Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Paige Shelton’s If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance is a light cozy.

The local hotel in Broken Rope, Missouri, makes a mistake on reservations. Betts Winston and her grandmother agree to host a busload of guests in their cooking school.

Broken Rope is a tourist town. You don’t turn away tourists. As it turns out, the tourists end up staying elsewhere in Broken Rope, at a new partially-completed dormitory-like bed and breakfast.

While they are at the bed and breakfast, someone kidnaps three tourists. A friend of Betts finds one tourist murdered.

Meanwhile Betts and her grandmother (both of whom can see ghosts) have a new ghost friend. Long ago, a jury convicted Sally (now a ghost) of murder. Sally wants to know if she really did it. (Ghosts don’t remember their earthly existence very well.)

And the story goes from there.

Essentially, this is two different mysteries, a modern mystery, and a historical mystery. I thought the two might be connected, but they aren’t, except coincidentally. Betts, Gran, and Sally solve both mysteries.

I see these kinds of books as episodes in a continuing sitcom. They are light entertainment complete with an ongoing love interest. The book has recipes at the end.

I found Sally the most interesting character of the bunch. One reason I read the book is that it is set in southwestern Missouri, roughly the area where I grew up.

If you are looking for simple, light entertainment, this book might fill the bill.

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