Saturday, September 11, 2010

Scoop to Kill by Wendy Lyn Watson

Summer may be coming to a close in many parts of the country right now, but for the proprietor of an old-fashioned ice cream parlor in Texas it’s just heating up.

Tallulah Jones, Tally to her friends, owns the Remember the A-La-Mode ice cream shop in Dalliance, Texas, and is trying to get her life back on track. Her cousin Bree and Bree’s daughter Alice, who calls Tally ‘Aunt Tally,’ help out.

Honor’s Day at the local college finds Tally serving ice cream during the festivities. But before long the happy event turns tragic when Alice discovers the murder body of a fellow student, Bryan Campbell. Bryan is the nephew of Tally’s childhood friend, Detective Cal McCormack.

Suspicion soon falls on Emily Cowper, an English professor Bryan had accused of sexual harassment after she failed him. Tension mounts as Professor Cowper is a friend of Alice’s and a former lover of Finn Harper. Finn is Tally’s high school heartthrob and still causes her pulse to race. See the tangled web that’s starting to form here? Nothing like living in a small town to connect everyone.

The harder Tally tries not to mend into the murder, the more she gets pulled in. Before long another body is found dead. While the authorities believe it’s suicide, Tally thinks it’s murder and by the same killer. 

As she begins looking at the college faculty for answers, Tally finds they have more secrets than she has flavors of ice cream. The closer she gets to finding the real killer, the closer the killer gets to making her and Alice the next victims.

SCOOP TO KILL is an entertaining and enjoyable read. Author Wendy Lyn Watson keeps you guessing right up until the end. Her descriptions and dialogue give you the feel of a real small town in Texas and make you wish for a pleasant evening at the local ice cream shop.

This is the second installment in the Mystery a la Mode series, but it is a stand alone book. There is just enough hint of Tally’s previous run in with murder to wet your appetite, but not put you in the dark.

The book includes ice cream recipes, as well as a sneak peek at the next Mystery a la Mode installment coming in June 2011.

Author Wendy Lyn Watson’s website is

Scoop to Kill, A Mystery a la Mode, Berkley Prime Crime, @2010, ISBN: 978-0-451-23076-8, Paperback, 288 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


  1. Mason - Thanks for this review. You're absolutely right that small towns are just made for lots of inter-connections, and this book sounds as though it explores that. I like the town/university connection, too. Thanks for sharing this novel :-).

  2. Wendy is another friend of mine and I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at the Malice Domestic conference. She has a great sense of humor and is really fun--I think it comes through her books.

  3. That's the truth about small towns! Everyone knows everyone.

  4. Margot, the town/university connection is a good one in this. There are so many secrets at the college they could lead to other mysteries. LOL

    Elizabeth, this book does have a great sense of humor. That was one of the things I enjoyed about it. The humor was real and didn't feel like something funny was just put in to fill space.

    Diane, ain't that the truth. If you don't know someone, you'll know someone who does. LOL

  5. I love mysteries, but it is hard to find good ones (there are tons of bad ones out there!), so I shall be looking this author up. Thanks for the review!

  6. Hey, if it becomes a movie, AC/DC can redo their song Shoot to Thrill for the film!

  7. Appreciate the review. :) Very interesting and unique sounding book.

  8. Murder and ice cream... what a combination!

  9. Sounds like a fun read. I'm always glad when I can read a series out of order - that's the way my life usually goes! :)

  10. Sounds like a fun book to read. I love university towns.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.