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Grilled for Murder: 07/14/21
Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day is the second of the Country Store mysteries. The morning after a welcome home party at her restaurant, Robbie finds the guest of honor dead near the pickle jar, and one of her antiques is missing.
As it's in her restaurant, suspicion turns first to Robbie and then to an employee who had been insulted by the victim the night before. Robbie denies that it's either of them and points to the obvious break in (a large pane of glass) as proof. Numerous people tell her it could be a ruse to move suspicion away from anyone who had a key to the building.
I'm not sure I've seen the broken window as red herring done in a cozy mystery I've read before. I've seen it on TV mysteries. Usually it's followed up with the clue that the glass is on the outside of the building, meaning the person who broke the window was already inside. That's not the case this time but it did get me thinking.
About a third of the way into the book Robbie finds something in her restaurant she doesn't recognize and then she has an apparently innocuous encounter with a character. Because my mind was focused on the question of the broken glass I recognized the significance of the clue and and the character immediately. Everything then clicked into place for me.
In times when I know who done it and why I usually skip to the last fifty pages to read the ending. It's a way to check my notes — sort of like looking in the Mr. Body envelope early in a game of Clue. This time I was right and there wasn't anything else about the ending that made me want to go back to read the middle hundred or so pages.
The third book in the series is When the Grits Hit the Fan (2017).