THE ROCKY ROAD TO RUIN, the first book in the brand-new Ice Cream Shop Mysteries, by Meri Allen, is a delightful start to a delicious series! As the story unfolded, I greatly enjoyed that the protagonist, Riley Rhodes, isn’t your typical, stumble through an investigation, amateur sleuth. She’s not only a librarian with great researching skills, but she worked for the CIA until an overseas misfortune sidelined her. Heading home to support her best friend, Caroline, who’d lost her mother, Riley pitches in to run Caroline’s family ice cream shop. Ms. Allen has an admirable descriptive voice and I couldn’t help but want to visit the charming setting of Penniman, Connecticut. She not only captures the beauty of the location but also the yummy tastes and aromas of the Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop. The author has developed appealing characters – both human and animal alike – and I especially loved Sprinkles, the cat who rules the household. The quirky feline steals each scene she inhabits!
There are multiple mystery threads running throughout the book, from long ago to current day, and the author effortlessly weaves them together into a cohesive story. I was so charmed by the story, I decided to sit back and enjoy the read as it unfolded instead of playing armchair detective. Either way, the mysteries and subplots are well-paced and entertaining scenes will keep the reader intrigued with lots of suspects and well-placed clues. Cozy mystery fans will drool over this new series by Meri Allen, who also writes as Shari Randall.
There are so many mouthwatering mentions of udderly delicious frozen concoctions throughout the story and I was pleased to see that there are recipes at the back of the book. With summertime backyard grilling in full-swing, I couldn’t help but want to try out Buzzy’s Ultimate Frozen Margarita to share with friends. It’s basically a tart-sweet lime sorbet with a kick from tequila and triple sec, but as the author notes, it makes a great slushy to sip with straws as it melts. This frozen concoction captures the essence of summer!
Riley Rhodes, travel food blogger and librarian at the CIA, makes a bittersweet return to her childhood home of Penniman, Connecticut – land of dairy farms and covered bridges – for a funeral. Despite the circumstances, Riley’s trip home is sprinkled with reunions with old friends, visits to her father’s cozy bookshop on the town green, and joyful hours behind the counter at the beloved Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop. It feels like a time to help her friend Caroline rebuild after her mother’s death, and for Riley to do a bit of her own reflecting after a botched undercover mission in Italy. After all, it’s always good to be home.
But Caroline and her brother Mike have to decide what to do with the assets they’ve inherited – the ice cream shop as well as the farm they grew up on – and they’ve never seen eye to eye. Trouble begins to swirl as Riley is spooked by reports of a stranger camping behind the farm and by the odd behavior of the shop’s mascot, Caroline’s snooty Persian, Sprinkles. When Mike turns up dead in the barn the morning after the funeral, the peace and quiet of Penniman seems upended for good. Can Riley find the killer before another body gets scooped?
A special thanks to Meri Allen for providing one lucky winner with a print copy of THE ROCKY ROAD TO RUIN! Giveaway is limited to U.S. residents. Contest ends Sunday, August 8 , 2021 at 11:59 pm PST. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
Makes approximately 4 servings.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 - 4 tablespoons triple sec
- 3 - 4 tablespoons tequila
- 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
Stir water and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Pour into a bowl.
Mix together lime juice, triple sec, tequila, and lime zest. Add to the sugar base. Refrigerate until cold - at least two hours.
Pour mixture into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.
Transfer sorbet to container, cover and freeze until firm - about two hours.
To serve, put glasses in the freezer for one hour to chill, then scoop the sorbet into them.
Have straws ready because it's very good as a slushy too.
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I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This looks perfect for a hot afternoon cool down.
No, I don’t usually make frozen concoctions, but this looks good and pretty easy!
Enjoy a frozen (or slightly slushie) fresh squeezed lemonade – especially in the hot summer time. We also churn homemade orange sherbet that’s made with pineapple that’s very yummy and super easy to make. It’s just 2 quarts of your favorite orange soda, 2 cans of eagle brand milk and a 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple blended and then churned.
No don’t make frozen concoctions at home but do what to try to make one.
No, I don’t usually make frozen concoctions at home, but that frozen margarita looks SO REFRESHING I think I might start! The review of the book is great! Sounds like a story that is right up my alley! I LOVE ice cream and cozies where the main character has some kind of law enforcement background. The cover is so cool too! Now, I want ice cream! 🙂
This sounds delicious. I don’t usually make frozen drinks, but I just might have to give this a try. The book sounds like a fun read.
Not really, but this frozen margarita recipe makes me want to start!
Looks good if I were a margarita drinker. Have some friends who would love that.
I love to make a frozen concoction of a Pina Colada. Thanks for your great generosity.
I’m usually too lazy to make a frozen concoction at home. It’s simpler to pour sangria over ice!
I’ve made homemade ice cream before. It was yummy.
Yes margaritas and cherry slushy for the grandkids I love a frozen Vernors!
I don’t make frozen concoctions at home.
I can’t drink tequila but this does look tasty.
We sometimes make smoothies but no alcoholic frosty drinks. Would love to read this book though!
Yes we make different milk shakes and things of that sort nothing alcoholic as my hubby is the only drinker i am not thank you for offering a print book that we can read and review on a few sites .
Looks so delicious!
Absolutely! Especially in this heat. We make more for the kids than for ourselves, but we do sure enjoy a frozen “adult beverage” once in a while. Thank you for the recipe, I think I feel a hankerin’ for some margaritas and Mexican food.
No. We do not usually make frozen concoctions at home. This one does look cool and delicious.
I don’t make frozen drinks. But, do buy than. That looks delicious!!!
Mmm, and if tequila isn’t your thing, use rum of bourbon.
I dont make frozen concoctions very often but like them. This margerita sounds good and worth trying.
No, I don’t usually make frozen drinks at home, but a frozen strawberry margarita is my favorite drink when I go out.
We’ve made homemade ice cream in the past.
Sounds delicious I do like drinking them. I make them too. Thank you for the chance
One of my favorite frozen things to make may sound crazy.. but I haven’t had it since before I had my surgery in May. (Oh it sounds yummy on a hot day like today)
Lime sherbet and coke. Mix it up like a slurpees consistency. And drink it with a metal straw. Omg it is amazing!!
Thank you for the chance.
I make a lot of shakes!
I do like to mix and match ingredients to see what type of frozen concoctions I can make. Thank you for this Margarita recipe. It looks delicious.
No, I don’t make frozen concoctions at home. I don’t know why I don’t, because they look so yummy!
This series sounds great! What a thrill to inherit an ice cream shop! I used to make frozen chocolate mousse when my kids were still at home, but now it seems like too much work. LOL!
no i don’t but maybe i need to rethink that.
No I don’t. I used to freeze Kool-Aid for the kids when they were younger. Thank you for a chance to win a print copy of The Rocky Road To Ruin.
I make frozen smoothies from time to time.
I love making pina coladas at home. Not much of a tequila fan but I must admit that this one looks refreshing.
No I actually prefer mine on the rocks. Thanks for the chance!
I make vodka and lemonade slushies or pina coladas
Looks delicious! I rarely make frozen concoctions myself, but I may have to try this one!! Margaritas are my favorite frozen drink.
I do not make frozen drinks at home.
This looks amazingly refreshing and beautiful for entertaining! It’s been In the triple digits the entire month of July and it still continues…this would really be a great way to cool off ? I don’t do anything like this though. Too busy during this time of year with cherry harvest! ? And then it’s time to start teaching 1st graders again ?
Great recipe especially on a hot sunny day.
thanks for the recipe. Love foodie books.
And a start of a new series. thanks
I’m too lazy to make frozen concoctions at home. I’ll usually settle for a glass of ice water.
We make smoothies on occasion.
My husband created a hot chocolate ice cream.