Pint of No Return: 10/18/22
Pint of No Return by Dana Mentink and Stephanie Nemeth-Parker (narrator) (2021) is the start of the Shake Shop Mystery series. Trinidad Jones is the third wife of an embezzler con-man. As part of his settlement before prison, he's given her an ice cream parlor in Upper Sprocket, Oregon. On a day when she's trying to get payment for an errand she finds the body of the Popcorn King in a bucket of popcorn.
Since the theme is an ice cream shop, I was initially reminded of the Ice Cream Parlor mysteries by Abby Collette. But the way the murder is presented is more like Caramel Crush by Jenn McKinlay (2017).
I spent much of my time listening to this mystery comparing it to other mysteries I'd recently listened to. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's certainly a starting point, especially when being introduced to a new series with a new town and new characters. On the other hand, sometimes I found myself distracted.
One bit, though, I especially liked was Trinidad's friendship with brothers Quinn and Doug. It felt more genuine and believable than the early relationship between Maggie and Xander as presented in Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron (2016).
The second book is A Sprinkle in Time (2022).