The Long Quiche Goodbye: 06/28/16
The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames is the first of the Cheese Shop mystery series. Charlotte Bessette has returned to her home town after a bad break-up and has opened a cheese shop as her mother's reelection for mayor is in full swing. At her shop's grand opening, a man ends up dead, murdered with one of her fancy cheese knives.
New series always start slowly. They have to introduce an entire new cast of characters. They have to build the world too, often a small out of the way town, or for a larger city, a quirky neighborhood.
In the case of the cozy, there's also the establishment of the quirk de series. The protagonist, usually a woman, will have some skill or hobby that while not part of law enforcement is still perfect for solving not one but any mystery (usually a murder) that comes her town's way.
Here, it's Providence, Ohio. To make town more quirky, it's near an Amish village. The skill is cheesemongery. The characters beyond the cheesemonger are the grandmother, who is the mayor, a shop employee who has ties to the Amish community, and there's a villain who might as well be your typical antagonist from a certain type of children's cartoon: the wealthy girl with the accent that's a mix between Valley Girl and posh.
There's wasn't much else to this mystery. I can't say I really warmed to Providence. Actually, I can't really say I came away knowing anything about Providence beyond where it is. Mostly though I was distracted by the grandmother's mayoral campaign, Charlotte's family's penchant for French stock phrases, and the worst most annoying nemesis who has the trifecta of being the widow of the murdered man, the competition for mayor, and the proud dispenser of red herrings.
The best part of the book, then, was the cheese. I learned about some local to me delicious cheeses. Among those, my new favorite is the Humboldt Fog.