Book Review

Game Of Cones

Game of Cones

  • Author: Cynthia Baxter
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery
  • Publication Date: November 24, 2020
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Series: Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe Mystery #4

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am providing my honest opinion voluntarily.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From the moment Kate arrives at the imposing Mohawk Mountain Resort, not even luggage brimming with hot fudge can sweeten her stay. Instead of savoring alone time with her on-again boyfriend Jake and leading workshops on whipping together delectable frosty treats, she finds herself stranded at the isolated hotel with a small group of nutty characters–and a dead body.

When the corpse of wealthy cosmetics executive Bethany La Montaigne is suddenly found following a blackout, any of the five strangers trapped with Kate and Jake could be the killer. Chilled to the core, Kate vows to discover whether the victim’s mortal enemy was a smooth-talking playboy, bubbly millennial, mousy librarian, charming Englishman, or the Mohawk’s creepy general manager…

Bethany’s life was chock full of scandals and there’s little doubt that someone refused to endure another taste. With just a sprinkling of clues, it’s up to Kate to bring justice to a culprit who believes that revenge is a dish best served cold…

I’m so glad I came across this book. I’ve actually never read a cozy mystery before, but it was a pleasant change from the gritty police procedurals that I’m used to reading. 

I loved Kate’s character right away. She’s a well-rounded character that I could identify with. She left behind a life she enjoyed to chase something she loves while devoting her time to caring for her family, but I could understand her ambivalence about giving a relationship a second chance after being hurt. 

The setting was perfect for the story. The descriptions were great and made it easy to actually picture the scenery. It takes place at a resort in the Hudson Valley, in the midst of a nor’easter. When they get there, they realize that they’re stranded there by a downed tree, with no cell service and limited WiFi. So when a murder happens, they’re all stuck there together … knowing that one of them is a murderer.

In between workshops on the history of ice cream and how to make it, and trying to find some alone time with Jake, Kate also decides to do some amateur sleuthing to find out who the murderer could be. What she finds out about the other people at the resort is surprising. Everyone is hiding some secrets, and the murderer was the last person I expected it to be.

I loved how each chapter started with a fact about ice cream. I actually didn’t know any of the information that was presented, and they were surprisingly interesting. Sources were provided in case you want to learn a little more, as well. I especially liked the fact that there were ice cream recipes at the end of the book — things you could make at home, even without any special equipment.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 5

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