Batter Off Dead
by Maddie Day
Robbie runs a breakfast and lunch restaurant in South Lick, Indiana. It has gained quite a reputation for its good food and the antique kitchen goods and local products sold in a dedicated part of Pans ’N Pancakes. Robbie also has a three bedroom B&B above the cafe. Locals love to meet to chat and eat there. Tourist buses often stop with excited visitors keeping the versatile staff on their toes. The reputation extends to Robbie who is even known in the bordering state as a detective.
Batter Off Dead is the tenth book in this series by Maddie Day, but the fourth one for me. I don’t like the way the series is developing. There is a violent crime and the local enforcement officers, Robbie herself, and the citizens of South Lick expect Robbie to find the criminal. She does this by picking up on clues she overhears in the restaurant. She also butts in on conversations there questioning anyone and everyone with even a remote connection to the case—all the while running around with coffee carafes in hand and telling the reader how busy the restaurant is. Meanwhile, Lt. Bird with the South Lick Police Dept. and Oscar Thompson, a detective with the Indiana State Police, come by the restaurant at least once if not twice a day asking Robbie what information she has for them, in addition to emailing, texting, and phoning her for information. They are not portrayed as bumbling, but the direction of information is almost always one way with Robbie leading and solving while the interested detectives follow along.
The reader is fed detailed descriptions of Robbie’s day: prepare, open, go crazy with breakfast, lunch and investigating, clean up, prepare for the next day, visit someone to nose around, dinner and drinks with new husband, and crash in exhaustion. Repeat. I am sorry to see a series I enjoy disintegrate. There is a good plot, but it was too drawn out to hold my interest to the end. There was action in the conclusion, but not much of a surprise. By that point, I didn’t really care whodunit.
I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: 1. #10 in the Country Store Mystery Series
2. Cookie and crepe recipes included
Publication: February 22, 2022—Kensington
I took her hand and felt her soft, parchment-like skin, which had first seen light when automobiles were new, when white women first won the vote, when the technology we so relied on today was a science-fiction dream.
“Dessert before the meal?” “Hon, I come by my silver hair honestly. At this stage of life, I figure I can do pretty much what I want, as long as it’s legal.” She winked. “And sometimes when it isn’t.”
His face took on a sorrowful look. “So, I can’t get me a pile of lunch? My stomach’s got a hole in it bigger than the Grand Canyon with no tourists, and it needs filled.”