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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 4 star ratings
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    An historic setting for vintage sweets

    The second book in the series set in Fredericksburg, Texas was my introduction to this author and series. While I love the setting, the writing leaves a bit much to be desired. The ending was anticlimactic and a major let down. While I am a cozy lover, I am rather disappointed overall. I had pegged the guilty party early on and it was just a matter of some of the other pieces coming into play and adding them up as I read along to get to the final outcome.
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    I liked it.

    Through NetGalley, I received a free copy of DEADLY SWEET TOOTH (Book 2 of the Vintage Sweets Mysteries) by Kaye George in exchange for an honest review. Tally Holt recently moved home to Fredericksburg, Texas, to open a candy shop called Tally’s Old Tyme Sweets. Tally’s business is finally showing a profit, and she’s planning to show it off during her parents’ upcoming visit by hosting a welcome party at her store. When the town’s ill-tempered theater director Fran Abraham drops dead at the party, Tally’s parents become prime suspects in a murder investigation. It’s true there was a long-running enmity between the Holts and the Abrahams, so Tally searches out other suspects in order to clear her parents from suspicion. As the victim had a particularly nasty personality, she accrued many enemies. Spoiled for choice, can Tally narrow down the options to just one? I liked the mystery aspect of the book. This is the second in a series, and I did not read the first book. The viewpoint swaps between Tally and her friend Yolanda Bell; I found this a little confusing because Yolanda, at best, is a third-tier character in the book. The information provided from Yolanda’s view could have been relayed through conversations told from Tally’s viewpoint. Also, because most of Yolanda’s story seemed unnecessary to the current tale, I presume the status of her business, her conflicted romantic feelings for a married man, and the family disapproval drama attached to her sister exiting the closet must either contribute to the overall story arc of the series or be the basis of a future book. #DeadlySweetTooth #NetGalley
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    A lighthearted cozy mystery!

    Deadly Sweet Tooth by Kaye George has Tally Holt preparing a reception for her parents, Bob & Nancy Holt who have been performing around the world. Tally is holding the party at her shop, Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets in Fredericksburg, Texas. She has hired three ladies to help at the event and hopes they will become permanent employees for her shop. The event begins well, but then Fran Abraham confronts Nancy Holt causing a scene. The meanspirited woman collapses soon thereafter and is rushed to the local hospital. Early the next morning, Tally gets a phone call from Detective Jackson Rogers announcing Fran has died and foul play is suspected. Unfortunately, the list of suspects includes Tally’s parents. Tally works to unwrap the clues and assemble the pieces so she can present the guilty party to the police. Deadly Sweet Tooth is the 2nd book in The Vintage Sweets Mysteries. It can be read as a standalone. I had mixed feelings about this cozy mystery. It is a light story featuring Tally’s sweet shop and Yolanda’s shop, Bella’s Baskets. The two are best friends with their shops next door to each other. The point-of-view switches between both ladies which can be confusing. They are so similar that it is hard to discern between them. I wish the author had written it the story in the third person instead (or just picked one of the protagonists). I found the characters lacking depth. They need more fleshing out to give them life. Tally and her shop are puzzling. She calls it Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets, but it seems to feature more baked items than candy (homemade twinkies, Mary Jane’s, whoopie pies, etc.). She seems to lack experience with employees which becomes obvious with who she hires. Tally does not even contact references. I question this because we are told she sold a flourishing bakery to return to her hometown and open the sweet shop. The mystery was straightforward. I was able to identify the killer immediately (there might as well have been a giant neon arrow pointing at the person). Tally reacts to something near the end in an unexpected way (I wish I could say more but it would be a spoiler). My mother says that I am thinking about the situation too logically. Readers will have no problem solving this whodunit. The ending was abrupt. We go from an individual in peril to a party in swing at the local winery. There was no reveal scene that would wrap up the mystery. Tally did little investigating which was disappointing because I enjoy following the amateur sleuths as they investigate the crime. Deadly Sweet Tooth is lighthearted cozy mystery with lackadaisical laborers, toxic treats, a dead director, peripatetic parents, a determined detective, and a disquieted daughter.
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    Kaye George’s Deadly Sweet Tooth

    My favorite character was Nigel, the huge black and white Main Coon cat. He belongs to Tally Holt. Tally lives in Fredericksburg, Texas. She runs Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets. It is a vintage candy shop. Tally makes her own Mallomars, Clark Bars, Whoopie Pies, Bailey Baileys Truffle Fudge, Mary Janes and Twinkies. Tally is in the process of interviewing three ladies to work for her. Tally decides to have them help prepare and work the reception for her parents to judge their skills. Her parents are performers who have been traveling the world. They will be coming to Fredericksburg for a visit. Tally has recruited her best friend, Yolanda Bella of Bella’s Basket and Kevin Miller, proprietor of Bear Mountain Vineyards to provide food and drink for the reception. Everything seems to be running smoothly until Tally’s mother falls ill. Then Fran, the director of the local theater becomes ill. Both are rushed to the hospital. Tally’s mother is diagnosed with dengue fever from a mosquito bite when they were traveling. Fran dies....the circumstances are suspicious. This story combines family issues with a murder plot that kept my attention from the beginning to the final word. Murder, old secrets, fire, Yolanda’s sister, Yolanda’s love life, family issues abound throughout the story. I enjoyed meeting all the characters. They were well described, colorful, some quirky and some not so nice. A variety of small town people coming together. I was put off when the main character, Tally had crying spells and would drum her fingers. At least Nigel helped smooth her down. This is book # 2 in the Vintage Sweet Mysteries series. It can be read as a stand alone. The author provided enough of the past with thepresent so the reader could follow along effortlessly. I volunteered to read Deadly Sweet Tooth. Thanks to the Cozy Mystery Review Crew for the opportunity. My opinion is voluntary and my own.
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