My rating: 3 of 5 stars
On my quest to catch up on any book series I’ve enjoyed in the past, today I began reading the ‘A Taste of Texas Mystery’ series by Rebecca Adler. I’d won an ARC of the third book in the series last year and wrote a review upon completion. I liked the series and started from the beginning this week with Here Today, Gone Tamale.
Josie, a late 20s young woman in Texas, is not Latina. Her mother’s sister married someone of Latino descent. They run a TexMex restaurant with the husband’s mother, known as Abuelita. While she’s not really Josie’s grandmother, something must have happened with Josie’s parents in the past (we don’t know yet) for her to feel like the aunt and uncle are her closest family. After a failed engagement and termination from her job as a reporter at a paper in a bigger city, Josie returns home to wait tables at her family’s restaurant and find a part-time job on the local paper. The restaurant is hosting a charity tamale event where one of the townspeople, Dixie, is found dead out back by the dumpster. Was it the mayor or his wife who argued with Dixie? A former friend or her daughters who are selling Dixie’s jewelry? A waiter who didn’t like that Dixie tried to kiss him? A nephew looking for an inheritance? Or someone in Josie’s family with a past secret?
Adler delivers a fun mystery in a unique setting for me. I like the TexMex backdrop and the non-traditional (for a cozy) environment and ethnicity of the supporting cast. There’s a layer of flavor and culture which is endearing and comforting. The mystery has a few red herrings and some good clues, and we worry about Josie — she’s flirting with her ex-bf who is now dating the town beauty queen winner, and her dog has been kidnapped when Josie starts investigating the murder. I felt the same about this debut as I did the third book in the series: it’s good and has potential, but it was missing a little something to stand out quite yet for me. I’ll still keep reading the series as I like it, but I hope the setting is more connective and clear in the future. All the characters are interesting and good, but I’m not attached to anyone yet. It might be the kind of series where you fall into it after 3 or 4 books. I’ll order the second one next month and see if I’m fully baked in like the tamales are in this edition!
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where 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.