Dead Men Don't Order Flake
Author: Sue Williams
Publication date: 30 May 2016
Image via Text Publishing
Publisher: Text Publishing
Cass Tuplin Series Book 2
On the night Leo Stone returns—notionally from the dead, in reality from the Democratic Republic of the Congo—Cass Tuplin gets a call from Gary Kellett. A call about an actual dead person: Gary’s daughter, killed in a car crash. Gary’s adamant it wasn’t an accident. Cass agrees to investigate. After all, not just Rusty Bore’s only purveyor of fine fast food, Cass is also the closest thing to a private detective within a couple of hundred k’s. The local police (Cass’s son Dean) try to warn her off. It’s true Cass’s status as a celebrated yet non-licensed nobody doesn’t entirely suit Dean. But Dean also believes Gary’s a delusional, grieving father. Is that the case? Or did a young journalist die after asking too many questions?Cass intends to find out. As soon as she’s dealt with some queries raised by the reappearance of Leo Stone.
Are you a mystery lover? Does your overwrought mind need a break from all those dark and deeply disturbing psychological thrillers? Then meet Cassandra Ariadne Tuplin proprietor of the newly rebuilt Rusty Bore Takeaway and also part time Private Detective (unlicensed) for the town.
Now just because Cass runs a takeaway this book is no culinary cosy - or cozy, depending where you live - there are no cupcake recipes or any recipes really so the ingredients of the famous Chiko roll still remains a secret. You may, however, pick up a hint or two on the making of snotblocks and sausage rolls.
Cass is reeling from the shock of having her erstwhile friend and (almost) lover Leo Stone walk in to her takeaway and calmly order flake and chips. Leo was supposed to be dead, the town had held a memorial service for him, and Cass had laboured long over the words for his memorial stone (I must say, she seemed a tad put out by all that unnecessary effort) and here he was, bold as brass and nary a word about his long silence.
A phone call soon diverts her attention from handsome Leo, Gary Kellett wants Cass to investigate the death of his daughter, Natalie died in a car accident but Gary is convinced it was murder. Cass doesn't allow her non-licensed status deter her, before long she is deeply involved in the dirty doings of the townspeople.
One of the biggest obstacles to her investigation is Senior Constable Dean Tuplin who happens to be her son. Dean loves his clipboard, and is ever alert to the dangerous driving, parking and walking habits of his people, diligently issuing tickets to all and sundry, including his mother. As Cass says, he does his job to the best of his ability, which is part of the problem. However, Dean can be diverted by the judicious use of sausage rolls.
Cass has another son, Brad, who, according to Cass, happens to be an expert on everything. Anyway, Brad comes home to live (he has troubles at uni) and somehow becomes involved in the investigation, uncovering some political funny business which actually puts his mum in a rather dangerous situation.
There are some wonderful characters in this book, Showbag who owns a goat that once suffered from solar sickness (she still gets funny turns). Madison the ferret lady who is, (unknown to Australia), a National Ferret Icon! Oh, not forgetting Ernie, the 89 years old IPad geek now residing at the Garden of God Extended Care home. I loved Ernie. Not forgetting Cass herself who nervously cleans clean things, especially when Leo is around.
This book is pure entertainment the author captures the quirky ways of small town Australia perfectly, well, apart from murder that is, we don't get too many of them in these parts.
This is book 2 in the Cass Tuplin Series but there is enough backstory for it to be a standalone read.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a break from the heavy stuff, appreciates a well written story, has interesting characters, lots of humour and yes, a murder mystery.
About The Author
Sue Williams is a science writer and chartered accountant who also holds a PhD in marine biology. She lives in Melbourne with her husband. Her first Cass Tuplin mystery, Murder with the Lot, also published by Text, was shortlisted in the Ned Kelly Awards.
Check out the first Cass Tuplin mystery: