Book Review: Cinco de Murder by Rebecca Adler

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Many thanks to the Cozy Mystery Group, Berkley Books, and the author for providing me a ARC of Cinco De Murder, the third book in the Taste of Texas cozy mystery series, written by Rebecca Adler, and published in May 2018. I normally read a series in order, but I won this one in a contest and didn’t have time to go back to the beginning.


This is your basic, good cozy mystery with several strengths and a few areas that needed some attention. The setting, characters and mystery were all interesting and built a world that has lots of potential. There were many suspects. The clues were dropped throughout the story. And the main character, Josie, really doesn’t investigate anything on her own. She mentions some things to the cops, then falls into a trap near the end when she unintentionally discovers the killer. I like the introduction of the chili cook off, the restaurant backdrop, and her potential love interests. For those reasons, it’s a good book.

Perhaps I was at a disadvantage by not having read the earlier two books, but I didn’t feel a strong connection to any of the characters as much as I would have liked to. I also felt the ending left us with some confusion on if the killer was caught or let go. All in all, I think this may have needed one more review / edit round to make it pop a bit more, then it would be a solid 4 rating. I would give the series a chance and read more, but I would also not rush to grab it when it first came out.

The highlights for me were a non-traditional main character / family in a setting I haven’t seen before in a cozy, as well as a fun flavor and spice in the language, description, and voice given the characters run a restaurant that isn’t your typical cozy setting. But I am hungry for some chili now, too!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


10 thoughts on “Book Review: Cinco de Murder by Rebecca Adler

    My goodness you’ve been busy today Jay! I’m sorry this wasn’t a stellar read for you.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 1, 2018 at 7:48 PM

      It happens. Sometimes an average book is okay! 🙂 now I can start dragonfly in amber tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    May 2, 2018 at 7:08 AM

    Cozies are a very different read and for me. so I tend to use a different rating system. An okay cozy for one, may be a great one for someone else. I have never read this author, Berkley doesn’t like me much, but I still might check out this series. Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 2, 2018 at 7:27 AM

      It’s got some appeal. I haven’t spent a lot of time with specific publishers (two others) but that’s a route to try. It’s a fun setting here.


    E. Michael Helms, writer said:
    May 2, 2018 at 11:49 AM

    Good succinct review, Jay. I really like the clever title! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    May 11, 2018 at 10:01 AM

    Finally got a chance to read this.
    Pity it didn’t pop moe for you. Chilli does sounds good…..

    Liked by 1 person

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