Brownwyn “Win” Crewse has done everything to make her family’s ice cream shop a success, starting with a completely renovated space and a new menu courtesy of her grandmother’s favorite recipes. Unfortunately, after unexpected delays extend past the bustling summer season, she’s forced to reopen during an early snow. And while she knows ice cream is the perfect treat no matter the weather, potential customers don’t have the same mindset. Things only go from bad to worse when she discovers a dead body near her shop—a man with a rocky history with her family. When police begin to suspect her father, Win must clear his name by scooping up the real killer … and some new customers.
One of Win’s guiding principles as a businesswoman is that there’s never a bad time for ice cream and, in much the same way, it’s never a bad time to sink into A Deadly Scoop. A richly layered mystery with smooth dialogue and delectable characterizations, it’s much like an irresistible chocolate sundae—with creamy ice cream, some hot fudge, a dash of whipped cream, maybe a few nuts, sprinkles for a hint of color, a cherry on top never hurt … sorry, started drooling for a second.
The point being, author Abby Collette has assembled all the winning ingredients for a solid book—and she knows just how to use them. As any ice cream shop proprietor knows, perhaps the most important element is forming a solid base. Collette has found that in Win, a smart, funny, and levelheaded sleuth whose sole mission is to see her family’s ice cream shop succeed. Her excitement for frozen treats and family tradition is palpable on the page, and reading as she navigates a new chapter in her life is satisfying long before murder gets thrown into the mix. But once she’s embroiled in the case, it’s just as compelling all the way through to a solid ending.
Of course, a good base needs some backup from the mix-ins and toppings. Collette has sprinkled in an abundance of personality from secondary characters like PopPop, Win’s sometimes cantankerous but always bighearted grandfather, and Maisie and Riya, her two best friends with some spontaneous ideas that complicate the mystery. Win is generally calm and collected, but she’s forced to react to the extreme situation and temperaments around her, and the result is some major tension cut up by genuinely funny moments.
An absolute treat, A Deadly Inside Scoop is a great start to a new series.
Title: A Deadly Inside Scoop
Series: An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery #1
Author: Abby Collette
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Classification: Cozy Mystery
Note: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss.