Diners, Dives, and Dead Ends by Terri L. Austin
Terri L. Austin
The author did a good job in keeping me in suspense especially with a revelation that took me by surprise.
As a struggling waitress and part-time college student, Rose Strickland’s life is stalled in the slow lane. But when her close friend, Axton, disappears, Rose suddenly finds herself serving up more than hot coffee and flapjacks.
Now she’s hashing it out with sexy bad guys and scrambling to find clues in a race to save Axton before his time runs out. With her anime-loving bestie, her septuagenarian boss, and a pair of IT wise men along for the ride, Rose goes from zero to sixty and quickly learns when you’re speeding down the fast lane, it’s easy to crash and burn.
Review by D. Love:
In this new series, we follow Rose as she and her co-workers search for her friend who has disappeared to parts unknown. What she uncovers opens up a big can of worms, and Rose with help from her friends will have to find him before time runs out for the both of them.
This traditional mystery captured my attention from the opening pages to the exhilarating finale. The frantic pace and action packed drama kept me on my toes as I followed Rose and her friends through the myriads of situations in order to rescue and save her friend.
Rose is a strong character whose determination shines as she comes across people who are against her. The author did a good job in keeping me in suspense especially with a revelation that took me by surprise.
With a likable cast, nice verbal exchanges, and the diner used as the backdrop, this was an enjoyably pleasant read in this debut series and I look forward to more adventures with Rose and the gang for years to come.
Review by Jane Reads:
Diners, Dives & Dead Ends is such a fun read! It is filled with wonderful characters such as Axton Graystone (Ax for short, whom Rose has known since first grade), Roxy Block (her anime-loving bestie), Ma (her septuagenarian boss of Ma’s Diner), Ray (the boss’s son who, according to Ma, never does anything right), and Sullivan (more about him later).
My favorite character is Rose, because of her loyalty to friends, her strength of character, her “wicked sense of humor and independent spirit.” Rose (short for Rosalyn), along with her older sister Jacqueline (both named for First Ladies — Rose calls her “Jacks”), was raised in the lap of luxury in Huntingford, Missouri. Growing up, Rose got everything she ever wanted — as long as what she wanted coincided with what her parents wanted for her.
It wasn’t until after Rose’s freshman year of college (“…the college they had chosen for me. A small, private, all-girls-all-the-time school. I hated it.”) that Rose’s hopes and dreams collided with her parents’ plans for her. Rose refused to return to the women’s college, wanting to attend a different college instead, one where she would be happier. Her parents responded to this decision (an unreasonable one, in their opinion) by kicking her out and cutting off all financial support. No doubt, her parents expected Rose to come to her senses, apologize, grovel even, re-enroll at the girls’ school, and carry on in their pre-determined plan for her life.
No doubt, they are astonished that, after five years, Rose is still supporting herself and able to pay for college. (For the details, read the book!)
Oh, and there are also mysteries. Can’t forget them! Rose is quite a sleuth, although a reluctant one, and saves the day by rescuing Ax. (No, that’s not a spoiler. This is a cozy mystery. The heroine’s best bud doesn’t get killed in a cozy.) She keeps asking the police for their help, but they basically ignore her missing person reports, so she has to find him without them.
Diners, Dives & Dead Ends has a great ending! Author Terri L. Austin picks up a minor plot thread from the beginning of the book, and re-weaves what seems to be the ending of the book into a not-quite-cozy, exciting, thrilling direction — one which ensures that Sullivan will be back in Rose’s life for many books to come!