Friday, January 5, 2018

Vangie Vale and the Strangled Strudel by R.L. Syme | Review

The Blurb

I should have Googled it...

Can you get arrested when someone dies in your bakery? That's all I needed to know. Instead, I'm standing, shocked, on the curb as the local sheriff stretches yellow crime scene tape over the front door of the Matchbakery.

Wouldn’t this make a lovely headline in next week’s paper: Local Pastor Kills Parishioner With Pudding. Ugh. This is not going to be a good week.

Add to that, my ex keeps popping up and I'm not sure if it's safe to answer my phone. But never mind that. I'm about to be arrested.

Priority #1: Find out who killed this woman before I end up behind bars. Or worse...

Buy the third installment of the popular Matchbaker Mysteries series today
by Montana author and USA Today Bestseller, R.L. Syme.

“R.L. Syme is a fresh voice in the cozy mystery genre.”

-Zara Keane, USA Today bestselling author of the Movie Club Mysteries series 

RECIPE INCLUDED: The Strangled Strudel

Vangie Vale And The Strangled Strudel by R.L. Syme
Series: A Matchbaker Mystery, #3
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Culinary Mystery 
Publication Date: January 4, 2018
Publisher: Hummingbird Books
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1983480991
ISBN-13: 978-1983480997
e-Book File Size: 4841 KB
ASIN: B077GK124B
Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Links for Author R.L. Syme

The Review

I just read an amazing book, y'all — Vangie Vale And The Strangled Strudel by R.L. Syme, Book Three in the Matchbaker Mysteries. Let me tell you a little about it.

The Matchbaker Mysteries keep getting better and better. I truly savored The Strangled Strudel! The fast-moving plot is captivating, with never a dull moment. Author R.L. Syme blended equal parts of humor and mystery together, then folded in the perfect amount of suspense, to create a deliciously sweet treat of a book.

Vangie is a compelling character to read about. She is curious, caring, clever, and compassionate. She is also full of contradictions. Here are two examples.  
  • Vangie, in her role as pastor, worries about other people. But she doesn't want others to worry about her. 
  • Vangie can persuade possible suspects and persons of interest to reveal relevant information to her, after they have refused to speak with the sheriff and deputies. But she keeps many secrets from her family and friends, telling almost no one "about Edward. Or Melissa. Or the Money. Or the case in Raleigh."
The Edward Archer case in Raleigh is alluded to in The Murdered Macaron. In The Corpseless Custard, Vangie tells her parish council about the case, while giving the reader only a few details. More is divulged in The Strangled Strudel, when she finally tells Derek.  I suspect (and hope!) that all will be revealed in Book #4 of The Matchbaker Mysteries, when Vangie returns to Raleigh, North Carolina for the court trial.

Despite how despicable Edward's deeds were, The Strangled Strudel concludes with these thoughts from Vangie.
Count today among the myriad of days that I had wished I'd never met Edward Archer.
But when I looked at Emma and Derek and Nadine, and thought about what my life would have been like without them, I had to admit...
Since it was his fault I'd come to Saint Agnes, where I felt so much love and belonging, then maybe Edward Archer wasn't so bad after all.
What a satisfying ending!

Author R.L. Syme has sprinkled The Strangled Strudel with red herrings and clues to the mysteries. I was very surprised by whodunit and also whydunit. I was astonished by the lengths that person went to, for [?????]. I can't give you any more details without revealing spoilers  and I never reveal spoilers — but I think you'll enjoy Vangie Vale And The Strangled Strudel as much as I do.

I recommend Vangie Vale And The Strangled Strudel to all cozy mystery fans, especially those who are residents of Montana, travelers or armchair travelers to the Big Sky Country, lovers of strudels and Danish pastries, fans of Becca Boyd's books, and fans of R.L. Syme's other books. I absolutely adore Vangie Vale And The Strangled Strudel by R.L. Syme, and bestow upon it our highest rating of Five Kitties! 
Five out of five kitties
Note:  I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of Vangie Vale And The Strangled Strudel  
All opinions shared are 100% my own.

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