Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Review-Cherry Cake and a Cadaver

About the book 
Lily Gayle and the gang set out to find a killer after local baker Luxen Natolovich is found dead hours before the grand opening weekend at the new Bed and Breakfast in town, Midnight Dragonfly. As Lily Gayle deciphers the clues around Luxen’s death she uncovers a conspiracy of lies and half truths that could very well be tied to a refugee camp in Mississippi during World War II. The deeper Lily Gayle digs, the deeper the conspiracy runs, and the closer she comes to being the killer’s next victim.
And I thought 
I just loved Lily Gayle.  I think I was attracted to her name.  It just rolls off the tongue Lily Gayle charming and delightful.  Just like the character.  
This was my first opportunity to meet Lily Gayle a southern girl with a nose for crime and a habit of getting in a little over her head from time to time.  Lily Gayle knows no boundaries when she 
investigating.   Murder does seem to kind of follow her around or maybe more like she just seems to have a knack for stumbling into mystery.  
Lily Gayle is surrounded by a like able group of friends that get caught up in her investigating.  Sometimes even if they really don't want to.  
Mainly because she does over step boundaries like finding unlocked doors that just beckon her to come in and
snoop.  Or peeking in and climbing into windows that just happen to be left open.   She always seems to pick up a clue when she's snooping. 

All this peeking and snooping tends to get Lily Gayle in a heap of trouble with the town Sheriff who happens to be her cousin.  But since she ends up solving the mystery all is forgiven.  Until the next time.  And there's always a next time!  

I thoroughly enjoyed Cherry Cake and a Cadaver. I enjoyed the cover that tells the story without you knowing it.   I'm not going to give away the mystery but I suggest you buy the book. 

It's a great spring break or summer read.  And since it's book 2 in the series I'm beatin' book 1 is good too.  

I received a complimentary copy from Great Escape Tours
This review will appear on retail sites where the book is available. 
This review will appear on My Reading Journeys and 
Good Reads.

I had the opportunity to chat with Susan.  Scroll down to read the interview.  

About the series  
Death of a Wolfman (A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery Book 1) by [Boles, Susan]
Quicker than she can stitch together the threads of a genealogy project she's just signed on to research, Lily Gayle Lambert finds herself embroiled in investigating the Halloween night murder of a stranger who suffers from 'wolfman syndrome'. And, when a member of a prominent family turns up dead soon after the 'wolfman', Lily Gayle must find the link between the two and solve the mystery before her investigation makes her the next target.

Escaping from a trailer in the woods owned by two good ole boys suspected of being involved and a confrontation with the eldest son of the town's wealthiest family have Lily Gayle hot on the trail of the killer...much to the consternation of her cousin. Who just happens to be the County Sheriff. With the help of her lifelong best friend, Dixie, and town busybody, Miss Edna, she pieces together the clues leading to a conclusion that shocks the entire town.

Chatting with the author

Hello Susan,
Thank you for taking the time to chat about Cherry Cake and a Cadaver which by the
sure is an intriguing title!  Before we get to the book I’d like to get to know each other a little.Hi Sherry. Thank you for having me here.

I love your description of your works ‘Where Mysteries Meet Southern Shenanigans.”
Can readers expect that your books are centered around the south? Yes. They take place in a small fictional town called Mercy, Mississippi. Being a small town girl myself, I wanted to create a town with a lot of history. And kind of like Cheers, where everybody knows your name....

Can you tell us what ‘Shenanigans’ we can expect? I just love the word shenanigans. It's fun to say and conjures up all kinds of images of harmlessly mischievious behavior. Have you heard that the most fun times in the south start with the phrase "Hold my beer and watch this"? Doesn't that conjure up some great shenanigans visions? Lily Gayle and her best friend, Dixie are the ones who get into the most shenanigans in this series. I always loved Ethel and Lucy, so I think about some of my favorite scenes of them when I'm writing my best friends. Lily Gayle and Dixie will be gathering clues in some pretty unsual places in this installment. Lily Gayle is determined to solve the mystery and Dixie is determined to keep her friend out of trouble. We'll see Lily Gayle shimmying through unlocked windows in search of clues while Dixie keeps watch wringing her hands with worry the entire time.

Since this is our first time to meet can you tell us a little about Lily Gayle Lambert. Lily Gayle left Mercy in 1988 when she graduated from high school to attended college at Ole Miss where she met the love of her life. They built a life together away from Mercy but when he was killed in a traffic accident, Lily Gayle went home to Mercy. She's been back for eight years and lives in the home she inherited from her parents and works a a seamstress and genealogist -- both businesses she can conduct online and tht allow her to make a living while living in a small town. The county sheriff is her first cousin and, both of them being only children, they grew up more like brother and sister. Lily Gayles' family, like most of the families in Mercy, go back for generations and the relationships in town are grounded in that long history and familiarity.

Can you tell us how you developed the character of Lily Gayle? I wanted a character who is smart, funny, curious about lots of things in life with a real zest for making things happen. She's pretty much an amalgam of several people I know and several people I've never met - but would love to. The genealogy part comes from me. I've been interested in tracing the family history since I was a teenager and have done a lot of work on my own family trees. The seamstress is part is from a cousin who makes beautiful quilts rather than historical gowns. I felt like the re-enactor gowns went well with the genealogy part. But quilts could have worked too. The loyalty to family and friends comes from many people in my life. The crime solving....well, I'm very curious by nature and love watching all the crime solving shows, but can't say that I've ever truly wanted to solve a crime in real life. I hope Lily Gayle is someone that readers can relate to regardless of where they live or where they are on their own life paths.

I notice Cherry Cake and a Cadaver takes place around a bakery and that there are recipes
in the book.   Is Lily Gayle a cook as well as a seamstress? Lily Gayle is a pretty good cook. She knows how to make all the traditional southern dishes her mama taught her. And you'll be able to try out some of her favorites like Wicked Chicken Deviled Eggs and Death By Chocolate Gravy (Hey. That sounds like a good title for a book!). Those recipes will be included in this book. But the bakery belongs to another character. 

As a true romantic at heart I have to ask.  Is there a love interest Lily Gayle? There's no love interest just yet. Lily Gayle is still not ready to put her heart out there. But that doesn't mean someone new in town won't be able to make her consider the possibility in a later book.

I am curious was there a plan for a series or book 2 when you introduced your readers
To Lilly Gayle in Death of a Wolfman?  Oh yes. I envisioned a whole series around Lily Gayle and the gang in Mercy. Kind of like Murder, She Wrote meets Dukes of Hazzard. I have Book three outlined already and Book 4 is simmering.

You’ve certainly intrigued me.  Now let’s get back to the original question.  How did you come up with that intriguing and catchy title? Ah! That would be revealing too much. But I can say that the cherry cake is a clue to solving the mystery. And the cadaver.....well, that's the victim whose early life turns out to have been far more intriguing than what everyone in town thought they knew. That's the dichotomy of a small town. Everyone thinks they know everything, but hidden in the crevicees are dark secrets.

Thanks for taking the time to chat.  It’s been a pleasure to me you and thank you for
itroducing me to Lily Gayle.  

Thank you for having me. It's been fun. 
Connect Susan... 
Twitter – @SusanBAuthor

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