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Book Review: Rubbed Out by Riley Adams

Updated on November 7, 2014
Rubbed Out
Rubbed Out

Festival Fixin's and Feuds Lead to Murder

Somehow it seems like I've been down this road before in the fourth installment of the Memphis BBQ Mysteries. The problem is I can't remember which series it was!

In Rubbed Out author Riley Adams has Memphis' favorite barbeque queen, Lulu Taylor and her friends "The Graces" at the annual Rock and Ribs Festival, where the other ladies have set up a booth and entered the competition. Since Lulu can't help due to the rules she watches on the sidelines and gives the girls support.

The team in the next booth comprised of Reuben Shaw and the Jenson's (Brody and Sharon) have done nothing but argue and drink too much. Occasionally, Reuben sticks his head into the girls' booth and reminds them that his team will be the winners.

They ignore him as best as they can, but during a downpour, Lulu and Cherry look for the tarp Cherry has and discover that Reuben's dead with the tarp that has her name on it and a butcher knife stuck in his chest. It doesn't look like Reuben's going to see any prize this year.

With Cherry as the main suspect, it's up to Lulu to gather everyone together and solve the crime.

As in the past, Adams does spend a lot of time repeating the events to the other characters and unfortunately, it does slow down the pace. I did find my mind wandering quite a bit, but I think that's because Adam's signature characters "The Graces" aren't playing a big part in this installment. The five women who make up the group have slowly been disappearing from the series and are only in this story during the festival.

Again, I was rather confused about the season of the book. Spring is mentioned and while the character of Derrick had a blind date in the second installment and then by this installment he and his girlfriend seem to have been dating for a while. I've just been confused since it would be hard to imagine all four installments happening within a month's time.

Since I can't reveal what happens in the first installment, I find it strange that the characters don't bring up the outcome. I would think that they would, however, they act as though what happened doesn't affect the family. Maybe this was just poor planning or editing.

This time I'm going to actually try some of the recipes since they seem delicious!


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