Battered and Buried

All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery #7

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
241 Pages
Reviewed on 03/20/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Priya Mathew for Readers' Favorite

In Battered and Buried by Lena Gregory, café owner Gia Morelli and her friend Trevor Barnes have their tranquil kayaking trip along the Ocklawaha River in the Ocala National Forest interrupted when they find Cole, Gia’s head cook, and Cybil, a close friend, standing over a dead body in the forest. The discovery becomes even more shocking when they realize that the deceased was the same person who had caused a disturbance in the café the day before and with whom Cole had a troubled history. As all the available clues point toward Cole, Gia becomes more determined to find the truth. Will Gia and her group of friends be able to clear Cole’s name using unconventional means? Will they be able to get to the murderer before any of them becomes the next victim?

Lena Gregory seamlessly opens the plot in Battered and Buried from the first page, drawing me into Gia's daily life at the café and the unfolding events. The pacing is brisk and with each chapter I felt like I was moving forward, along with the characters while they uncovered the truth. I loved how the author introduced each of the characters, many with their own special quirks. Gia’s Bernese Mountain Dog, Thor, was my favorite among the four-legged characters, and I did laugh at the antics of the raccoon who made a special appearance in this book. From Gia’s keen sense of seeing justice done to the camaraderie shared among the members of her inner circle, the characters were authentic and relatable. Overall, Battered and Buried is an enjoyable read for cozy mystery enthusiasts because of its engaging narrative and charming characters.