A Rocky Start for the “The Rocky Road To Ruin”: A Cozy Mystery Book Review

The Rocky Road To Ruin: An Ice Cream Shop Mystery

By: Meri Allen

St. Martin’s Press

St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Mystery & Thrillers

Publish Date 27 July 2021

50 Book Reviews Professional Reader

GoodReads Synopsis:

“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?”


First, I’d like to thank St. Martin’s and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this e-arc. I really enjoyed this book and gave it 4 stars.

This is the first book in a new cozy Mystery series. This book has a lot of characters that you have to keep track of. The characters aren’t all important to the story, but they did add to the story. I also like the fact that Riley still feels at home in her town even though she has been gone for some time, and the fact she she stepped up to help out her best friend. It gives the story the “cozy” feeling that cozy mysteries are known for.

In addition to the human characters, there are two cats in this story. One is snotty and the other is a wild escape artist. The cats are mentioned quite a bit in the story, especially Rocky, the escape artist. The cat’s also aren’t really important to the story, but they are a nice sideline. They add a little flavor to the story.

*Spoiler Alert* There is a back story from 17 years ago that is brought up in the book. At first, this back story seems to be more about the character than the mystery, but this backstory is relevant to this story because it helps solve the murder.

The book starts slow, but picks up 75% of the way through. Once it picked up, I couldn’t put it down.

Published by debbierpayne

Mother of six and Grandmother of 7. I enjoy reading, sewing, cooking, and crocheting. I am an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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