If Fried Chicken Could Fly
Author: Paige Shelton aka Paige Shelton-Ferrell
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Series: Country Cooking School Mystery, Bk 1
Pages: 286 + Recipes
Obtained: Personal copy purchased used from library book sale room or cart (depending on which branch)
I somehow managed not to realize that this cozy has a paranormal twist; it does. I enjoy books with a paranormal aspect, but that was my first impression since it caught me so off guard.
The mystery is fine. There's a murder victim in the cooking school, and Betts Gram is suspect (though unlikely). I was actually so involved in the characters and some of the surrounding mystery that I didn't really put much effort into trying to figure out who the murderer was.
As for those characters, I like Isabelle "Betts". She's honest with herself, which is a great characteristic. She has her faults (such as being an absolute dunce where Cliff is concerned), but I can deal. And I think she's in just the right position for future mysteries.
Cliff is the former H.S. boyfriend come home again and maybe interested in sparking things back up. More than that, he's a cop and potential information source.
An even better source, though, is the ghost, Jerome. He seemed like a decent (though dead) guy, and I could feel both his earnest efforts to help and his frustration when he had memory issues. I liked him and hope to see his character again. But I think what intrigued me the most was the idea there might be different ghosts in future books.
I actually found Gram aka Miz a little annoying. How awful is that? But what I think was supposed to be spunk and a lively character just didn't work for me. It isn't like she's a bad character, just not one I found as great as I suspect I'm supposed to.
Perhaps my favorite character is Betts's best friend Jake. He's all into history and archiving and that whole aspect of things was pretty interesting to me. I think it'd be fascinating to work with an archive, and to be the one bringing it to life? Cool.
Anyway, I hope to read the second book, If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance (just out this October), soon. I've requested the library purchase it.