GONE FOR GOUDA (Cheese Shop Mystery #2) by Korina Moss
Fiction, Cozy Mystery, 256 pages
Blurb: Things are going from gouda to bad to ugly for cheesemonger Willa Bauer in Gone for Gouda. Yarrow Glen’s newest cheese shop, Curds & Whey, has a lot on its plate, but cheesemonger Willa Bauer relishes a challenge. There’s a float to build for the fall festival, plus the French-inspired cheese shop is playing host to celebrity vegan chef Phoebe Winston. But when photos surface that prove this vegan influencer is, in fact, a carnivore, things crumble faster than any cheese on the market: Phoebe is murdered. Willa’s employee, the affable Archie, was the last one to see Phoebe alive and the first person the police suspect. To clear his name Willa must uncover who’s been up to no gouda…
Thoughts: This is the second in a series, but I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything by not having read the first one. The author throws in enough clues for me to figure out who the people are, how they fit in together.
Willa owns a small cheese shop called “Curds and Whey” in the Northern California town of Yarrow Glen. I learned a lot about cheese in this book, especially Gouda cheese—enough that I was able to beat an expert to answer a trivia question the other day. I loved that! And the author finishes up the story with cheese-filled recipes at the end.
Willa is hosting celebrity chef Phoebe Winston in a “Cook and Book” demonstration in her cheese shop. Willa’s excited about the event until she actually meets Phoebe—a self-absorbed diva who expects everyone to do what she wants without question and without a thought as to how it might affect the other person.
Then pictures of vegan-proclaimed Phoebe scarfing down ribs appear in the papers and she is a no-show at the event. Then Willa finds out Phoebe has been murdered and everything goes downhill. One of Willa’s employees is suspected of the act and she goes into sleuth mode.
There is a touch of romance between Willa and Roman, the man who owns a meadery across the street, but also sparks between Willa and the lead detective Heath. A triangle that is so common to cozies.
The ending is well-done and satisfying and there are a couple threads left dangling that you know are going to show up in the next books in the series.
Recommendation: Definitely recommended. Have a plate of your favorite cheese selections — and maybe a glass of mead — while you read. Or maybe try a new one that you read about here.
Disclaimer: Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing this ARC. I received a final and/or advanced reader copy of this book with the hope that I will leave my unbiased opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that… My Opinions. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”