From Ladle to Grave

Severn House. (Tish Tarragon Mystery, Bk. 5). Dec. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9780727890566. $28.99. M
In Meade’s sequel to The Curse of the Cherry Pie, caterer Tish Tarragon stumbles over a body in a cemetery. Sheriff Clemson Reade identifies the corpse as that of his mentor, retired Sheriff Gadsden Carney. The former sheriff was found on the grave of Daisy Honeycutt, the victim in the one cold case Carney couldn’t forget. Because Carney was killed in the same manner as Daisy, Sheriff Reade hires Tish as a consultant, and the pair re-examine Daisy’s murder. Almost 25 years earlier, six-year-old Daisy was killed in the garage during her parents’ Fourth of July barbecue. Her mother eventually confessed to killing Daisy and died in prison, but Reade and Tish begin to suspect that Daisy’s real killer is still alive. This slow-paced cozy is reminiscent of a police procedural as the pair re-trace Carney’s original investigation and question surviving witnesses.
VERDICT An investigation with plenty of red herrings that lead to the wrong suspects. Entertaining sidekicks, an intelligent amateur sleuth, and hints of romance add interest.
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