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Well Read, Then Dead

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First in a new series! Nestled in the barrier islands of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers Beach is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat. But when they’re not dishing about books or serving up scones, Sassy and Bridgy are keeping tabs on hard-boiled murder.   Read ’Em and Eat is known for its delicious breakfast and lun First in a new series! Nestled in the barrier islands of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers Beach is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat. But when they’re not dishing about books or serving up scones, Sassy and Bridgy are keeping tabs on hard-boiled murder.   Read ’Em and Eat is known for its delicious breakfast and lunch treats, along with quite a colorful clientele. If it’s not Rowena Gustavson loudly debating the merits of the current book club selection, it’s Miss Augusta Maddox lecturing tourists on rumors of sunken treasure among the islands. It’s no wonder Sassy’s favorite is Delia Batson, a regular at the Emily Dickinson table. Augusta’s cousin and best friend Delia is painfully shy—which makes the news of her murder all the more shocking.   No one is more distraught than Augusta, and Sassy wants to help any way she can. But Augusta doesn’t have time for sympathy. She wants Delia’s killer found—and she’s not taking no for an answer. Now Sassy is on the case, and she’d better act fast before there’s any more trouble in paradise.   Includes a buttermilk pie recipe!


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First in a new series! Nestled in the barrier islands of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers Beach is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat. But when they’re not dishing about books or serving up scones, Sassy and Bridgy are keeping tabs on hard-boiled murder.   Read ’Em and Eat is known for its delicious breakfast and lun First in a new series! Nestled in the barrier islands of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers Beach is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat. But when they’re not dishing about books or serving up scones, Sassy and Bridgy are keeping tabs on hard-boiled murder.   Read ’Em and Eat is known for its delicious breakfast and lunch treats, along with quite a colorful clientele. If it’s not Rowena Gustavson loudly debating the merits of the current book club selection, it’s Miss Augusta Maddox lecturing tourists on rumors of sunken treasure among the islands. It’s no wonder Sassy’s favorite is Delia Batson, a regular at the Emily Dickinson table. Augusta’s cousin and best friend Delia is painfully shy—which makes the news of her murder all the more shocking.   No one is more distraught than Augusta, and Sassy wants to help any way she can. But Augusta doesn’t have time for sympathy. She wants Delia’s killer found—and she’s not taking no for an answer. Now Sassy is on the case, and she’d better act fast before there’s any more trouble in paradise.   Includes a buttermilk pie recipe!

30 review for Well Read, Then Dead

  1. 5 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Nestled in the barrier islands of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers Beach is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat. But when they’re not dishing about books or serving up scones, Sassy and Bridgy are keeping tabs on hard-boiled murder. Includes a buttermilk pie recipe! Dollycas’s Thoughts The Read ‘Em and Eat sounds like a perfect escape if you ask me. Delicious food served at tables named for famous authors with author and book trivia encased Nestled in the barrier islands of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers Beach is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat. But when they’re not dishing about books or serving up scones, Sassy and Bridgy are keeping tabs on hard-boiled murder. Includes a buttermilk pie recipe! Dollycas’s Thoughts The Read ‘Em and Eat sounds like a perfect escape if you ask me. Delicious food served at tables named for famous authors with author and book trivia encased in the tabletop. Plus you are surrounded by shelves and shelves of books without all the hustle and bustle of a major chain store. And did I mention the beaches!! This store is on an island south of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. I would get there and never want to leave. It would be an idyllic place to write this blog, but I am getting ahead of myself. This is a location in book…not a real place, but if it was I would be there! The author has brought so much life to this place and these characters I was packing by bags to go visit but I will have to settle for a virtual trip. Mary Sassafrass (“Sassy”) Cabot and Bridget (Bridgy) Mayfield are fantastic characters. They are partners and best friends and are trying to grow their business with good food and book clubs. They have quite an eclectic group of regulars including Miss Augusta Maddox and Miss Delia Batson, they are elderly cousins and true Southern ladies and expect everyone to mind their Southern manners. You rarely see one without the other. Then there is Judge Harcroft, he always sits at the Dashiell Hammett table and let’s just say his “Dash” humor is an acquired taste and most times he is the only one tasting. Jocelyn Randall is the pastor’s wife and very maniplutive. I have no idea how the pastor put up with her, he definitely has my sympathy. Miguel is the cook at the Read ‘Em and Read and comes up with the most wonderful tasty treats like the Swiss Family Robinson Cheeseburger and Robert Frost Apple and Blueberry Tartlets. When Miguel has an unfortunate kitchen accident Bridgy’s Aunt Ophelia shows up to help before they can even call her. “Facebook, my darlin’ girl. I saw your status about Miguel…” She would have arrived sooner but she had to wait for the grocery store to open to get the ingredients for her famous buttermilk pie! She is definitely a force to be reckoned with but Bridgy and Sassy know they need her so they will adjust. Miguel is not the only one out of commission. Miss Delia missed her ride to the shop with Miss Augusta and Sassy knew something was wrong. Soon after Miss Augusta arrived Sassy got word that Miss Delia was found dead in her home and that she was murdered. Breaking the news to Miss Augusta was hard but when she asked Sassy to track down the person responsible Sassy had no choice but to say yes. She knows the sheriff’s office won’t be happy, especially a certain new lieutenant, that she is doing a bit of investigating herself but she can’t let Miss Augusta down. I absolutely loved this story. Friendship was the basic theme throughout the story and not just the friendship between Sassy and Bridgy. Delia and Augusta had been friends forever and they had such a rich history. It is going to be hard for Miss Augusta going on without her cousin but she is part of the Read ‘Em and Read family so I know she will have people looking after her. Well Read, Then Dead is an excellent start to the Read Em and Eat Mystery Series. Fabulous characters, awesome setting and a fantastic whodunit. I can’t wait to see what the author serves up next on Sassy and Bridgy’s menu!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    I love reading brand new cozy series. I feel like I’m getting in on the ground floor and meeting new “friends”. The characters in this one were so easy for me to get to know and I already adore them. First, the setting is a bookstore café in Florida - so it immediately won me over. Sassy, along with her best friend, Bridget, are the owners of the “Read ‘Em and Eat” café. Sassy loves the bookstore side, while Bridget is all about the café part. Each table is decorated with a specific author theme I love reading brand new cozy series. I feel like I’m getting in on the ground floor and meeting new “friends”. The characters in this one were so easy for me to get to know and I already adore them. First, the setting is a bookstore café in Florida - so it immediately won me over. Sassy, along with her best friend, Bridget, are the owners of the “Read ‘Em and Eat” café. Sassy loves the bookstore side, while Bridget is all about the café part. Each table is decorated with a specific author theme and quotes from that author. Customers might find themselves sitting at the Agatha Christie or Emily Dickinson table. I would so love to have a shop like this in my area. The closest thing we have is a chain bookstore with a café in it and that’s not quite the same. I could feel the ambiance at the “Read ‘Em and Eat” café right through the pages of the book. Our amateur sleuth this time is Mary Sassafras Cabot – “Sassy” to her friends. At first I was a bit annoyed because the entire town seemed to rely on Sassy to do everything for them, but then I saw what a close knit group the town was and how much Sassy loved them. She will do anything for the people she loves and cares about. Sassy runs several different types of book clubs. When a soft spoken member is found dead, one of the victim’s relatives asks for Sassy’s help in finding out who was responsible. She never expects to uncover that the victim had so many secrets and finds villains in some interesting places. It’s up to Sassy to stop them before someone else is killed, since she's getting no help from the police. The author does an amazing job with developing the characters such as Sassy, Bridget, Aunt Ophie, and Miss Augusta. They were so realistic to me. Aunt Ophie and Miss Augusta made me smile. Eccentric characters with a heart of gold. The story moves along at a great pace and keeps readers guessing until the end. I know I didn't guess who the culprit was until the end and I was pretty surprised. I’m sure the author will be giving us many more books in the future. I can already tell this series will be an interesting ride and I can’t wait to get back for another visit to the “Read ‘Em and Eat”. Great series debut and a very talented new-to-me author! What more could I ask for? FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Every character in this debut cozy mystery are so quirky and charming well except maybe the killer but that's another tale for another day. Read 'Em and Eat is a quaint little bookstore/cafe run by Florida's own, Sassy Cabot and Bridget Mayfield. The bookstore being a dream of Sassy's and and the cafe being a dream of Bridget's. The book meetings are in full swing at Read 'Em and Eat and many Florida's resident book lovers attend. Delia Baton is a regular of the meetings along with her best frie Every character in this debut cozy mystery are so quirky and charming well except maybe the killer but that's another tale for another day. Read 'Em and Eat is a quaint little bookstore/cafe run by Florida's own, Sassy Cabot and Bridget Mayfield. The bookstore being a dream of Sassy's and and the cafe being a dream of Bridget's. The book meetings are in full swing at Read 'Em and Eat and many Florida's resident book lovers attend. Delia Baton is a regular of the meetings along with her best friend Augusta Maddox but Delia is a shy somewhat recluse. To the shock of all at Read 'Em and Eat including Sassy and Bridget they find out that Delia was murdered. Sassy and Bridget rally to comfort her best friend Augusta in her time of grief. Augusta wants to know who murdered her best friend and asks Sassy to help her and Sassy gladly accepts but realizing she needs to protect everyone she loves before it's too late. I was so in love with the bookstore/cafe Read 'Em and Eat. Fighting for and protecting a friend had me hooked from the start. A touch of a long lost romance too a only true romantic could love. Books and food are always make the best cozies in my book and in well read, then dead makes it even better but murder is never far behind, and Well Read, Then Dead kept me reading. It had everything you could want in a cozy even a lovable cat and what cat and animal lover would not love that? Not me that's for sure. I can't wait to read and review the next in the series

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)

    This sounds like my kind of place that mixes books and food? And that cover. Love it! In this, you got not only a book club, but a bookish theme restaurant and a library. Add a bookstore to the mix and we're set. Unless I missed it but other than that, there you go. Anyway what haven't I said about cozies that have a bookish theme to them? A new series that of course have heard nothing about. I can see potential with some of the characters and like that while there isn't a hint of a romance, exactl This sounds like my kind of place that mixes books and food? And that cover. Love it! In this, you got not only a book club, but a bookish theme restaurant and a library. Add a bookstore to the mix and we're set. Unless I missed it but other than that, there you go. Anyway what haven't I said about cozies that have a bookish theme to them? A new series that of course have heard nothing about. I can see potential with some of the characters and like that while there isn't a hint of a romance, exactly, you're curious to see what the series will do with it. Nice surprise and change of pace with that. Another fun read and start to a new series that I hope to keep up with. Thanks to the other bookish theme cozies I need to catch up on.

  5. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    http://openbooksociety.com/article/we... Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie *Beware of Spoilers* This is a great book! I truly enjoyed this first novel in the new cozy series, A Read ‘Em and Eat Mystery! Kudos to Terrie Farley Moran on her first full-length novel, who has proven her writing skills with short stories and wows everyone with this offering. First, I really like the concept – a bookstore and cafe combined into one place, the Read ‘Em and Eat. Served up in unique style are a variety of http://openbooksociety.com/article/we... Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie *Beware of Spoilers* This is a great book! I truly enjoyed this first novel in the new cozy series, A Read ‘Em and Eat Mystery! Kudos to Terrie Farley Moran on her first full-length novel, who has proven her writing skills with short stories and wows everyone with this offering. First, I really like the concept – a bookstore and cafe combined into one place, the Read ‘Em and Eat. Served up in unique style are a variety of pastries or fast, tasty sandwiches (many named after books turned into novels or well-known authors). Book clubs hold regular meetings there, (such as Potluck Book Club) and some folks insist on sitting at the same table every day (such as Judge Harcroft at the Dashiell Hammett table). Owners Bridgy Mayfield and Sassy (Mary Sassafras) Cabot have a thriving business that is well-liked by their regular clientele and tourists alike in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. It is the kind of place I wish was in my neighborhood! The opening introduces the reader to some of the regulars squabbling at the Books Before Breakfast Club, then Miguel, chef extraordinaire, falling from a ladder and breaking his leg, rendering him unable to cook for several weeks. Deputy Ryan Mantoni arrives at the cafe as one of the first responders for the accident, introducing his new lieutenant, Frank Anthony. The following day, Bridgy’s Aunt Ophie comes to fill in as chef. She enjoys getting to know the customers, but tries to change how the regular dishes are prepared. Elderly Miss Augusta, one of the regulars, arrives without her cousin, Miss Delia, which almost never occurs as one rarely sees one without the other. While Ophie introduces Miss Augusta to her version of iced tea, Sassy has a surprise visit from her friend, Cady Stanton, newspaper reporter. He beckoned her outdoors where he told her the terrible news – Miss Delia was discovered dead in her home by the mailman, and the Sheriff’s Department was looking for Miss Augusta. The sad news was given to her, and Sassy began to help her with her needs. Deputy Ryan and Lieutenant Frank later broke the news that Miss Delia had been murdered – yet it is Sassy to whom Miss Augusta directs her request to find whoever killed her beloved cousin. Well Read, then Dead is a triumphant first novel with a plot that continues to twist and turn as first one, then another suspect is checked out by Sassy and Bridgy even as they are discouraged by Cady, Ryan and Frank. Sassy diligently helps Miss Augusta with the necessary tasks of funeral preparations, finding Miss Delia’s cat, Bow, and finding a home that the cat would find comfortable. Risking her own life, Sassy is led through labyrinthine paths to the murderer – yet will she survive to tell the tale? This mystery was very well planned with enough twists that kept this reader happily on her toes. The characters are a delightful mix from the very prim and proper to the eccentric. Each are three-dimensional folks that you could expect to find in Any Small Town, USA. Generations-old secrets are as plentiful as the potential suspects, making the resolution of death by murder somewhat like putting together a puzzle while some of the pieces are hidden in other people’s pockets. The cover designer is a whiz, lending an alluring scene of the story inside while asking the reader to ‘come in and set a spell, enjoy a pastry and buy a good book.’ While I’m not sure how many words are in this mystery, the art is definitely worth at least a thousand words! I highly recommend this novel to young adults and adults of any age who enjoy mysteries with a small community filled with friends, a unique cafe with book lovers, and even the pets who accompany them. It received rave pre-publication reviews by notable cozy mystery writers – and even one of my cats gave its approval – as when I retrieved it to finish reading, there were a few bite marks from a happy cat which have not been left in the past! If Well Read, then Dead is any indicator, the next offering in this series is sure to be an even greater delight! *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour!*

  6. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This was a good one! Can't wait to read the next. This was a good one! Can't wait to read the next.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    "Well Read, Then Dead" by Terrie Farley Moran. Characters: Read 'Em and Eat Café -known for it's food but most of all it's books and The Books Before Breakfast club. Sassy-Co-owner of the Cafe and BFF with Bridgy. Bridgy-co-owner with Sassy her BFF. Miss Augusta-member of the book club with Miss Delia Batson and frequent customer at the café. Miss Delia Batson-cousin to Miss Augusta and member of the book club. Miguel-cook at the Café. Ophrie-Bridgy's Aunt Ophelia and excellent (but messy) cook while M "Well Read, Then Dead" by Terrie Farley Moran. Characters: Read 'Em and Eat Café -known for it's food but most of all it's books and The Books Before Breakfast club. Sassy-Co-owner of the Cafe and BFF with Bridgy. Bridgy-co-owner with Sassy her BFF. Miss Augusta-member of the book club with Miss Delia Batson and frequent customer at the café. Miss Delia Batson-cousin to Miss Augusta and member of the book club. Miguel-cook at the Café. Ophrie-Bridgy's Aunt Ophelia and excellent (but messy) cook while Miguel is out of commission. Ryan Mantoni-deputy Sheriff with the Lee County Sheriff's Dept. and good friend to Sassy. Lt. Frank Anthony-a no sense of humor investigator that leaves no stone unturned regardless of who's feelings get hurt. This was one perfect beginning to a wonderful new cozy mystery series. Loved it from page one until the end. Sassy and Bridgy are in a fix. Miguel has broken his leg while cooking away in the kitchen of the Read 'Em and Eat Café. They need a replacement and fast, but who can they get. Then Bridgy remembers her Aunt Ophelia is an excellent cook and gets in touch with her pronto. The girls soon find out that cooking is not all Ophrie is good at. Their kitchen is in shambles with everything tossed hither and yon. It's clean-up time for the girls. The book club has it's usual bickering between members but after one meeting something horrible happens. Miss Delia is found murdered in her home. How could such a quiet person end up murdered and why? At the same time as Sassy and Bridgy swing into investigators mode they realize there's much more to this than they thought. Sunken treasure off the west coast of Florida in the Gulf and Miss Delia's ownership of small islands thereabouts. Is there a connection of those clues to her murder? Highly recommended for all cozy mystery enthusiasts. This story has that down home feel with realistic characters and a café I could visit with every page. Excellent mystery.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    Well Read, Then Dead is the first book in the A read 'Em and Eat Mystery series. Business is going good for Sassy and Bridgy at the Read 'Em and Eat café on Fort Myers Beach. But things are about to change, Carlos their chef, slips in the kitchen and breaks his leg. The next morning, thru the magic of the internet, Aunt Ophie comes flying thru the door laden with grocery bags, ready to take over the kitchen. Truth be told, she'd probably like to take over everything at the café. Two of Sassy favo Well Read, Then Dead is the first book in the A read 'Em and Eat Mystery series. Business is going good for Sassy and Bridgy at the Read 'Em and Eat café on Fort Myers Beach. But things are about to change, Carlos their chef, slips in the kitchen and breaks his leg. The next morning, thru the magic of the internet, Aunt Ophie comes flying thru the door laden with grocery bags, ready to take over the kitchen. Truth be told, she'd probably like to take over everything at the café. Two of Sassy favorite regulars are Miss Augusta and Miss Delia, who are cousins. Miss Augusta loves to entertain everyone who will listen with tales of buried treasure in the area of Ft. Myers Beach. When Delia is found dead on the floor of her home, Augusta is devastated and insist that Sassy find out who had killed the shy Miss Delia. Everyone begins to look at the "wreckers", those you look for sunken treasure. But rumors begin that Miss Delia owned an island in the area of Ten Thousand Islands. Those closest to her just figured it was a good story. This story has a wonderful cast of characters. Auntie Ophie is a take charge woman and Sassy and Bridgy wonder if they will recognize there café when Carlos returns. Miss Augusta is a "tough old bird" and look forward to reading more about her and her feisty character. There is Maggie and Holly, her daughter and a teenager, who will, maybe, bring a younger point of view to future meeting of the Classic Book Club. On the romantic interest side for Sassy are Cady, a local newspaper reporter and Ryan Mantoni, a handsome county deputy. Another character that I hope will be back is "Skully", he got that nickname awhile back, as he was seen carrying around a human skull. He's a reserved gentleman who does odd jobs and makes jewelry out of shells. A very interesting new series and am most definitely looking forward the next book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chatting About

    4-1/2 Stars! Welcome to the beauty of Fort Meyers, FL, and the Read 'Em and Eat Cafe and Book Corner. Best friends, Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield co-own the business. The ambiance beckons as great food is prepared and served, and interesting book club groups meet at the cafe. Two cousins, Augustus Maddox and Delia Batson, actively participate at the book club meets. They talk about how they own family land that pirate treasure could be buried on. When Chef Miguel falls and breaks his leg, it's 4-1/2 Stars! Welcome to the beauty of Fort Meyers, FL, and the Read 'Em and Eat Cafe and Book Corner. Best friends, Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield co-own the business. The ambiance beckons as great food is prepared and served, and interesting book club groups meet at the cafe. Two cousins, Augustus Maddox and Delia Batson, actively participate at the book club meets. They talk about how they own family land that pirate treasure could be buried on. When Chef Miguel falls and breaks his leg, it's Bridgy's Aunt Ophie to the rescue! She's a southern cook; believes you should be mannerly; and sets things awhirl when she arrives to take over the kitchen! When one of the elderly cousins is found dead; motive needs to be determined, and quickly! Who is Skully - the mysterious codger who lurks around town, yet makes lovely handmade jewelry? Could treasure hunters seeking sunken ships bounty have a hand in the murder? New Cozy Author, Terrie Farley Moran, paints a vivid portrait of the Florida coastline history; deftly mixing details into her plot as she swirls all the clues around and around for readers to guess whodunit. The characters are friendly and you can see yourself as a regular, eating at the cafe and being one of the book clubbies. And, yes; a cat named Bow is a sweet addition to the story. Enjoyable reading!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    I loved the fact that the book took place in a cafe/bookstore. I also enjoyed the fact that several books were mentioned in this book. Some I am going to have to check out. Something was missing for me though. I did miss the quaintness that some cozies have. The book was just ok. 3 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    Terrie Farley Moran strikes just the right note with her debut mystery, Well Read, Then Dead. Set in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, the author evokes all the history, beauty and charm of southwest Florida with her knowledge of the area, her research, and her use of local color. The tourist area with its secrets and past comes alive on her pages. When best friends Sassy Cabot and Bridget "Bridgy" Mayfield left Connecticut behind, they moved to Florida, where they combined their dreams, opening a books Terrie Farley Moran strikes just the right note with her debut mystery, Well Read, Then Dead. Set in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, the author evokes all the history, beauty and charm of southwest Florida with her knowledge of the area, her research, and her use of local color. The tourist area with its secrets and past comes alive on her pages. When best friends Sassy Cabot and Bridget "Bridgy" Mayfield left Connecticut behind, they moved to Florida, where they combined their dreams, opening a bookstore and cafe, Read 'Em and Eat. The customers can enjoy meals with book-related names, browse the bookstore, and participate in a book club or two. The regular book group members, though, are locals such as Augusta Maddox, a woman with a large personality and voice, and her shy cousin, Delia Batson. And, all of Miss Augusta's friends turn to Sassy when Delia is found dead, murdered in her own house. Maybe the new lieutenant with the sheriff's department is smart as well as handsome, but Miss Augusta demands some answers, and wants help from Sassy. Where's Miss Delia's missing locket? Where's her missing cat? And, did someone kill Delia because they thought there was treasure near the island she owned in the Ten Thousand Islands? A few too many people think Sassy is snooping, and it isn't long before she's warned to mind her own business, or else. When an author chooses to set a book in an actual location, a reader should feel as if they are actually there. It's one thing if the setting is imaginary. But, I took issue before when an author's mystery felt as if it could have been set in any island community. Terrie Farley Moran doesn't make that mistake. She capitalizes on the rich history of southwest Florida, stories of islands, treasures, pristine locations. She celebrates the local characters, long-time residents with names that resonate in the area, names such as Smallwood. All of the local color creates a vivid backdrop for this debut mystery. There are a few weaknesses. At times, Bridgy comes across as pushy, and seems an unlikely best friend. Sassy has a few of the flaws I dislike. She doesn't always tell the police what she knows, and, she makes one of those "Too Stupid To Live" mistakes, and even realizes it at the time. And, I felt as if the motive for murder was obvious. But, some of the characters are quirky and interesting; Bridgy's Aunt Ophie who shows up to help in a pinch, Miss Augusta, Skully, the reporter Cady. And, of course, it's always fun to read a mystery set in the world of books, with the discussion of titles. Terrie Farley Moran's first mystery novel, Well Read, Then Dead, is entertaining. The rich background sets the scene for this debut, and beckons readers to enter a world with all kinds of possibilities for crime. What better location than a setting already rich with stories of treasures, piracy and murder, and, now, a location for tourists, treasure-seekers, and fortune hunters? Welcome to southwest Florida and Read 'Em and Eat. Terrie Farley Moran's website is www.terriefarleymoran.com

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Ks Book Reviews

    One of my top three favorite new mystery series of 2014! I have never read the first book of a series and the first published book for an author and been this blown away. Any time a book grabs me on the first page and won’t let go, I know I am in for some of the best reading time I have ever spent. WELL READ, THEN DEAD, did that and more. I so enjoyed the book, I found myself smiling while reading and the real world around me fading away. The characters and settings mix wonderfully and draw the One of my top three favorite new mystery series of 2014! I have never read the first book of a series and the first published book for an author and been this blown away. Any time a book grabs me on the first page and won’t let go, I know I am in for some of the best reading time I have ever spent. WELL READ, THEN DEAD, did that and more. I so enjoyed the book, I found myself smiling while reading and the real world around me fading away. The characters and settings mix wonderfully and draw the reader in. It was a delight to get to know Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget “Bridgy” Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat. They are two of the most enjoyable characters I have read this year. And wait until you meet Aunt Ophie! She’ll have you laughing out loud. There are shelves lined with books, delicious menu items, such as Old Man and the Sea Chowder, Miss Marple Scones and honest to goodness, Green Eggs and Ham, tables named after famous authors, and book groups like the Books Before Breakfast club. Beyond a doubt, if I had a real life Read ’Em and Eat near me, I would spend so much of my time there you’d think I was on the payroll! What about the mystery element of the book? Perfect! Even after reading the back cover blur, I forgot who the victim was until I started reading the book. I cried when I read she was dead, because in just the short time I had been reading, I knew that woman would be someone I would love to spend a lot of time with. With the suspects that kept popping up, it became harder to guess who the murder was. I was in suspense the entire time and more emotionally invested than I have been in a story in ages. And with a twist that I didn’t see coming, it’s no wonder when I closed this book I just sat there and said “Wow”. This book is a must read for all cozy fans and the perfect book to gift someone if you would like to introduce them to cozies mystery.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    If I were going to teach a course on how to write a cozy, I would chose this one as guide! First of the setting is the Fort Meyers Beach close to the barrier islands of Florida. Already the reader wants to go to sandy beaches, see the wildlife and feel the ocean breezes. This book really made me want to go back to Florida. It is easy to remember the characters, the main character Mary Sassafras “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget “Bridgy” Mayfield share ownership of the Read Em and Eat café and bookstore. If I were going to teach a course on how to write a cozy, I would chose this one as guide! First of the setting is the Fort Meyers Beach close to the barrier islands of Florida. Already the reader wants to go to sandy beaches, see the wildlife and feel the ocean breezes. This book really made me want to go back to Florida. It is easy to remember the characters, the main character Mary Sassafras “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget “Bridgy” Mayfield share ownership of the Read Em and Eat café and bookstore. Book club meetings are held there. Two regulars are Augusta Maddox who has a booming voice and a sureness of purpose and her dear friend and cousin, Delia Batson. Delia is quiet and very shy. There are secondary characters who are also wonderfully developed, any of whom would be very welcome in future installments of this series. Delia, the shy one is found dead and her house has been ransacked. Everybody loved Delia why would this crime be committed against her? To add to the confusion, Miguel the chef at Read Em and Eat broke his leg and Aunt Ophie comes to the rescue. She literally cook up a storm, spreading flour everywhere in the kitchen, creating wonderful delicacies like a buttermilk Pie. Miguel knows Ophie and worried about his kitchen. Augusta’s demeanor changes, she seems to have shrunk and aged overnight. She wants Sassy to find the killer. I think is the best cozy that I have read to date. I can hardly wait for more. There are just the right amount of characters, an enticing story set in a wonderful places, sparks of laughter that really tickle you and I really loved, love the characters. Here is my recommendation, if you are a cozy reader, you have to read this book! If not, try it anyway. I received this book as a win on FirstReads but that in no way influenced my thoughts or feelings in this review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I have so many series that I read that when a new one is released, the 1st thing I ask myself is, do I need to add another to my list? In the case of Well Read, Then Dead, the answer is a resounding YES. I had been waiting for this one to be released and available at my library and I wasn't disappointed when I finally read it! Well Read, Then Dead centers around a small breakfast/lunch cafe called Read ’Em and Eat in the Fort Meyers beach area of Florida. Unique to this particular cafe is that i I have so many series that I read that when a new one is released, the 1st thing I ask myself is, do I need to add another to my list? In the case of Well Read, Then Dead, the answer is a resounding YES. I had been waiting for this one to be released and available at my library and I wasn't disappointed when I finally read it! Well Read, Then Dead centers around a small breakfast/lunch cafe called Read ’Em and Eat in the Fort Meyers beach area of Florida. Unique to this particular cafe is that it is half a bookstore where the owners host several different kinds of book clubs in addition to serving up delicious food. The mystery surrounds the suspicious death of Delia Batson, an older lady that owns a few of the private islands in the Fort Meyers area. Sassy and Bridgy, co-owners of the cafe start digging into the mystery as Delia is one of their favorite customers. Introduced along the way are Bridgy's aunt Ophelia (sort of an annoying character), Miss Augusta, Delia's cousin, Miguel the cook in the cafe, and several others. Terrie Moran transports her readers directly to Fort Meyers, a place where I hope to visit soon as my dad has a condo there, and it's beautiful, peaceful beach setting. It makes me hope that there is a place like Read ’Em and Eat just like the one described in the book. In addition, Moran gives us a cast of pretty likeable characters that we want the chance to meet, read about and grow to love. I look forward to the second book in this charming series!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    First in a new series that combines several of my favorite things - food and books! Sassy & Bridgey are best friends that opened this restaurant/book store and have turned it into a hit in this small FL town thanks to some of the residents and the snowbirds. They have several book clubs with a myriad of interesting attendees - and some nearly come to fisticuffs! Then Miss Delia is found dead and her friend Augusta knows she was murdered...so it is Sassy & Bridge on the case. I think this is the f First in a new series that combines several of my favorite things - food and books! Sassy & Bridgey are best friends that opened this restaurant/book store and have turned it into a hit in this small FL town thanks to some of the residents and the snowbirds. They have several book clubs with a myriad of interesting attendees - and some nearly come to fisticuffs! Then Miss Delia is found dead and her friend Augusta knows she was murdered...so it is Sassy & Bridge on the case. I think this is the first cozy I have read in awhile where there isn't a romance brewing between some of the main characters. I think that will come in future books so I'm interested to see who becomes involved, but I have my guesses. I liked that the restaurant employees are like one big family especially when the cook falls and breaks his leg, they rally around him to make sure he knows they want him back. The killer is not an obvious one, although looking back I did not like this character and too see what the killer goes through near the end has you wondering about their sanity. Well written and can't wait to see what book two has in store for us.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Roswita

    What a great new mystery series! The story is set in Fort Myers Beach, Florida and has an interesting crop of retirees, snow birds, shop keepers, treasure hunters, and eccentric locals. Among them are the owners of the Read It and Eat, a breakfast & lunch cafe/bookstore. Bridgy and Sassy are best friends who leave NYC to pursue their dreams in sunny Florida. Their cafe is a hit, as are their various book clubs, and they enjoy coming up with literary dishes to serve to their customers. One fatefu What a great new mystery series! The story is set in Fort Myers Beach, Florida and has an interesting crop of retirees, snow birds, shop keepers, treasure hunters, and eccentric locals. Among them are the owners of the Read It and Eat, a breakfast & lunch cafe/bookstore. Bridgy and Sassy are best friends who leave NYC to pursue their dreams in sunny Florida. Their cafe is a hit, as are their various book clubs, and they enjoy coming up with literary dishes to serve to their customers. One fateful day they learn of the unexpected death of one of their club members and Sassy (short for Sassafras, by the way) is drawn into the investigation. This was an engaging and fun trip through the streets of a small tourist town in Florida with a bunch of interesting characters you will have no trouble relating to. If I ever make it down to Fort Myers Beach I fully expect to run into Skully, Augusta, Jocelyn, Bridgy, and Sassy. Hopefully I will only see Ryan and Frank in passing :-). Well done, Ms. Moran. I'm already looking forward to mystery number 2!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lacey

    Star rating: 2 Stars When one of her prominent book club members is murdered, Sassy gets conscripted by the deceased's best friend to help catch the killer. Little does Sassy know she's putting her life and the lives of her best friends in jeopardy to try and find the murderer of Delia Batson. In the beginning, this novel was an enjoyable and light read but, the farther along I got the more the writing started to unravel. Fifty percent of the way through it on my Kindle and no real progress has be Star rating: 2 Stars When one of her prominent book club members is murdered, Sassy gets conscripted by the deceased's best friend to help catch the killer. Little does Sassy know she's putting her life and the lives of her best friends in jeopardy to try and find the murderer of Delia Batson. In the beginning, this novel was an enjoyable and light read but, the farther along I got the more the writing started to unravel. Fifty percent of the way through it on my Kindle and no real progress has been made in the murder inquiry. Sassy does little to no sleuthing until you're more then sixty percent of the way through the book. I also found most of the main characters incredibly irritating and the plot to have more holes then a bag of Swiss cheese. There won't be any reason for me to pick up the next novel in this series, it just isn't worth the money.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I reviewed this book over at Criminal Element, so see that for my full review. Basically, this is an excellent debut of a cozy mystery series. As with most first-in-series books, it has a lot of backstory, but that is the only negative thing I can say. The characters were fun and interesting and fully fleshed out and the mystery was intriguing. The setting is a character in and of itself, and not to be dismissed. Get this one for sure! I reviewed this book over at Criminal Element, so see that for my full review. Basically, this is an excellent debut of a cozy mystery series. As with most first-in-series books, it has a lot of backstory, but that is the only negative thing I can say. The characters were fun and interesting and fully fleshed out and the mystery was intriguing. The setting is a character in and of itself, and not to be dismissed. Get this one for sure!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Sassy and Bridgy have settle into their new life running a café/bookstore in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. But when one of their loyal customers is murdered, they are surprised. Delia was a nice, quiet woman. Who would want to kill her? The characters and the setting in this book are wonderfully vivid, and I enjoyed spending time with them. Unfortunately, the pacing was off and at times I got frustrated waiting to get back to the mystery. However, it did all come together for a logical ending. Read m Sassy and Bridgy have settle into their new life running a café/bookstore in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. But when one of their loyal customers is murdered, they are surprised. Delia was a nice, quiet woman. Who would want to kill her? The characters and the setting in this book are wonderfully vivid, and I enjoyed spending time with them. Unfortunately, the pacing was off and at times I got frustrated waiting to get back to the mystery. However, it did all come together for a logical ending. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christi

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is the first in a new series. I love the main characters, Sassy and Bridgy, and the rest of the supporting cast--I even grew to like Aunt Ophie. The book has everything I like in a cozy mystery...books, food, a little local history, and a murder. I know I would enjoy visiting the Reading 'Em and Eat Cafe! I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is the first in a new series. I love the main characters, Sassy and Bridgy, and the rest of the supporting cast--I even grew to like Aunt Ophie. The book has everything I like in a cozy mystery...books, food, a little local history, and a murder. I know I would enjoy visiting the Reading 'Em and Eat Cafe! I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Egan

    I read Well Read, Then Dead with a smile on my face from start to finish. It is the perfect cozy, with appealing characters, a setting you want to visit, if not live inside, and, what I admired most, a crime that marries one of the seven deadly sins with local history. I can't wait to see what Sassy and Bridgey encounter in the next installment. I read Well Read, Then Dead with a smile on my face from start to finish. It is the perfect cozy, with appealing characters, a setting you want to visit, if not live inside, and, what I admired most, a crime that marries one of the seven deadly sins with local history. I can't wait to see what Sassy and Bridgey encounter in the next installment.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Lacy

    Terrie Farley Moran pulled me into the world of Fort Myers Beach, Florida and didn't let me go. This is a wonderful cozy mystery for a day at the beach, the park or anywhere. Set in the Read 'Em and Eat Cafe, you not only get a great book but plenty of classic book club ideas as well. This is the first in a series and I cannot wait to see what Sassy and Bridgey get up to next! Terrie Farley Moran pulled me into the world of Fort Myers Beach, Florida and didn't let me go. This is a wonderful cozy mystery for a day at the beach, the park or anywhere. Set in the Read 'Em and Eat Cafe, you not only get a great book but plenty of classic book club ideas as well. This is the first in a series and I cannot wait to see what Sassy and Bridgey get up to next!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I want to go to the Read ‘Em and Eat cafe! I love the concept of this series and the characters are great too. The mystery was done well and I was kept guessing as to the outcome. Looking forward to the next book. #readforkimberly

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Frazier

    This is a first in a new series, great book! I really enjoyed the setting, and the characters are great. Looking forward to the next book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Loved this book. The characters in it are great. Everyone from sassy to Augusta. Anxious for book 2

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sapphyria

    Originally from New York, Mary "Sassy" Cabot and Bridget "Bridgy" Mayfield flew south amid a cheating husband scandal and the relocation of a place of employment. Not looking back, the duo opened up a cafe/bookstore called Read 'Em and Eat in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. They have quite the following between the regulars and the tourists. When a tourist in a bucket shaped hat comes to Read 'Em and Eat asking about Delia and Augusta, long time residents who are also cousins, and then Delia ends up Originally from New York, Mary "Sassy" Cabot and Bridget "Bridgy" Mayfield flew south amid a cheating husband scandal and the relocation of a place of employment. Not looking back, the duo opened up a cafe/bookstore called Read 'Em and Eat in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. They have quite the following between the regulars and the tourists. When a tourist in a bucket shaped hat comes to Read 'Em and Eat asking about Delia and Augusta, long time residents who are also cousins, and then Delia ends up dead, Sassy can't help but feel that the events are tied together. It also appears that there is a group of "wreckers" looking to hit it rich by combing shipwrecks off of the coast of Florida and around the numerous islands, too. After Delia's death, the topic of the island that she owns comes up - another added layer to the cozy mystery laid out before us. There is, of course, an attractive man that enters the picture as the potential love interest for one of the main characters. Very little comes of anything but the pretense is there. The development of the little bit of romantic interest was done tastefully and subtly, as not to overshadow the mysterious circumstances surrounding Delia's death. There are several themes woven into this novel. Some are clearly not about the murder and others could definitely pertain to it. The set up and execution (pun intended) of the murder mystery is done well. Red herrings are tossed about like the flour Aunt Ophie uses to cook with. Suspects abound in this first book of the new series by Terrie Farley Moran and include, but aren't limited to long time residents, newcomers, tourists, family members, treasure hunters, and corporations. The back story and set up included for this novel is plentiful yet sparse - oxymoron, I know. The reader is provided all the back story needed to understand the who's and why's without being so overly inundated with useless information that you forget what's important. Well Read, Then Dead contains your typical cozy mystery heroine's lapses in judgment that completely put her life on the line. There are a couple of scenes where you feel like you're in a horror movie. I found myself yelling at the main character when things had the definite makings of a trap or shaking my head at the obvious set-up. There wasn't any detracting from the story but those particular passages were extremely predictable. I was pretty satisfied with the novel and found it to be a smooth flowing, easy read. I'm extremely interested to see where the author goes next with Sassy & Bridgy. The combination bookshop and cafe totally intrigues me and I would love to visit one. ARC review copy courtesy of the publisher, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    Review (and an interview with the author!) originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard. Well Read, Then Dead was a delightful surprise. Of course I expected to enjoy a cozy mystery focused around a bookstore-cafe combo, but I didn't have an inkling how much I would like the characters - especially Sassy, Bridgy, and Aunt Ophie (who is a stitch!) Feisty old Augusta is also a favorite of mine, with her strong sense of justice and her habit of telling it like it is. The recurring supporting cha Review (and an interview with the author!) originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard. Well Read, Then Dead was a delightful surprise. Of course I expected to enjoy a cozy mystery focused around a bookstore-cafe combo, but I didn't have an inkling how much I would like the characters - especially Sassy, Bridgy, and Aunt Ophie (who is a stitch!) Feisty old Augusta is also a favorite of mine, with her strong sense of justice and her habit of telling it like it is. The recurring supporting characters, including two policemen and a journalist, are also well-drawn and varied enough to be interesting and realistic. I don't want to give too much away, but Ophie comes down to help Sassy and Bridgie in the kitchen while their regular cook is out of commission. She's a Southern lady to her fingertips, with that stereotypical blend of charm and steely will, flavored with a streak of eccentricity. She could have been annoying, but she became one of my favorite characters in the entire book. I hope she decides to stick around instead of going back home for the next book! The plot held together well, and ended up throwing me one or two curve balls as well as misleading me entirely when it came to one suspect in particular. While I did spot the murderer pretty early on, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story at all -- and after all, I could have been wrong! (I wasn't, though.) The only thing that detracted at all was Sassy's habit of not telling the police right away about things she knew or heard, and one flaming example of TSTL syndrome. . . which the heroine in question knew was stupid and did it anyway. Actually, that was what redeemed her decision a bit - that she knew it was stupid, but her curiosity was so strong she went ahead with it. I could understand that so much better than a heroine who had no clue she was being stupid. I mean, we've all done things we knew were stupid, for reasons that made sense to us at the time, right? Bottom line: If you're looking for a new cozy mystery series with a solidly written plot, engaging characters, and a healthy helping of humor, you don't need to look any further than Well Read, Then Dead. FTC disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher/author/publicist. All opinions are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    LuAnn

    A bookstore cafe, more cozy than a Barnes & Noble (sorry, I do love those stores), where the goodies and the good reads occupy the same space. And the tables are named after famous writers. And the co-owner's nickname is "Sassy", which fits her to a "tee". All these little extra touches of care by the author are very, very much appreciated! I LOVE IT! The opening scene introduces us to many primary and secondary characters, and they are all well-'drawn'. The opinionated and intimidating pastor's A bookstore cafe, more cozy than a Barnes & Noble (sorry, I do love those stores), where the goodies and the good reads occupy the same space. And the tables are named after famous writers. And the co-owner's nickname is "Sassy", which fits her to a "tee". All these little extra touches of care by the author are very, very much appreciated! I LOVE IT! The opening scene introduces us to many primary and secondary characters, and they are all well-'drawn'. The opinionated and intimidating pastor's wife, Jocelyn Randall; Rowena Gustafson, owner of a nearby business and Jocelyn's frequent nemesis; elderly cousins, Miss Augusta Maddox and Miss Delia Batson (and don't you dare leave off the 'Miss', as different in temperament as they are devoted to each other; Judge Harcroft, who always sits at the Dashiell Hammett table and makes inane "dash" puns, to name a few. Whether they know it or not, they invite us into their story and make us feel right at home. You can read anything you want, eat anything you want, and say (just about) anything you want. The first chapter ends with the cook, Miguel, being taken to the hospital because he broke his leg, a suspicious looking man asking the names of the two elderly ladies, and Mary Sassafrass ("Sassy") Cabot trying not to drool over the new top cop in town. Unfortunately, as the title implies, somebody winds up dead, and that turns out to be Miss Delia Batson, the more unassuming of the cousins. Despite being able to take down treasure hunters with a withering stare and peppery words, Miss Augusta is bereft without her dearest friend. She extracts a promise from Sassy to find out 'whodunit'. Sassy intends on keeping her promise, much to the chagrin of the local constabulary, including the hunky new lieutenant in town. The closer Sassy gets to the crux of the mystery, the more dangerous it becomes for her and those around her, and the more determined she becomes to get justice for Miss Delia. To stretch my own food metaphor for one more sentence, the icing on the cake is that "Well Read, Then Dead" is just the first of the Read Them and Eat Mysteries! I think I will have to put a bookshelf in my farmhouse kitchen, name my table after a rotating list of my favorite authors, and read each installment as it is released!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)

    I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review. 3 1/2 Stars! Sassy Cabot and Bridget Mayfield are two best friends who are also the owners of a bookstore cafe called Read 'Em and Eat. Things are going great for the two till their head chef has an accident, breaks his leg and is out for surgery. Out comes Bridget's aunt, a characters on her own Ophie who takes over the kitchen and basically makes it her own. Read 'Em and Eat has an interesting set of clientele, includ I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review. 3 1/2 Stars! Sassy Cabot and Bridget Mayfield are two best friends who are also the owners of a bookstore cafe called Read 'Em and Eat. Things are going great for the two till their head chef has an accident, breaks his leg and is out for surgery. Out comes Bridget's aunt, a characters on her own Ophie who takes over the kitchen and basically makes it her own. Read 'Em and Eat has an interesting set of clientele, including two cousins Augusta and Delia. When Delia is found dead and murdered, Sassy has offered up to do anything she can in order to help Augusta in this time of grief and getting the funeral ready. But Augusta wants to find the murderer and it looks like she is pressing Sassy to do it. Interesting start to a new series. I liked the characters, there were some good ones and other's made me cringe a little. Like Jocelyn, the pastor's wife. I thought her actions and words towards Sassy was uncalled for and honestly a really strange behavior for a pastor's wife. I liked Skully the best and his hobby of creating pieces using sea shells. Makes me want to pull out a bunch of sea shells I got from Florida 3 years ago and create something myself heh. There are a couple of potential love interests for Sassy in the new series. One of them is a new comer, Frank Anthony. Everything is done subtle, so it be interesting to see how it all plays out. What took a bit of a turn for me was the small lack of emotion. I for some reason had a hard time finding Sassy's reaction to Delia's death a little weird I guess, or maybe I'm just weird but it didn't work for me. Anyway, excited about this new series, would love to see how it keeps going!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Well Read, Then Dead is the first book in the Read 'Em and Eat Mystery series. Two friends from Brooklyn move to the barrier islands on Florida's Gulf Coast. They start up a bookstore café. The menu has items that are named with titles and items from books. The tables are named for authors. They serve great food, sell books and hold book club meeting at the café. There is at times some contention between several people at the book club meeting while discussing books. Later a lovely elderly book c Well Read, Then Dead is the first book in the Read 'Em and Eat Mystery series. Two friends from Brooklyn move to the barrier islands on Florida's Gulf Coast. They start up a bookstore café. The menu has items that are named with titles and items from books. The tables are named for authors. They serve great food, sell books and hold book club meeting at the café. There is at times some contention between several people at the book club meeting while discussing books. Later a lovely elderly book club person is found dead in her home and it is a homicide. Sassy who is the protagonist and the book store owner and manager of the café is asked by a cousin of the deceased to find the murderer. What I liked best about the book was the location of the islands of the Florida Gulf Coast and the Read 'Em and Eat café. I think many readers would love to go and eat at this cafe and sit at the author named tables. The book was about strong friendships and had good character development. I liked and was interested in most of the characters. I was somewhat bothered by Sassy who held back information from the police and who went into dangerous territory without a phone or a backup in order to solve a crime. She does acknowledge though that she was doing what they do in horror movies but her curiosity was overtaking her. Overall, it was was good fast cozy read with a great location backdrop and good friends. I enjoyed it.

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