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Review: Deep Bitter Roots

  • Mon, April 27, 2020 12:20 PM
    Message # 8931076
    Lisa Lickel (Administrator)

    Deep Bitter Roots by Joy Ribar

    Cozy Mystery, 374 pp

    Date published: April 15, 2020

    Publisher: Orange Hat Publishing

    Reviewed by Lisa Lickel,

    Deep Bitter Roots is a quirky cute cozy set in northern Wisconsin. Deviating somewhat from cozy formula in that the mystery, a death, doesn’t happen until chapter 7, nearly a quarter of the way into the book; nevertheless readers who adore small towns with fun people will enjoy the build up.

    Entrepreneur and busybody Frankie Champagne, divorced and of a certain age with grown daughters, is in the perfect spot to hear and get involved in all the local gossip of Deep Lakes with her part-time journalist work and bakery/wine bar business. Having a boyfriend who’s also the local coroner is a bonus when Frankie’s latest project, helping an heiress put together a speech rededicating the town park, goes awry.

    The granite industry made Deep Lakes a century ago, but until now, its secrets were literally buried under a long-time Ides of March curse. Using all her wiles and delectably filled bakery boxes, Frankie offers to lend an eye to her friends on the police force and those in other official capacities when they must deal with a suspicious death. Most of them gratefully trust her.

    Heavily detailed with a large cast, readers can walk into this second Deep Lakes mystery without having read the first book of the series. Readers who love the aroma of baked goods in all their glory and are intrigued by wine-making will get their fill with this sweet mystery. The story is told generally from Frankie’s point of view with the help of two internal sidekick conscious minders and includes many wonderful epigraphs opening the chapters. And recipes!

    About the Reviewer:

    Lisa Lickel is an author, editor, and mentor who lives with her husband in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction both short and full-length, including mysteries, romance and family drama, feature articles, and radio theater. She belongs to the Wisconsin Writers Association, the Chicago Writers Guild and is a writing coach at Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp & Writing Retreat. Lisa loves to encourage new authors through mentoring, speaking, and leading workshops. Lisa also is an avid book reviewer and blogger, and a freelance editor. Find more at

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