Book Review – Of Spice and Men (A Pancake House Mystery) by Sarah Fox.

3 out of 5

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group – Alibi for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

This is another book I read a while ago and am only just now getting a chance to leave a review for.

‘Of Spice and Men’ is the third book in the ‘A Pancake House Mystery’ series – of which I’ve read all three. And, for the most part, I have enjoyed. I mean, I freely admit now that as soon as I hear Ms Fox is soon to be releasing a book I go lurk on Netgalley until it’s there to be requested. 😉

So, yes, I am a fan of this series and so do hope everyone takes the following constructive criticism with a grain of salt… as I DID enjoy ‘Of Spice and Men’, but really felt like it took waaaaay too long to get to the point.

Here is my criticism… It seemed to be more a soap opera about Marley and her boyfriend with a hint of an actual murder mystery thrown in on the side.

Yes, harsh I know, but it’s how I read it. Sorry. There seemed to be about maybe 20% murder mystery content, 10% gorgeous seaside setting of the scene and all the rest was focussed on where Marley’s relationship was going.

Now, some readers might really enjoy this mix… but I am a cosy crime before nooky sort myself and so I wanted the percentages to be more cosy and less relationship angst. If that makes sense?

I honestly did find myself saying “oh just get ON with it!” a few times as I wanted more cosy mystery and less contemplating the inner emotions and dramas of a love life.

Besides that, it was a good book… but I can’t say it is my favourite in the series and I really do hope the next book goes away from the angst and back to cosy crime. If it doesn’t, I can’t honestly see myself continuing with the series. Gosh what a picky pants I am!

Also, being an ARC there were the odd typo and the formatting for eBook was a bit all over the place, but I am always sure this is all sorted out before the final draft so no biggie.

Of Spice and Men


Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would, but only if they had read the other two books first. ‘Of Spice and Men’ really can’t be read as a stand-alone and so people need to go buy and read the first two books in the ‘A Pancake House Mystery’ series first. I mean, if you don’t you miss out on some really scrummy free recipes at the back, if nothing else! 😉

Would I warn them about my feel for this book? No, as who is to say others will see it like I did? I’ve been through a few pretty tough months (emotionally) of late and so who’s to say my opinion isn’t all screwy right now? All I can do is give my opinion here and hope for the best.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I would… as I do like the series – and Ms Fox’s writing style – and always like to own every book in a series… but I would probably hold off doing so until I’d read the next book in the hopes this one was just a minor glitch in an otherwise enjoyable series.

In summary: True to the series so far, but a little too much relationship soap opera and not enough actual cosy crime for me.

Until next time,


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Author, Foodie, mum and sarcastic cow with sense of humour to match.

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