Pint of No Return

Poisoned Pen: Sourcebooks. (Shake Shop Mystery, Bk. 1). May 2021. 272p. ISBN 9781728231556. pap. $8.99. M
Given the dire state of her bank account, Trinidad Jones has no choice but to accept her lying, cheating, now-incarcerated ex-husband Gabe Bigley’s gift to her: his old hot dog shop. Trinidad plans to bring ice cream and her killer milkshakes to the residents of Upper Sprocket, OR, in the shop, which she’s renamed Shimmy and Shake Shop; her plan hits an icy patch when she stumbles across the body of Kevin Heartly, owner of the nearby Popcorn Palace. When Juliette Carpenter, another of Gabe’s ex-wives, is charged with Kevin’s murder, Trinidad is one of the few people in town who believes Juliette is innocent, so she puts down her ice cream scoop and puts on her detective cap in order to find the real killer.
VERDICT The first “Shake Shop Mystery” from Mentink (“Desert Justice” series) delivers all the delectable ingredients cozy mystery fans crave, including an engagingly resourceful protagonist, her too-cute-for-words canine companion Noodles, and a charming small-town setting worthy of the Hallmark Channel. This terrific series debut is certain to tempt the reading palates of fans of Cleo Coyle, Sarah Graves, and the much-missed Diane Mott Davidson.
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