I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.A Clue in the Stew on April 5, 2016
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Soup shop owner Lucky Jamieson stirs up more trouble in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Ladle to the Grave...
When Lucky Jamieson opens up By the Spoonful to host an event with a famous author, she’s not expecting a bunch of nuts to descend on her small-town soup shop. But the author’s exasperating entourage—from a prickly publicist to a snippy son and his tipsy wife—give fresh meaning to the phrase, too many cooks spoil the broth.
The evening is more than spoiled, however, when it ends with a homicide. When the manner of the murder—as well as another recent unsolved crime—echoes the author’s fiction, Police Chief Nate Edgerton realizes he has a copycat killer on his hands. And Lucky hopes that one of her regular customers who has mysteriously gone missing isn’t involved. Once again, the soup shop owner will need to stir up some clues to find her friend and catch a cunning killer—before things really take a tureen for the worse...
Snowflake, Vermont is the setting of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series, the tiny New England village that boasts the By the Spoonful Soup Shop where a lot of the action, news and gossip about the latest murder(s) occur.
Vermont has a fascinating history and one of the subjects I haven’t talked about yet, but one which really interests me, is hauntings. I’ve never written a ghost story, but I do love them, and I’ve discovered that Vermont has a wealth of haunted places. Here are a few where some claim spirits still wander:
The Highgate Manor was built in 1818. During the Civil War, the Manor was a stop on the Underground Railroad and existing tunnels from the river to the house can still be found there. In the 1970’s the house was sold to a doctor who maintained his surgery in the house. Bloostains are still visible on the floorboards of the library. Sadly none of the doctor’s children lived past the age of ten, all dying of strange illnesses. The people of the town began to gossip and soon rumors were rampant that the doctor might have been experimenting on his children. To this day, ghostly voices can still be heard and many locals believe the children still remain in the house.
The St. Albans Theatre was once in use as a jail and many visitors have experienced strange encounters. The projection booths have been a particular spot of activity. Movies have started by themselves and voices can be heard in the old booths. In the basement which still contains some of the old jail cells, an old man with a white sweater has been seen walking around. He is believed to be an elderly homeless man who moved into the basement years before. He eventually passed away but it’s thought he never left the building.
The Green Mountain Inn in Stowe was the home of a local man named Boots Berry, who was the son of the Inn’s horseman and chambermaid. He was born in 1840 in Room 302 of the Inn and eventually became a caretaker of the Inn’s horses. When he saved the lives of passengers of a runaway stagecoach, he became a local hero, but his popularity led to drinking and debauchery. He lost his job at the Inn, traveled the country for many years and eventually returned to Stowe. On the night he returned, he saved the life of a young girl who was trapped on the roof of the Inn during a severe snowstorm. Boots rescued the girl but slipped on the ice and fell to his death, right above Room 302, his birthplace. Locals believe that on stormy days they can hear Boots Berry on the roof.
The Bennington Triangle is famous as the location of the Battle of Bennington in the 1700’s. It’s also known as a place of supernatural happenings. Many people have gone missing in this area over the years. Since 1940, five strange disappearances have been recorded. Glastenbury Mountain, the center of the triangle, is considered cursed by native tribes. Folklore tells of an enchanted stone that swallows anyone who steps on it and there are tales of hairy wild men and strange beasts. There has been much speculation on possible causes — abduction by UFOs, cross dimensional wormholes, or attacks by the Bennington Monster. Locals say that even animals don’t dare to venture into the woods of Glastenbury Mountain.
Are you shivering yet? That last one sounds like a job for X Files. Now, I’m wondering if Snowflake should have a haunted house. Of course, there are the Stones outside of town. You might have read all about them in A Roux of Revenge. Locals don’t talk about the Stones very much, they don’t want to come right out and say they might be haunted. But maybe a mysterious Snowflake Monster? What do you think? I’ll have to ask Lucky for her opinion.
A Clue in the Stew by Connie Archer is the fifth installment in the Soup Lovers Mystery series. Lucky and the gang at By the Spoonful find themselves dealing with two murders. The first, is an unidentified woman in the woods. The second, a prolific town visitor. Eerily, the women are killed in the same manner that a killer uses in a best-selling murder mystery book by Hilary Stone. Besides the murders, there’s also a mysterious new employee at By the Spoonful who Lucky is very suspicious of, though Jack seems smitten by her. In addition to the murders and the suspicious waitress, there’s also the unexplained absence of one of By the Spoonful’s regulars. This book twists and turns more than an amusement park roller coaster.
This book grabbed my attention from the start. I couldn’t wait to tag along with Lucky and find out whodunit. This is a fantastically plotted cozy mystery that kept me turning pages quicker than you can say By the Spoonful. I loved the parallels between the fictional murder mystery book and the murders in Snowflake, VT.
A Clue in the Stew by Connie Archer boasts characters I love, deftly woven mysteries, and a satisfying and tasty story all around. I cannot wait for another in the Soup Lovers Mystery Series. Lucky, Sage and many more in Snowflake, VT have secured a place in my heart and on my favorite cozies shelf. I have to go back and read the ones I haven’t read yet. A Clue in the Stew by Connie Archer is one of my favorite 2016 releases.
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