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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Silence of the Jams by Gayle Leeson (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Silence of the Jams by author Gayle Leeson!

Book Review

Silence of the Jams by Gayle Leeson
Book 2: Down South Cafe Mystery Series
Publisher: NAL / Penguin Publishing Group
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Format: Paperback - 304 pages
               Kindle - 1468 KB
               Nook - 1 MB
ISBN: 978-1101990803
BNID: 978-1101990810
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Indie Bound

Buy The Series: Down South Cafe Mystery Series
Book 1: The Calamity Cafe 
Book 2: Silence of the Jams 
Book 3: Honey-Baked Homicide (Pub Date - Dec 5, 2017)
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Indie Bound

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect…

It’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!

Book Excerpt:

Excerpt from Chapter One:

My cup of French vanilla coffee did its job, and I was wide awake and enjoying the morning before George Lincoln came in. George was the director of the Chamber of Commerce, and he’d been trying to buy the Down South Café ever since I’d bought it.
In fact, he’d tried to acquire it from Lou Lou Holman when it was still Lou’s Joint, and he resented the fact that I’d beaten him to the punch. That hadn’t been my intention, however. I mean, of course I wanted the café, but I’d encouraged the owner to take the best possible offer. Pete—who’d become the owner after his mother had died—had refused to sell to George because he knew George planned to demolish the café and build a bed-and-breakfast in its place because it was discovered that the land had some sort of historical significance. Pete didn’t want the café torn down. He wanted his grandfather’s legacy—the café—to survive in some form. By selling to me, he’d guaranteed that. I’d remodeled, of course, but the core building was still intact.
This morning, George ambled into the café and plopped his bulky form down on a stool at the counter. “What’s good today?” he asked Jackie.
“Everything,” she said.
“I’ll be the judge of that.” He perused the menu, but periodically peered over the top looking for me.
I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and talk with him. He wouldn’t leave until I’d turned down his latest offer. “Good morning, Mr. Lincoln. We have some freshly made strawberry jam if you’re interested in having some with your biscuits or toast.”
“All right. That sounds good.” He looked back at the menu before saying, “I’ll have two eggs over easy, a side of bacon, and biscuits with jam.”
Well, that had gone easier than expected. He hadn’t even asked me about selling today. He usually came in and commented that there was a sparse crowd or that the food industry was in a downturn or something else just as negative before offering to take the place off my hands.
My relief was short-lived, as I should’ve suspected it would be.
Since we weren’t terribly busy at the moment and Jackie and Shelly were both with other customers, I delivered Mr. Lincoln’s plate of food rather than have one of the waitresses come and get it. He spread the jam on his biscuit, licked some off his thumb, and declared it to be “exemplary.”
I smiled. “Thank you. I made it just last night.”
“You know, if you’d agree to sell me this place, I’d be happy to let you run the breakfast part of the B and B.” He ate about half the biscuit in one bite.
“I certainly appreciate the offer, but I enjoy having my own business,” I said.
“How about if I make you a partner then?” His mouth was still full as he spoke, and crumbs tumbled out onto his plate.
“I don’t think so, Mr. Lincoln. May I refill your coffee?”
He nodded, and I topped off his cup.
“You’ll regret not taking my offer one of these days.”
“I might.” I nodded at a patron who’d just walked in. He was an older gentleman with short white hair and hooded brown eyes. “Good morning.”
“Hello.” He patted George Lincoln on the back before sitting down beside him. “How’re you this morning, George?”
“Fine, Doc. How are you?”
“Doing well, thanks.”
I handed the newcomer a menu. “Welcome to the Down South Café. May I get you started with a cup of coffee? We have dark roast, French vanilla, and decaf.”
“French vanilla sounds nice. I’ll try that.”
George screwed up his face. “No fancy stuff for me. I like the plain old dark roast.”
I extended my hand to the man George had called Doc. “I’m Amy Flowers.”
“Amy, I’m Taylor Kent.” The man shook my hand warmly.
“Nice to meet you. I’ll get you that coffee.”
“Dr. Kent is the only physician who resides here in town,” George said. “I’m not saying that’s the only thing he has to recommend him, but it’s handy to know where his office is in a pinch.”
As I turned with the cup of coffee, George was smirking at Dr. Kent. The physician was scowling.
“Where’s your office, Dr. Kent?” I asked.
“I’m up the street from the newspaper office. Come by anytime you’re feeling under the weather.” He smiled as he accepted the coffee.
“Thank you. I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Where are you from, Ms. Flowers?”
“I’m from here in Winter Garden, but I went away to school for a few years. It seems a lot changed while I was gone.”
“That tends to happen sometimes.” Dr. Kent sipped his coffee. “This is good. Thank you.”
“Can I get you anything else?” I asked.
“Give me a minute to look over this menu, and I’ll let you know.” He opened the menu. “I never ate here while Lou Lou Holman was at the helm. I didn’t particularly care for her.”
I didn’t quite know what to say to that. I managed, “Well, I hope you’ll find something on our menu to your liking.” I went back into the kitchen.
I was making another batch of pancake batter when I heard a commotion in the dining room. I rushed out in time to see George Lincoln clap a hand to his throat.
“Poi—” George wobbled backward, eyes filled with panic, and then fell off his stool.
“Call 9-1-1!” I shouted as I ran around the counter.
Dr. Kent knelt beside George and took his hand, looking for a pulse. “Breathe, George. Try to breathe.”
I felt George’s forehead. It felt cold, despite the ninety-degree heat outside.
George clutched his chest.
I kept looking at the doctor. “Shouldn’t you be doing CPR or something?”
He shook his head. “It’s too late, dear. He’s dead.”

My Book Review:

Southern cozy mystery fans, welcome back to Winter Garden, Virginia!

Silence of the Jams is an entertaining whodunit story with a southern twist!

In Silence of the Jams, the second book in the Down South Cafe Mystery Series, Author Gayle Leeson weaves an intriguing southern cozy murder mystery tale that follows The Down South Cafe chef/owner Amy Flowers latest amateur sleuth adventures!

Amy draws the reader into her latest adventure when she finds herself a suspect in the murder of Commerce director George Lincoln, who collapsed while eating at the cafe, and dies from a suspected case of poisoning. George tried to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site. Amy takes the reader along on her amateur sleuth adventure as she tries to clear her name and find the real killer.

This captivating and fast-paced mystery tale has enough quirky humor, drama, and intriguing twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Rich in detail and vivid descriptions, the story takes place in Winter Garden, Virginia, a picturesque southern town with a lot of heart and charm. The description of the town and its residents was simply wonderful, there's nothing better than down home country charm and living. I loved how the author masterfully interwove Amy's growing Down South Cafe, where her customers think of it as Southern hospitality in a sweet home town, while also dealing with the trials and tribulations of trying to clear her name, and solve the murder of the small town businessman who had plans to take her cafe away from her.

This laugh-out-loud cozy mystery tale will keep you in stitches as you turn the pages following along with the townsfolk's southern charm and quirky interactions, and you can't help but get caught up in the drama and calamity that follows Amy and friends as they try to solve the murder. Amy's story unfolds with a wonderful balance of comedy, drama, and suspense that easily kept me guessing, and left me wanting more. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the author includes some delicious recipes at the end of the book that will make your mouth water!

Silence of the Jams is a riveting southern cozy murder mystery that will engage you to join in the crazy adventures and trials and tribulations that occur, while providing you with a dose of good ol' southern charm and humor. So pull up a rocking chair and set down for a spell with some sweet tea while Amy and the townsfolk of Winter Garden tell y'all their story!

Silence of the Jams is the second book in the Down South Cafe Mystery Series.


About The Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Author Website
Gayle Trent Author Website

Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

April 3 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

April 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 3 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW

April 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW

April 4 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 5 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW

April 6 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

April 6 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

April 6 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

April 7 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW

April 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

April 8 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

April 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 10 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

April 10 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

April 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW

April 11 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

April 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

April 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

April 12 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 12 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

April 13 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

April 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

April 14 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

April 15 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

April 15 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

April 16 – Varietats – REVIEW

April 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for such a great post and for highlighting SOTJ on your blog today! 😊