Depressed by the US elections 2016, appalled by the nastiness in human nature on display during this election season, not a US citizen but dismayed at the negative influence US news has upon the world? Well, here is the perfect cheerful pick-me-up antidote for you, Connie Archer’s charming LADLE TO THE GRAVE, the third installment in her Soup Lovers’ Mysteries series. I chose this from Book Club Reading List and  just started it a few days ago (so I would have a good excuse not to watch the US presidential debates) and I’ve been thoroughly entertained all the way through – so far. A full on review will follow shortly. Suffice it to say, this is a ‘cozy’, which means it’s characterized by decent human characters of caring and warmth, who have an inner sense of purpose, an inner light if you will – but who encounter some terribly evil acts committed by some grotesquely distorted fellow humans. This is not a  dark grey noir mystery – in which every character is hanging on by her fingernails to sanity, dealing with inner neurosis and despair and ready the next minute to jump off a cliff. These are good loving people shocked to discover that there are people around them who are not so good and lovely. A graceful writing style, combined with intelligence and wit, mark this book so far. The first murder actually made me chuckle out loud. So far at least – it’s made me feel good about being in the world. And who could resist that charming cover – the beautiful turquoise soup tureen, tilted slightly open, with the delicious aromas wafting into the air – leading wistfully into the carefully manicured park in the background, peopled with stylish folk in formal dress wear. What is going on, one’ wonders? Read the book and find out. Review to follow.

Publisher’s Blurb:

The local ladies of Snowflake, Vermont have organized a pagan celebration in the woods to honor the coming of spring.  Unfortunately, the event goes horribly awry when one of the participants dies after drinking the May wine, prepared with local herbs.

Lucky Jamieson’s grandfather Jack, who provided the herbs for the gathering, comes under suspicion for causing the woman’s death.  Worse than that, Jack worries that perhaps he is getting older and made a terrible mistake.

Lucky has a lot on her plate, but when she discovers a dead man floating in a creek outside of town, his face unrecognizable, she’s convinced that both deaths are murder and both murders are connected.  Can she unmask the real murderer before more people die?