.
Shelly
Love, love, love this series debut. Betts helps her Gram run a country cooking school. However, not all the students can still eat the food - they're ghosts! A body in the supply closet leads to Gram's being accused, and Betts has to clear her before the Southern Missouri Showdown Cook-off.

With two unique premises (I don't recall either a cooking school as a regular setting or an Old West cemetery in any other Cozy series) in one, this series is a blast - and destined to be a bestseller.
Nancy H
What a delightful mystery! The setting and characters are great. Isabelle has dropped out of law school and is helping her Gram run a cooking school in a small Missouri town. When a dead body is discovered in their supply room, it takes the help of a resident ghost - already well-acquainted with Gram - to help them discover the killer and to clear Gram of the murder charge. This is the first in a promising series.
Allison
Loved it! Read it awhile ago but still remember most of what happened. Interesting twist with the ghosts. Love the cooking aspect as well, what can I say? I'm a foodie. Did make me want to make fried chicken which I've never done before. There was a touch of romance as well though. Did enjoy the way the author wove some historical facts and people into the story. That was fun extra.
Mkotch
This was just what I needed after the endless Death at Pemberley. It was a light, sweet cozy, with a friendly ghost to boot. The main character is quite human and likeable, and the supporting characters quirky and fun. I look forward to the next book in the "Country Cooking School" series. This was my first give-away through Good Reads and spurs me to enter a few more!
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