Buried in Beignets Book Review

Buried in Beignets Book Review

Title: Buried in Beignets
Author: J.R. Ripley
Published: 2015, Severn House Publishers
No. of Pages: 240
Cover Price: $28.95 Hardcover

All thrillers are not serious. In fact, there are some very funny thriller novels published that not only supply a good dose of suspense, but laughs as well. J.R. Ripley's Buried in Beignets is a good example. This novel tells the story of Maggie Miller, who, after being newly divorced, decides to use her life savings and loans from family to open a Beignet shop in a small Arizona town. The day before she opens, while unpacking boxes with chairs for the dining room, she discovers a dead body who turns out to be her landlord. The murder weapon is Maggie's own marble rolling pin, and since she is a newcomer to town, and since the body is found in her shop, she becomes a viable suspect. On advice from her family, she feels she needs to find the real murderer so that she can avoid jail and open her beignet shop.

As the novel progresses, readers are introduced to some fairly bizarre characters, neighboring shop owners, family members, and law enforcement personnel. The novel is mostly tongue-in-cheek, so readers will be laughing throughout, even though Maggie, et. al. are in danger much of the time.

Like all good culinary mysteries, which this sort-of is, Ripley supplies recipes; he also adds some other non-fiction minutiae such as how to choose a proper wedding dress, how to fix a slipped bicycle chain, yoga and stretching instructions, and others.

As is typical of cozies, there is no graphic sex, violence, or strong language, so this novel is suitable for almost everyone. Maggie is likeable and has a very strange family, so many readers will be able to relate to her. The novel does have a surprise ending; there are several suspects, each with a viable motive to get rid of the landlord, and while Maggie looks at all of the suspects, she is obviously not a professional detective, so she misses a lot and jumps to conclusions as to who-done-it.

The novel takes place over a short period of time, the store is closed while it is a crime scene, and it is a little confusing in a few spots as to whether Maggie has missed her opening day or if it is the day before opening day. Nevertheless, the book is a fun read, has good recipes (at least one is good – the other is for a tree-hugger type casserole that this reader isn't about to try), helpful hints, and plenty of laughs. Readers who want a change from heavy thriller novels will welcome this quick and easy read.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying an advanced review copy of this book for review.

This book may be purchased at Amazon:
Buried in Beignets: A new Murder Mystery set in Arizona

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