Jay's Reviews > Strangled Eggs and Ham

Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day
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it was amazing

Life seems to be going well for Robbie Jordan. She's the owner of the country store/restaurant Pans 'N Pancakes, a business that is hugely successful. Her bed and breakfast above the store is doing well too. She's got a great boyfriend and is surrounded by many friends in South Lick, Indiana.

But not everything is all sunshine and roses. A land developer is looking to build a resort on a nearby hilltop. The townspeople are split over this news. The group that is for the resort wants the jobs that the new business would bring. But those opposed, which includes Robbie's aunt Adele, worry about the destruction of the hilltop's natural beauty as well all the traffic and potential trouble that the resort could bring to their "quiet" little town.

Robbie is neutral over the whole matter so as not to alienate any of her customers, but neutrality goes out the window when one of the anti-resort protestors, who was a guest at her B&B, turns up dead at the proposed building site. Robbie's worried that as the ringleader of the anti-resort crowd her aunt could be threatened or worse. Robbie winds up poking around the murder being careful not to step on the toes of the cops investigating the case. Her nosing around pays off as Robbie begins to uncover clues that could lead to the discovery of the murderer.

But there are any number of possible suspects, particularly among the group of people pushing for the approval of the resort construction. When a not so veiled threat is made against Adele, Robbie knows she must find the killer before any harm can befall her beloved aunt. But will Robbie have to put herself in harm's way to do so? And just why was the victim killed? Was it because of his opposition to the resort or was there something else in his life that led to his death?

Of course, the murder investigation isn't the entire story in "Strangled Eggs and Ham". The mysteries are always top notch, drawing the reader in to discover right along Robbie just "Whodunnit?". But it's the way Day has made Robbie such an important part of her adopted community that helps give the series that extra bit of charm.

I know that as I read each book, I feel like I'm a part of the fabric of the community or at least that proverbial fly on the wall observing the day to day life of the citizens of South Lick. Robbie is just such a vibrantly interesting character that I've taken to wishing that Pans 'N Pancakes was a real restaurant that I could visit. Much like police officer Buck Bird, I'd eat there for both breakfast and lunch. The descriptions of the food and its preparation tend to leave my mouth watering in hunger driven anticipation.

The extended supporting cast once again floats in and out of the book based on the needs of the story. Some characters are absent or have a minimal presence, but then you have characters like Danna or Turner, Robbie's employees that you find yourself rooting for. Aunt Adele is a spitfire of the first order. The quirky detective Oscar Thompson's manner can be disquieting at times but in Day's hands, the quietly competent and efficient detective is always a welcome addition.

The best part of all these characters is how their characters advance and develop with each successive book. They aren't just reset with each new story. The most surprising element of the book was how one of the foods prepared (yes there are the requisite recipes) saw Maddie Day tying the Country Store mysteries to her Quaker Midwife mystery series (written under her real name, Edith Maxwell). I have to admit that my jaw dropped when I realized that connection. Even better still was that the cake described had me and my co-workers wanting a slice! In fact, there are three recipes in all that had me wanting to give them a shot. Well, not making them but I'd sure be happy to eat them if someone else made it.

Much like the long-running comic strip "For Better Or For Worse", when you spend time with Robbie and her quirky little family, you feel as if you are a part of that family as well. I know that when one of the characters suffered an accident, I gasped and found myself thinking "Oh man, I hope they are going to be OK".

"Strangled Eggs and Ham" once again demonstrates why I love this series so much. You have a fearless and forthright protagonist in Robbie Jordan. The actual mysteries are crafted to maximize intrigue in finding the killer and the series has that hefty serving of heart that endears the series to readers and keeps them coming back.

For anyone who has yet to start reading this series, let me just say as plainly as I can put it: The Country Store Mysteries series is my favorite among the cozy genre of crime fiction. You NEED to be reading this series because Robbie Jordan kicks as much butt as Jack Reacher...with way better food!
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Reading Progress

April 23, 2019 – Shelved
April 23, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
July 29, 2019 – Started Reading
July 30, 2019 –
page 119
July 31, 2019 – Finished Reading

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