Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Finger Lickin' Review


So today is the big day Riley Adams, who we all know and love as Elizabeth Spann Craig; she releasing her second Memphis Bar B Que Series book TODAY. I finished it yesterday on my way to work, and it was a delight all the way through... but let me give you some detail...


The Players

Lulu is the MC and 90% of the book is from her PoV. She is family matriarch and second generation owner of Aunt Pat's Barbeque restaurant on Beale Street in Memphis. She is kind and smart... worries about her family...

Her family includes her son, Ben, cook for Aunt Pat's, his wife Sara, an artist who waits tables to help make ends meet, their twins Ella Beth and Coco, and Sara's nephew, Derrick.

Aunt Pat's also had a passel of regulars: The Graces, five women of a certain age who are docents of Graceland, the Backporch Blues Band, three octogenarian musicians, and a few more, met this book.


The Plot

Evelyn, one of the Graces, has a new beau, or rather an old beau... she is seeing an ex-husband who seems to rub a lot of people the wrong way. When it is learned that Adam is not only smarmy, greedy, and philandering, but the anonymous pen behind some scathing restaurant critiques, there are some people out for blood... literally...

But who literally literally got blood and who just figuratively got blood? There is a long list of suspects... people who lost jobs, people who lost business, people who were being blackmailed, people cheated upon... oh, no... there is no shortage of who might have wanted Adam dead... But who killed him? Lulu takes on the case to help her friend Evelyn, who looks a little guilty at first... but it seems nearly everyone on the list is someone she knows...


Assessment

The pace is good. The characters are GREAT. And... I read the first Memphis and didn't see any setting deficits, but honestly, I could TELL Elizabeth made a visit to Memphis between the first and second book. Memphis here is more tactile... I could FEEL it. I really enjoyed the first one—I thought it was a fun, well-done read. But I think on every front, this is a stronger book. (which means instead of really good, this one was great).



Personal note: Hubby started his first week of full time work since I've known him this week. My biggest complaint is that I will have dinner duty 4 nights a week in the foreseeable future, and I despise cooking. I hope this doesn't interfere with blogging, but it might now and then. I know it WILL interfere with writing a little, but once I get a grant in at work (the 14th) I begin a schedule with a day off each week, so I will make up for it.

12 comments:

Crystal Pistol said...

Full time jobs are a bummer! hope it all works out for ya! does "bloody" really count as swear word when you're American? I think maybe not, since it doesn't pack the same emotional punch as other words you could have used.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Hart, thanks so much for this awesome review! So glad you enjoyed the book. :) I think this one came a lot easier for me than the first...maybe because I was very comfortable with the characters. Thanks for this!

Hope your hubby eases into his new job and you ease into your cooking!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great review for Elizabeth's book! And hot dogs are easy to cook, Hart.

Mason Canyon said...

Enjoyed your great review of Elizabeth's book. I can't wait to see what Lulu and the gang get into next. Think I saw your name mention there in the front too, congrats.

Good luck with the routine change. Since Alex recommended hot dogs, I'll recommend grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. :)

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

just looking at that picture makes me want to eat BBQ - i can't imagine how i'd handle reading the book

GigglesandGuns said...

Everyone is talking about this book. I ordered it today (hate to be left out).
Best to you and hubby.

Hart Johnson said...

Crystal-that is why I am probably quick to use bloody, but then I remember about 40% of my readers AREN'T in the US, so I had to add the disclaimer.

Elizabeth-you're very welcome! And hubby will adjust, I'm sure, but the transition might be a little rough.

Alex-thanks! And yeah, I'm sure we will hit hot dogs at some point... grilled cheese... make your own sandwich night...

Mason-you're in for a treat! and HA! Just saw your grilled cheese note... great minds, eh?

Sarah-yeah, these food themed ones DO have a tendency to make the mouth water.

Hart Johnson said...

Mary-HA! Glad you ordered it!

Michael Offutt said...

Hey there's a Pats BBQ here in Salt Lake City that was featured in Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. If you are ever in SLC, I'll take you to it!

Johanna Garth said...

Congratulations to Elizabeth! Both of these books sound great and they are going straight on my summer reading list (which is beginning to get so long I feel like I should start calling it summer/fall reading list).

kimberlyloomis said...

Good luck on you and hubby's new schedules! I feel you on the cooking. Perhaps some posts sharing in the adventures of culinary mayhem?

This book sounds absolutely delightful. I daresay it has made it's way onto my TBR list.

Carol Riggs said...

Sounds like a fun review! And ha, disliking cooking. I can relate. I do it if I hafta (which I do).