top of page
  • readthisandsteep

Fatal Fudge Swirl

The third book in Meri Allen's Ice Cream Shop Mysteries is a treat!

Riley Rhodes is a former CIA Librarian who loves running the local gourmet ice cream shop in her quaint Connecticut hometown. This outing sees her trying to clear the name of an old friend accused of murdering the wealthy woman her ex-husband is set to marry in a lavish Halloween-themed ceremony. To add to the drama, the victim's son, a former child star, is also in town, overseeing filming of a romantic comedy set there.

I am a big fan of this fun series and was excited to read this! It did not disappoint! The method of murder in this book is not only sinister but ingenious, and one I won't soon forget! Riley is an interesting sleuth. Her background as a CIA librarian gives her enhanced awareness and observational skills, and I enjoy her internal dialogue as she conducts her investigations.

And the cast of supporting characters around her is a range of personalities from over-the-top to charming and supportive, but all vividly depicted. The mystery was solidly plotted and well-paced, with a wide suspect pool and a few red herrings that kept me guessing. And after the method of murder in this one, I was just as invested in learning how they pulled it off as I was in who did it!

I also loved the Fall vibes in this one. It might have been summer when I read it, but this took me to a place of falling leaves, pumpkins, and cooler temps. The pumpkin spice ice cream in this sounded absolutely delicious! There's a diva of a cat and an intriguing historical subplot involving George Washington to round out the action. Allen's writing style makes this a quick, engaging read, and after the ending, I am very much looking forward to book four! I highly recommend this to cozy mystery lovers! Can be read as a stand-alone.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to review this ARC. I loved it!

My steep was iced Raspberry Earl Grey from Club Magic Hour Tea. There's mention of Earl Grey tea a few times in the book, but in true Riley fashion, I chose one with a flavorful twist!


A movie production brings drama—and murder—to a close-knit New England village, forcing Riley Rhodes to scoop out the suspects.

Former CIA librarian and amateur sleuth Riley Rhodes is loving her fresh start as the manager of the Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop

. The leaves are turning, tourists are leaf-peeping, and Penniman, Connecticut is putting finishing touches on the weekend long Halloween Happening. But the village is also buzzing. Former child star Cooper Collins is overseeing the production of a romantic comedy that's filming on the town green and his domineering socialite mother, Diantha, is planning her lavish Halloween themed wedding at her Inn on the Green. Her fiancé has run the Inn's kitchen for years, ably aided by his recent ex-wife, chef Mary Ann Dumas. An old friend of Riley's, Mary Ann turns to her when the bride requests a spooky ice cream wedding cake.

But the weekend takes a frightful turn when Diantha is found dead and suspicion falls on Mary Ann. The cast of potential suspects is long—each wedding guest had a chilling motive to kill the vicious heiress. Can Riley unmask the murderer before another guest ends up on ice?

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page