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Iced Over by Heather Day Gilbert

Title: Iced Over (Barks and Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery #2)

Author: Heather Day Gilbert

Published on: 27th July 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Macy and Coal are back! Black Friday turns deadly when an armored truck hits an icy patch and runs off the embankment. Barks and Beans’ newest recruit, Bristol’s uncle Clark was one of the occupants of the truck. He’s in coma while his partner Christian is dead.

Macy soon learns half a million dollars have gone missing from the truck. Meanwhile, a blonde European visits the cafe or two, asking about the armored truck accident and Bristol’s family. Can Macy and Bo solve the case before it is too late?

Iced Over is the second book in Barks and Beans cafe series by Heather Day Gilbert. After reading the first book in this series – No Filter – I was eagerly waiting to lay my hands on the second book. As soon as it was released, I grabbed it. 😀

Iced Over is surely another wonderful addition to the series. In the previous book, we saw Bo, Macy’s brother, reveal he worked as a DEA Agent and his nemesis Leo gave Macy a ‘courtesy’ call. After reading No Filter, I was curious to know how the Leo angle would be pursued in this book. I must say I am not disappointed by the way things are turning out. Neither Bo nor Leo are going to give up and their feud is going to get tougher with each book in the series.

Apart from Macy and Bo, the other characters who will be playing a prominent role in the story (and the series) include Summer – she runs a dog shelter and provides the dogs for the ‘Barks’ part of Barks and Beans cafe; Titan – an FBI agent and Bo’s friend; Bristol and her family – Iced Over is based mostly on Clark and the money heist.

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The suspense is well-maintained throughout the story. The blond man is more than just a gun for hire. The suspects are plenty – Macy sees a woman wearing muddy shoes in the cafe minutes after the accident; Bristol’s mum Della was dating Christian and Clark’s boss pays him a visit to the hospital, almost accusing him of stealing the money. (The poor chap was in a coma when the boss-man paid him a visit.)

Various angles are explored in the story. We have the mystery behind the ‘stolen’ money, a blast from the past, the blond guy and the FBI. The character development is fantastic. I really liked the twist in the end. I did not see this coming. The face-to-face with the killer was nothing short of an action movie sequence.

Macy is an excellent amateur sleuth. Her curiosity to get to the bottom of the case puts her on the killer’s radar. We also get to see the other side of Macy – she helps Bristol’s family as much as she possible can – this brought about a very sweet charm to the story. Don’t get me started on the lovely dogs featured in the story. Coal, waffles, Edison and of course, Bo’s pet kitten Stormy.

Oodles of fur babies, delicious baked goodies, a mystery that keeps you guessing until the end and excellent storytelling, Iced Over is an engrossing and entertaining cozy mystery.

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