Black Crime Fiction

A DEADLY INSIDE SCOOP by Abby Collette

A GAME OF CONES by Abby Collette is book two in “An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery” series. 

We revisit Chagrin Falls, Ohio with Bronwyn Crewse who runs the newly renovated ice cream shop. Bronwyn is many things including a master of ice cream creations churning up delicious treats for the small town citizens. 

But not everything is sugar and spice.  A new big shot developer has come to announce to the town that he plans to bring a new mall into their idylic little community. This news is not entirely well received and he even has a shoe thrown at him in front of everyone. It takes him no time at all to get a whole bevy of enemies. 

But is anyone mad enough to actually kill him? Apparently so. We soon learn that the developer has been shot sometime after that no so welcoming community meeting. And the gun hammer dropped as soon as a friend from Bronwyn’s old job, Rory, arrives to town wearing shoes that are even bloodier than the designer, Christian Louboutin, ever intended them to be.

Yes, there are a whole lot of menacing shoes in this one! Rory had intended to swoop in and convince Bronwyn to return to her old Marketing job but somehow stumbled upon the dead body and stepped into some incriminating evidence. Needless to say Rory is now a person of interest and Bronwyn is taking another stab at murder investigation.

It would not be an Ice Cream Parlor mystery without an appearance of her large family. And this one adds an additional treat of introducing us to Aunt Jackie whose wig is left askew, literally, as she tries to keep up with the new business that Bronwyn has brought into the store. 

Aunt Jackie has a lot of opinions and is not above undermining Bronwyn in order to get things back to how they used to be when she ran the place. We also get to know Bronwyn’s mother a bit better than in the prior book. She has a pleasant personality and is very much a typical mom in that she will warn her daughter to take a knife with her when answering the door at the crack of dawn while there is a killer on the loose. What? You mean your mom didn’t tell you to do that too? Okay…

This author has a wonderful way in which she incorporates older characters while telling the story from the perspective of a 20-something main character. We find these wise members of the family and community to be a breath of fresh air- there Maisie’s hilariously dramatic grandmother and Bronwyn’s grandfather always adds an element of sage discernment. In A GAME OF CONES we are introduced to an older gentleman in the community who is a former artist and marginalized due to his age. As the book progresses we learn not to underestimate their generation- they aren’t invisible and are quite valuable.

Speaking of, I must note that I liked that some social issues were mentioned. Bronwyn has a brother who is a bit of a social justice warrior and I really appreciated that. There are not many cozies that will bring up topics such as gentrification and to me that really adds a bit of depth to the novel. It does not weigh it down or make it heavy, nor does it make reading this less fun. I am just thankful that it is mentioned.

Finally, I will add the one thing that I felt kind of sad about. The wonderful attorney, O, seems to have an adorable little crush on Bronwyn and it did not progress in the way that I hoped it would following book one. Granted I know this is not a romance based cozy mystery. I really have no right to have any expectations for Bronwyn’s personal love life whatsoever. I just want them to have a happily ever after in a fairy tale town ending, LOL. Hopefully, that will still happen, even if it is not with each other. I will keep my fingers crossed.

Make sure to get a taste of this super sweet cozy mystery- I am confident you will enjoy the flavor. And also give the ice cream recipes a try and let me know how you like it. They’re included in the back of the book and don’t even require an ice cream machine- what could go wrong?

Also, check out the author’s website, abbycollette.com, where you can join her email list and stay up to date on all of the future releases in this series.

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