Book Review: Ladle to the Grave (Soup Lover's Mystery #4) by Connie Archer

Ladle to the Grave by Connie Archer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publisher: Berkley

Summary:  By the Spoonful is Snowflake, Vermont’s most popular soup shop, but owner Lucky Jamieson doesn’t have any time to enjoy her success—she’s too busy trying to keep a lid on false accusations against her loved ones… 

It’s almost May, and some of the local ladies have organized a pagan celebration in the woods to welcome spring. But the evening goes terribly wrong when one of the attendees winds up dead, apparently poisoned by an herbal concoction prepared by Lucky’s grandfather, Jack.

Lucky’s sure her grandfather could not have made such a tragic mistake. But before she can clear him of suspicion, her best friend, Sophie, is diverted from planning her wedding to By the Spoonful chef Sage DuBois when she finds a dead man floating in the creek on her property. Now it’s up to Lucky to get both Sophie and Jack out of hot water before a killer stirs up more trouble…

This fourth installment of the Soup Lover's Mysteries had a death after a draught of May wine with wider and even more dangerous implications, the wedding of Sophie and Sage, a dead faceless dude in a creek and the reveal of a murder and cover up long ago. It's a lot and more or less comes off well. There are some worthy red herrings but unless one has picked this up without reading the others in the series, you know fairly well who the culprits won't be. The most boring romance in a book series ever seemed a bit less focused on this time and I was grateful. On the up side, all the other relationships between Lucky and the other characters are so well done and worth following.

As in the other books, the recipes mentioned throughout sound more enticing than those in the back of the book but I was drawn to a few in the back of the book and plan to make them. Recommended for fans of the series or to casual pick ups (this doesn't need to be read sequentially as there's so much restatement, new readers will catch up; to readers of the series, this lends itself to a bit of skimming.)

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