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Title: A Side of Murder

Author: Amy Pershing

Series: Cape Cod Foodie Mystery #1

Publisher: Berkley

Format: paperback, $7.99

Published on: Feb. 23, 2021

Set in: Fair Harbor, Massachusetts

Read an excerpt: here

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Life was on the downside for Samantha Barnes after an outdoor fight with her husband was captured on YouTube. Shortly after, she loses her job as a chef and her husband, thankfully, after a divorce.

Then she receives a call from her best friend’s husband, who is a respected lawyer in Fair Harbor, Massachusetts. That puts her on a bus home to the Cape. Apparently, she’s inherited her great aunt Ida’s house, which desperately needs repairs. Still, there’s an opportunity to sell it and return to New York with money in her bank account.

Offering their support are Miles and Jenny. They are her drama club geek friends from high school. They picked her up at the bus station and drove her to her Aunt Ida’s house. She learned that the house was built in 1795 by a first mate on a whaling ship and that sadly it looked beyond repair. But there was hope. She meets her neighbor, Helene Greenburg, the town’s new librarian who offers a lifetime of information, and is introduced to Diogi, a Cape Cod mutt.

No sooner do her friends leave when she get a call from Krista Baker, an old friend and the editor of the Cape Cod Clarion. Krista asks if she can fill in for the lifestyle reporter. She needs someone to write restaurant reviews and food features. Sam agrees as she’s unemployed and bringing in money is a good thing. Her first job is to write about the former inn that she worked at when she was a teen. The new owners named it Bayview Grill. Miles, Jenny and Helene assist her on her first assignment. After paying the bill, Sam goes outside for a little fresh air. What appears to be a mirrored image of the moon is a body floating on the water. As she attempts to get a better view, she recognizes that it’s a former waitress at the old Logan Inn. Unable to handle the water’s temperature, she returns to shore and in a daze informs her friends and the new restaurant owner that she found a body. She’s given a change of clothes and told to stay put because the police and harbormaster will soon arrive and want her statement. Turns out that the harbormaster, Jason Captiva, is the same man she had a crush on years ago. When Jason arrives, he asks her why didn’t she call for help right away and bring the body to shore. After telling him why, he asks her to ID the body. If that wasn’t hard enough, Krista asks her to write a drowning story by using what is already been stated by the harbormaster and to speak with the police chief.

Sam just can’t let go of the mystery, even when Krista ends her assignment. She knows there’s more to the woman’s death then what the authorities are assuming. Her investigation will lead to the truth, but it’s a dangerous path to cross. “A Side of Murder” touches upon preservation and development, adultry, crime, and sailing on the Cape. Pershing does a great job of balancing the importance of her protagonist and secondary characters (who were intelligent, passionate, and truly cared about Sam’s safety). Even a new neighbor was watching out for her before they became friends. There were a lot of possibilities here. Any of them could have been the motive. Pershing chose the strongest one. Watch for the boating scene. You’ll feel like you’re right there. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

four boats on the Cape out of five

Denise Fleischer


Aug. 21, 2021

About the author:

Amy Pershing is a lifelong mystery lover and wordsmith. She was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before leading employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago (with the final college tuition bill paid), she waved goodbye to Wall Street to write full time (and spend more time sailing on the Cape!). A Side of Murder, the first of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries, is her debut novel.


The next book in the series: An Eggnog to Die For – Nov. 2, 2021 $8.99

Read more about it here!!