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    Spicie Story!

    Piper Prescott and Police Chief Wyatt McBride don’t always see eye-to-eye. Over the past year, their communications have progressed into a friendship more or less. When the body of realtor Shirley Randolph is found floating in a fishing hole on Wyatt’s property, their relationship takes a turn. Shirley, the town's Realtor of the Year, was also Wyatt's suspected romantic interest. Now the residents of Brandywine Creek are speculating that Wyatt is responsible for her death. As the town council moves to suspend the lawman, Piper feels she has to solve the crime to save his reputation, job and possibly his freedom. The clues lead them toward high-powered real estate tactics and possible affairs. The investigation becomes personal when Piper's shop, “Spice It Up,” is burglarized, and she’s forced off the road late one night. She realizes that someone thinks so is close to uncovering the truth. Enlisting her best friend, Reba Mae’s help she sets out to stop a killer. -- Series: A Spice Shop Mystery Author: Gail Oust Genre: Culinary Cozy Publisher: Minotaur Books Ginger Snapped is a well written, highly entertaining story. Ms. Oust has a great imagination and writes in an easy to follow manner that is both intelligent and articulate. Her characters are fun with quirks and habits that are enjoyable and relatable. Piper is a bit different. She owns a spice shop that carries everything a person could imagine, whether it is for cooking or used for home remedies, Piper has it all. She is likeable if slightly quieter than expected. When issues arise, she isn’t always the first one to say anything. Quite often she keeps things to herself that might otherwise be shouted from the highest tree by others. She is cautious as well as quizzical all at the same time. Reba Mae is outspoken, gregarious and an all-around interesting character, more Reba in this book would have been a benefit. Wyatt, is a typical police officer, closed mouth except when he doesn’t want to be, solid and easy to talk to. Other characters are equally entertaining and humorous as the main characters while some are not likable at all. The setting of Brandywine Creek is detailed only as much as needed to allow the reader to follow the clues, and the many walks Piper and her pet, Casey take. Other businesses are described with enough information to draw upon the reader's imagination. Although Ginger Snapped is an excellent who-done-it, the unveiling of the killer is a bit too sudden. The clues to the identity of the killer could have been better. All of this aside, the book is a fast-paced, enjoyable read that readers will not want to put down. It is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys writers such as Kirsten Weiss or Karen Rose Smith.
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    Loved it!

    I absolutely LOVED this book! I discovered the authors books back in May and tore through the first four. I've been antsy for this one to come out, and I wasn't let down. I loved how Reba Mae was given a good man finally. I enjoyed watching Piper and Wyatt become more, finally! I couldn't have been happier when Doug finally left the picture in the last book. (I think I even cheered!) I shudder to think about CJ being honorary Mayor and I still hate Miss Peach Pit. I really hope someone else runs for Mayor in the next book and wins. CJ certainly doesn't need a bigger ego or entitlement than he already has. My only problem with this book...waiting a year for the next one.
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    Fifth book in A Spice Shop Mystery series!

    Ginger Snapped by Gail Oust is the fifth book in A Spice Shop Mystery series. Piper Prescott owns Spice It Up! In Brandywine Creek. It is April and Melly Prescott, Piper’s former mother-in-law, is getting married to Judge Cottrell Herman. Love has mellowed Melly and changed the relationship between the two women. During the wedding, Sgt. Beau Tucker and John Strickland (the coroner) get phones calls and rush off. After the wedding, Piper finds out that a body was found in Sheriff Wyatt McBride’s pond. Piper rushes over to his home worried about Wyatt (Piper is attracted to him). It turns out that local realtor, Shirley Randolph is the victim. Since Wyatt had been seen with Shirley recently, he is a prime suspect. Wyatt is suspended, and Beau Tucker is made interim sheriff. To clear Wyatt’s name and get him reinstated as sheriff, Piper along with Reba Mae and Wyatt explore Shirley’s life to see who could have wished her harm. Piper realizes she is close to the truth when someone runs her off the road one night and then breaks into her home. What was the killer looking for in her home? The culprit is setting up Wyatt to take the fall, and Piper is not going to let it happen. Ginger Snapped is a light, humorous cozy mystery. I found it nicely written with a steady pace that made it easy to read. Gail Oust shows what life is like in a small, Southern town where everyone knows your business, gossip abounds, nepotism is alive and thriving, and the people are friendly (and very nosy). The jealousy, flirting and attraction between Wyatt and Piper was prevalent throughout Ginger Snapped. While Ginger Snapped is the fifth book in A Spice Shop Mystery series, it can be read alone. The author provides the necessary background on Piper, the spice shop, the town and secondary characters. We get to experience Piper’s life at the shop and with her family. I am not a fan of Piper’s ex-husband and his new wife. They are annoying and hinder my enjoyment of the story. I keep hoping that CJ will become the killer’s next victim (and Amber will get eaten by a shark). The investigation consists of Piper asking questions and nosing around the victim’s home with Reba Mae (who is in love with victim’s closet of clothes and shoes). When the killer’s identity is revealed, most readers will not be surprised. The why, though, takes a little longer to figure out. I appreciated the description of the spice shop and the information on ginger (it was interesting). Readers who enjoy hilarity, hijinks and homicide in a small Southern town, pick up a copy of Ginger Snapped.
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