2020 Silver Falchion Finalist

The Mask of Midnight by Laurie Stevens

Two Tastes Too Many
by Debra H. Goldstein

ISBN 978-1496719485
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
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Two Bites Too Many

Review by Gregg E. Brickman

Two Bites Too Many by Debra H. Goldstein is a cozy mystery, the second in the Sarah Blair Mystery series. Sarah, the protagonist and amateur sleuth, is joined again by her twin sister Emily, her boss Harlan, and her cat RahRah. Other familiar characters make an appearance as well, and the reader is introduced to Sarah’s wacky mother Maybelle.

Sarah now lives in the carriage house behind the big house she inherited from her dead ex-husband. She intends to partner with her sister and Marcus, Emily’s boyfriend, to convert the big house into a fine-dining establishment. There are other plans floating around to rezone all of Main Street for conversion to commercial space. Mr. Rogers, Sarah’s across the street neighbor, is one of the locals who objects to the conversion, while his two nephews favor it.

Maybelle finds the bank president and city council president Lance Knowlton dead in his office. The new acting police chief considers her a prime suspect and seems uninterested in pursuing other suspects, though there seems to be many possibilities. The Chief is building a circumstantial case which is augmented by finding Maybelle’s prints on the murder weapon. Sarah is sure her mother is innocent and begins to investigate. At first, Sarah’s boss tells her to leave the investigation to the professionals, later, he encourages her activities.

Goldstein presents an interesting and entertaining mystery for cozy mystery fans. She skillfully develops her continuing characters and shows growth for each from the baseline set in the first in series, One Taste Too Many.

Gregg E. Brickman was born in North Dakota. She completed her education in Florida and embarked on a varied career in clinical, administrative, and academic nursing. Credits include Imperfect Escape, Imperfect Defense, Illegal Intent, She Learned to Die, Plan to Kill, Imperfect Daddy, Imperfect Contract, Illegally Dead, Chapter 14 of Naked Came the Flamingo, a Murder on the Beach progressive novella edited by Barbara Parker and Joan Mickelson, and On the Edge, a short story [MiamiARTzine.com]. The Writers’ Network of South Florida recognized On the Edge among the finalists in their Seventh Annual Short Story Contest. Gregg resides with her husband, Steve, on the Northern Cumberland Plateau in middle Tennessee.