Deep Fried Trouble by Tyora Moody… Time to Dish

What is this?

Well, it is what I am here for…

Deep Fried Trouble is a Eugeena Patterson mystery brought to us by Tyora Moody. It is part one in a series of three books, all of which have officially been released.

Readers are introduced to Eugeena, a long suffering Mother to a daughter who is distant and troubled, victim of a restricted healthy diet and unlucky enough to stumble upon the dead body of her former best friend who she had a notorious beef with.

Eugeena and her friend before she found her dead

Deep fried you say?

The title says it all. Okay, maybe it doesn’t really tell you that actually virtually nothing is really fried because of the aforementioned diet. Good health is a good thing. Healthy eating is wonderful. But if you are looking for a cozy mystery with recipes for deep fried goodies then you will want to look elsewhere.

This trouble isn’t fried, dyed and laid to the side

Which of course is part of the trouble isn’t it? When I dive into a cozy mystery I have been mentally trained to expect one with a quirky title related to food preparation to include lots of food preparation. Oftentimes we readers are gifted with recipes at the back. Perhaps the author will one day release a separate healthy soul food cookbook based on some of the meals mentioned. Such as oven baked fried chicken. A bit of an oxymoron but certainly worth a try!

Just checking on the chicken

I cannot be super disappointed in the book for not being more inclusive of descriptions of food that I expected based on the title and cover art. There was food that was mentioned although it didn’t sound particularly amazing, even to Eugeena’s own admission at times.

The trouble with love is…

This was a book that in many ways discusses love, family and difficult long lasting friendships. Eugeena has a love interest, Amos, with a background that allows him to mingle with the local law enforcement. As a widow we learn of her former life as a schoolteacher and wife of a physician. We also learn a bit about her sons and her devotion to her grandchildren.

When her emotionally distant daughter storms into town bringing with her plenty of surprises and secrets we see Eugeena’s desire to defend and protect her child unfold. While she has the aforementioned history of bad blood with her former neighbor who is buried with the secrets of who killed her she expresses her regrets but pledges to find the killer while also taking care of the deceased woman’s Corgi.

What do you mean dear Eugeena when you say you don’t want me in your bed?

Throughout the novel and despite her reluctance to accept or adjust to certain things it is clear that Eugeena is a woman with the heart of a Christian who wants to offer forgiveness and assistance in whatever way she can. It is endearing as a character trait and makes you want to see her win and find the killer of her friend.

Eugeena admits to her own character flaws and is very introspective. Friendship, especially long lasting ones, can be very difficult to maintain as with any relationship. I took away the feeling that she was admitting her mistakes and wanted to make things right even though she didn’t have the ability to do that before her friend was killed.

Detective skills… you can’t hide from the neighborhood watch

Ah, the whodunit and why? Ms. Patterson is on the prowl and determined not to let up. Her investigative style is disarming- as would be expected of a grandmother as sweet as southern iced tea. She asks simple questions and is not afraid to get herself into dicey situations.

Hey neighbors… Eugeena is just being nosey per the neighborhood home association guidelines

As an independent investigator she goes off of her intuition and she has to have guts to be a non-gun toting granny winging it off prayers.

Case closed

I gave this book four out of five stars. I really enjoyed it and will pursue the other two and a half books in the series- the next being Oven Baked Secrets.

One thing I would have liked would have been the selection of a killer with a twist. I figured out who the murderer was based on simple clues and was not entirely satisfied with the motivation behind the actions that person took. Overall it was the story itself inclusive of the mystery surrounding her daughter, the main character and her truly sweet heart that drew me in and will keep me coming back for more.