Murder is No Picnic by Amy Pershing

Published: June 7, 2022


Pages: 335

Genre: Cozy Mysteries

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Amy Pershing is a lifelong mystery lover and wordsmith. In her previous career, she was the Managing Director and Global Head of Employee Communications at the Bank of New York Mellon. A few years ago (with the final college tuition bill paid!), she waved goodbye to Wall Street in order to write full time. A Side of Murder is her first novel.

The Fourth of July is coming, and for professional food lover Samantha Barnes, it’s all about the picnic. Okay, and the fireworks. And the parade. But mostly the picnic. What could be better than a DIY clambake followed by the best blueberry buckle in the world? Sam has finally found the perfect recipe in the kitchen of Clara Foster, famed cookbook author and retired restaurateur, and she’s thrilled when Clara agrees to a buckle baking lesson.

But when Clara dies in a house fire blamed on carelessness in the kitchen, Sam doesn’t believe it. Unfortunately, her doubts set in motion an investigation pointing to the new owner of Clara’s legendary restaurant—and a cousin of Sam’s harbormaster boyfriend. So, in between researching the Cape’s best lobster rolls and planning her clambake, Sam needs to find Clara’s killer before the fireworks really start….

“Words make things much too real.”

Things are going well for Sam; she may be coming into a large sum of money from the sale of the antique clock found during the cleanup over Christmas. Her friendships are all going well, and her relationship with Jason is still going strong, despite him training all the way in California. Things look blissfully peaceful until a mysterious death happens overnight, and Sam can’t accept that it’s an accident.

I love this series so much. The cast of characters is simply lovely. I enjoyed that we got some good time with most of our secondary characters in this book, which is necessary since these people are Samantha’s chosen family.

I love continuing to get to know Sam in her charming awkwardness. I enjoyed watching the friendship between Sam and Vivvie blossom. Sam had a lot of growth in this novel, and I love her realization.

We meet some new characters in this novel, and I love how Amy ties everyone into the story. Even the most minor characters have quirky moments that make them memorable.

The descriptions of the Cape and the sailing scenes were stunning. You will almost feel the breeze on your cheeks. The way Amy brings her settings to life is truly magical, and you will feel like you’re sitting with Sam and the crew, witnessing all the shenanigans.

There was a deeply emotional self-assuredness with Sam in this novel that I appreciate. Sam is coming into her own, and her comfort and safety with her home and her friends are starting to shine. I love that.

And, of course, Diogi is still my favorite. I love that Diogi and Sam are basically the same, just in dog and human form. Fiercely loyal, loving, and rather awkward at times. Dogs really just make everything better.

The way this book ended, I am ready for the next installation in this delicious series! Once again, Amy brought a beautiful story to life, filled with twists and turns, laughs, and lots of yummy food.

Will our Cape Cod Foodie be taking her show on the road? Will Sam be offering more how-to videos? Until next time, we just have to be patient!

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