Cover Image: Three Treats Too Many

Three Treats Too Many

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things are tense in Wheaton, Alabama with two new restaurants opening. What’s funny is that Sarah Blair, whose cooking skills are pretty minimal is co-owner of one of the new places with her twin sister, Chef Emily. They are just waiting for the town building inspector to do the final inspection so they can have their grand opening.

The other new restaurant, Jane’s Place, is owned by Sarah’s late husband’s mistress who has hired vegan chef Riley Miller. Jane is hoping serving vegan dishes will set her restaurant apart from the others. Sarah and most of the town have turned out from the grand opening and if the food served is any indication Jane Place will be a worthy competitor for Sarah’s Southwinds Restaurant.

The night seems to be a rousing success until Chef Riley is found dead in the parking lot with her former boyfriend Jacob kneeling by her body. Jane wants the man arrested immediately. While he may be the prime suspect Sarah cannot believe he could have killed the young chef. Sarah’s boss agrees to defend Jacob but much to his dismay Sarah starts digging around to find more worthy suspects too. She may soon regret her actions as the killer has no reservations about killing again.

The author has penned a diverse group of characters from chefs to motorcycle riding vets to building contractors to two lovable fur-babies. Sarah is an excellent protagonist because she always seems to land right in the middle of whatever is happening in the small town of Wheaton. Being a small town most of the characters are connected in multiple ways which makes the story very interesting. The characters are all cleverly written and unique so it is easy to keep everyone straight. I do love the Blair family dynamics. Maybelle has become a real hoot! RahRah and Fluffy always make me smile and their closeness reminds me of some of the pets I have had over the years.

Because of all interpersonal connections, the mystery is a treat to solve as many of the characters become suspects in their own right. A second death turns up the heat as does a smelly discovery. Thankfully Sarah has the gift of gab or the ending could have taken a dire turn. The author serves up some really nice twists to keep people guessing. I was thrilled that I solved the whodunit before all was revealed but the ending was exciting and very entertaining.

Three Treats Too Many is a delightful addition to this series. Fun characters and a great mystery, this book doesn’t disappoint. I have enjoyed all three books in this series and recommend reading them in order to enjoy the character growth and fun mysteries. Four Cuts Too Many is impatiently waiting on my Kindle. I will be reading and reviewing soon.
Was this review helpful?
There are a lot of twisty family ties in this one! Sarah and her chef sister are trying to get their restaurant on track, but a competitor comes to town and throws a wrench in things. There are a lot of new people introduced, and I was kept guessing off and on throughout the book.
Was this review helpful?
Loved the recipes can't wait for a cookbook I enjoyed the story though the pace was a little slow for me.
Was this review helpful?
This book was ok. This series started out very well, but now with this third book, I'm finding it difficult to enjoy it. The plot seemed to drag on and it lost my interest. I really struggled to finish the book. One positive thing is I was surprised by who the murderer was, but it just wasn't enough to redeem the book, or series. I won't be reading anymore books in this series.
Was this review helpful?
The third novel in the Sarah Blair Mystery Series, Three Treats Too Many, by Debra H Goldstein starts when Sarah’s ex-husband’s old lover, Jane, opens a new restaurant across the street from the carriage house and Marcus and Emily’s new restaurant where Sarah is part owner. Because of a hold-up on a city building inspection, isn’t ready to open. Jane is holding several pre-opening tastings, and everyone is raving over the vegan dishes put out by Jane’s chef, Riley. Unfortunately, Riley is found murdered in the parking lot, with Sarah’s good friend Jacob kneeling over her, and he is the prime suspect. Sarah must use her best sleuthing skills to find the real murderer, since she knows Jacob didn’t do it. Much of the plot in this novel is based on a motorcycle group that most of the suspects were involved with.

Goldstein is a great storyteller, and the cozy novels in this series are really fun to read. The characters are well-developed, and Rah-Rah and Fluffy (Sarah’s cat and dog) add much to the fun. No cozy novel is complete without pets, and these pets play a big role. The main characters are the same in all of the novels, so readers will be familiar with them. Most are likeable, although the ones, like Jane, are unlikeable, but necessary. Food lovers will enjoy the food references, and everyone will enjoy the recipes at the end of the novel. 

Anyone looking for a fun series, and a good cozy with good recipes, should pick up this book as well as the previous novels. 

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
Sarah questions why her competitor's restaurant is thriving while the inspections on the restaurant she shares with her sister have stalled.  I might have enjoyed the book a bit more if certain aspects were not so glaringly obvious.  The amount of characters included was a bit overwhelming even though I had read the other books in the series.
Was this review helpful?
This was a nice story about Sarah Blair and her world. She and her twin sister Emily own a restaurant across the street from a restaurant owned by Sara's late ex-husband's mistress, Jane. Jane's just opened and Sarah's is waiting for final inspection to open. The book gives a few bits of information as to how this is situation came about, but I guess you need to read the earlier books in the series to really understand. 
There are so many characters in this book! Again, if you had read previous books in the series you'd probably understand them all. I had a hard time remembering all of them so just focused on the story where Sarah solves two murders
Was this review helpful?
When I first started reading this book, it wasn't one that I wanted to finish.  However, when I started reading it again, I found that I enjoyed it.  

I like anything cooking related so a restaurant based series is one that I enjoy.  The characters were interesting and the mystery kept me guessing.

I'll be looking for the next one in the series.
Was this review helpful?
Sarah Blair lives in Wheaton, Alabama. She’s secretary to Harlan, an attorney, and part owner of an upscale restaurant which is pretty funny since she can’t cook worth a darn. Her twin, Emily, is the chef. Sarah’s live-in companions are Rah-Rah, a cat she inherited, and Fluffy, a stray dog that gets along with Rah-Rah as long as Fluffy remembers her place.

Emily and Marcus have a pub-style restaurant, but the fancier spot will take their skills to a new level—if the city inspector ever does the final inspection. Botts claims he’s overworked, but some jobs get done faster, including Emily’s worst rival, Jane’s Place, giving them the advantage of a couple of weeks to grab up customers. Jane’s other advantage is her culinary school find, Riley, who makes vegan dishes so tasty even die-hard meat lovers come back for more. Jane’s soft openings are a sign of future success.

On Jane’s official opening night, there’s a commotion when Botts is rude to Riley. Apparently, there’s more to their relationship than anyone knew. Botts is a biker and part of the local club. Riley loves to ride but can’t afford her own bike, so she hitches rides with other club members, switching her allegiance often. Jacob was her recent favorite, and it’s clear he was smitten. Botts stomps out, Riley follows, Jacob after her.

Sarah is friends with Jacob, so when he doesn’t come back into the restaurant, she goes to check on him, only to find him standing over Riley’s dead body. Jacob’s sister, Anne, depends on Sarah to help find the truth. Sarah’s willing to ask a few questions, but Anne expects more. Sarah’s convinced of Jacob’s innocence but unsure of who had more than motive. One thing’s for sure, asking too many questions can be hazardous to your health.

Sarah was in Emily’s shadow at the beginning of the series but is coming into her own. Her relationship with Cliff shows promise. She’s even getting better with her office work—except for filing!

This is book three in the series, all reviewed here. Look for book four, Four Cuts Too Many, in May 2021, available for pre-order now. Recipes included in this book are: crock pot butternut squash soup, chilled zucchini soup, lasagna casserole, and pumpkin quinoa muffins.
Was this review helpful?
The building inspection of Southwind, the upscale restaurant Sarah Blair co-owns with her twin sister Emily, is taking forever, much to their chagrin. To make matters worse, another restaurant has just opened up across the street from Southwind, having seemingly sailed through the inspection process. Adding insult to injury, the new restaurant, Jane’s Place, is named for its owner, the same woman who Sarah’s ex-husband cheated on her with and who later had the temerity to try to claim Sarah’s beloved cat RahRah as her own.

So it’s with a distinct sense of discomfort that Sarah shows up to Jane’s grand opening, primarily in order to scope out the competition. Even she has to admit that the Alabama farm to table vegan cooking that Jane’s chef, Riley Miller, is plating is superb. Jane, as usual, is taking advantage of the occasion to politic a little, complaining to members of the police and the town council about the noise from the veterinary office next door and the motorcycle club that parks on its premises. But it’s her own screams that will shatter the night later on, when she discovers Jacob Hightower, one of Southwind’s line cooks, standing over Riley’s corpse.

Jane immediately accuses Jacob of murder. Acting Police Chief Dwayne Gerard, having learned his lesson from prior murders here in Wheaton, is determined to be methodical in gathering all the evidence and testimony. While Sarah approves of this new attitude, her opinion is not shared by Anne Hightower, Jacob’s older sister and prominent member of the town council. Given Sarah’s reputation for solving recent murder cases, Anne wants Sarah to clear Jacob’s name and find the real culprit.

While Sarah firmly believes in Jacob’s innocence, she has misgivings about getting involved, especially since her boss, lawyer Harlan Endicott, has been hired to represent Jacob. But as she and Harlan build a case for Jacob’s defense, she finds herself investigating more than she thought she would, and soon finds herself in the crosshairs of a ruthless murderer.

This was another charming, character-driven installment of Debra H Goldstein’s Sarah Blair mystery series, as Sarah looks into the background of a seemingly carefree and talented young chef to uncover the many secrets that led to her murder. Along the way, we learn a lot about vets of both the veterinary and veteran kind, as well as motorcycle clubs and restaurant shenanigans. I was genuinely thrown for a loop when Anne accuses someone very close to Sarah of the crime, and was impressed with how Judge Goldstein built the story up around that.

Three Treats Too Many also included four recipes, all of which are vegetarian, with two being vegan! Since it’s definitely getting to be soup season with the weather getting chillier out here in Maryland, I decided to try this vegan soup option:

E’s Crock-Pot Butternut Squash Soup (makes 10 servings)

1-2 10-12 ounce bags of cut butternut squash

Chop an onion, an apple, and a red pepper (more if desired).

Put all in the Crock-Pot.

Add 1 box of vegetable stock.

When everything is soft, blend or puree.

Season with sage, garlic, cumin, salt. or pepper (whatever you prefer to your taste) .

Add 1 can coconut milk into the Crock-Pot just before serving.

I let my vegetables cook on low in the crock pot for 8 hours, which really brought out their yummy autumn flavors. I did decide to add the spices with the vegetables and stock at the beginning of the cooking process instead of at the end, sprinkling a half teaspoon each of rubbed sage, cumin, salt and pepper on top, because I prefer for the flavors to meld together over the course of several hours. You should absolutely adjust to taste, of course: I added at least another half teaspoon of salt later on after pureeing and adding coconut milk. I also chopped a little spinach to add as a garnish, both for color and for a little extra brightness on the tongue. This recipe makes quite a lot of soup, but keeps well in the fridge. It made for a tasty side dish for my family’s other meals throughout the rest of the week. 

Next week, we head back east to make another vegan treat, this time a dessert, while solving a mystery that could have its roots all the way in the Revolutionary War. Do join me!
Was this review helpful?
This is the third book in this series and we find Sarah and her sister, Chef Emily still trying to get approval to open their restaurant. When Jane, Sarah's dead ex-husband's girlfriend gets approval to open her restaurant, she rubs it in. She hires vegan chef Riley Miller and her patrons are raving about the food. When Riley is found dead outside the restaurant, Sarah's friend Jacob is the main suspect. It was well-known that he was infatuated with her and he did find the body. Can Sarah figure out who the real murderer is? Will Sarah and Emily ever get their approvals to open their restaurant?

Once again, I enjoyed my visit to Wheaton, Alabama. If you have not read the first two books in this series, you will have missed out on some of the background bringing our characters where they are now, but you can still read this as a standalone. Debra H. Goldstein does a good job connecting the mystery with town life and connecting the various characters with one another. This book has a plotline involving various groups of motorcycle riders including veterans, as well as a subtle look at safety and equipment while riding. There were a lot of secondary characters in this one, which made for a large suspect pool, but I was never confused or lost. Just as important as the human characters are Sarah's animal companions, RahRah and Fluffy. They each have unique personalities and add a warm and fuzzy layer to the books. There were a couple of red herrings that had me guessing and heading down the wrong path, but was able to sort things out just before the final reveal. This was another well-plotted mystery, with great characters and a wonderful setting. I love the small town environment with all that goes with that. I am already looking forward to the next Sarah Blair mystery.
Was this review helpful?
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie

It was great fun to visit Sarah, her family, and friends again in Alabama! I especially enjoyed seeing how her pets, RahRah, her late mother-in-law’s cat, and Fluffy, a former neighbor’s dog, are getting along together. This story invited me in on the first page and kept me engaged throughout. The mysteries were quite difficult to solve; I was completely surprised to learn who the real bad guy was and why!

Sarah’s confidence in and acceptance of herself has grown since her divorce from her now-late ex-husband. She is a partner in her twin sister Emily’s and Emily’s boyfriend Marcus’s new venture, Southwind, which will open as soon as the final inspection is complete. Sarah’s skills continue to improve as a receptionist/ assistant to her boss Harlan, an attorney, and they both volunteer regularly at the local animal shelter. The only twinges of discomfort she has is whether Cliff, the man she is dating has the same intentions toward her as she has for him.

It is past time for the new Southwind white tablecloth restaurant to open, and Botts, the inspector, pleads that his workload has caused the delay. The competition, Jane’s Place, skated through all their inspections and is celebrating a very successful grand opening. Jane once worked for Sarah, Emily’s twin, but her cooking isn’t what attracts customers to the restaurant. Riley, a recent culinary school grad, is her star chef. She brings a highly sought-after repertoire of vegan recipes that have customers all over Wheaton talking about Jane’s Place.

Jane herself is one of Sarah’s least favorite people, having had an affair with Sarah’s late ex that caused their divorce. She tried to take RahRah from her, but RahRah, bless his sweet feline heart, wouldn’t cooperate. Attending the open house at Jane’s Place wasn’t the highlight of Sarah’s week, but it was necessary. Emily and Marcus are the chefs at Southwind, as Sarah is as cooking challenged as I am. By the end of the evening, however, Riley was dead in the parking lot from what appeared to be a broken neck. The acting chief of police, Dwayne Gerard, had one suspect. Jacob, a close friend of Sarah and former boyfriend of Riley, was kneeling by Riley’s body, in shock. The chief sees Jacob’s motive as Riley having tossed him aside for the building inspector, Botts, with the means being his hands from years of martial arts training.

Jacob’s sister Anne and their friend Eloise ask Sarah to look into the murder, as she has already helped solve two in recent months. Sarah feels that her discoveries in those murders were lucky guesses, and Harlan doesn’t want her involved in another investigation for her own safety. This time, as Jacob’s lawyer, Harlan absolutely doesn’t want her “help” as he has his own methods of working to defend or clear his clients. Most people who know Jacob and Riley want to help clear him, including the people in the motorcycle club he is a member of. When another murder occurs and Jacob is being considered for that, the stakes skyrocket, and Sarah can’t quite let go of it.

The characters are an eclectic mix of folks who are defined very well. Learning more about Eloise has been a delight; I would have never pictured her riding her own motorcycle! Nor did I anticipate there being a local motorcycle club for people who like to ride together for fun and to raise money for charities in Wheaton. It is a pleasure to watch Sarah blossom in all areas of her life, even if I don’t always agree with her impulsive actions when trying to find a killer.

There are fascinating plot twists that kept me hopping and changing suspects! The author shared about the motorcycles and accessories that were part of the story and explained everything very well. There were a couple things about vegan cooking I was unaware of before. Sarah’s interactions with RahRah and Fluffy are spot on to demonstrate how close we can be with our companion pets. While there is a spot of romance, it is just enough to enhance rather than detract from the story. Not one of the people I suspected was the bad guy! The killer(s) was absolutely not on my radar at all! There were surprises at the end, which was very satisfying. I highly recommend this novel and series!

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
Was this review helpful?
Princess Fuzzypants here:  While Sarah and her twin Emma and Emma’s husband Marcus are waiting for the inspection approval, their rival, Jane, opens her new eatery across the street from theirs.  As attendees to her opening, they are disheartened by the glowing reviews of Jane;s vegan dishes.  The creator of those dishes is Riley but her success is cut short as her body is discovered on the night of the grand opening.  Sarah’s friend Jacob is the prime suspect.  He has been obsessed with Riley and although she is a flirt and a user of the highest order, he cannot see it.

Sarah and Harlan, her boss, and Jacob’s sister Anne, are all trying to keep him out of jail and find the real killer.  As Sarah learns more and more about how both Riley and the second murder victim have misused so many people, the candidate list grows but the police chief can see no further than Jacob.  At Anne’s bequest, she delves further into the backgrounds and comes up with some surprising, nay shocking, connections.  One of them is going to turn deadly.  Can Sarah reveal the culprit without losing her life.  It is going to be a very close call.

Any story with vets and a cat named Rah Rah and a puppy named Fluffy is going to catch my interest.  It also happens to be a good mystery with some unexpected turns that provide tons of suspense until the killer is revealed.  Four purrs and two paws up.
Was this review helpful?
This seemed like it would be a fun book, combining food and cats and mystery.  Turns out there's more to do with motorcycles and dogs, than cats.  And, I would strongly urge people to read this series in order.  I jumped in at this book, and there were all sorts of allusions to what happened in the previous books, but that were not immediately explained for the novice.  That made it difficult for me to follow at times.  And, this is one of those books that claims to be a cat mystery (in fact a cat graces the cover), yet the cat does nothing more than eat and exist.  I'd like to see more involvement, if a cat is going to be on the cover.  As for the mystery itself, it was quite well constructed, but I thought there a few too many characters to keep track of (again, this might be due to my jumping in at the third book).   I'd rate it average.
Was this review helpful?
A sweet cozy mystery with an adorable cat.  I did find the  ending predictable and it was easy to guess the suspect.  But other cozy mystery fans will most likely enjoy this read.
Was this review helpful?
This is the 3rd  release in the new cozy series" Sarah Blair" by  author Debra Goldstein.  
Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley. My review opinion is my own.  This is a fun new cozy series with great charcters . 

This is a charming series that I always enjoy returning to. In this next in series set in the Southern town of  Wheaton Alabama Sarah and her sister Emily are waiting for final approval  to open their restaurant while they deal with the red tape.  As their approval drags on they find out that a new restaurant owned by the ex mistresses of her dead ex husband is opening across the street.  When the new chef of restaurant is found dead with a friend of Sarah's near the body he is immediately taken in as prime suspect in her murder.  Sarah is sure  that he is not guilt and works to free her friend and find the read suspect.  

I like Sarah as a likable protagnist who is very real.  This series has humor throughout and is always fast paced with a well crafted sleuth.  I look forward to the next in series.
Was this review helpful?
In this 3rd book in the Sarah Blair Mystery series, Sarah and her sister are still struggling to open their restaurant. This time inspection woes have delayed their dream project.....long enough for weasel-y rival Jane to pop back up to cause trouble. Jane opens a competing restaurant quite close to Sarah & Emily's delayed upscale eatery. When Jane's talented chef turns up dead, Sarah and her pals land in the soup again.... 

I love this series! It's always an enjoyable mix of murder mystery and humor. RahRah the siamese cat is of course a favorite character of mine. And I enjoy hating the daylights out of annoying Jane, as I am sure is the author's intention. There are times I want to hop into the book and just punch Jane. I would gladly smack her....but killing her chef is a pretty low blow. :)

Great read! I needed some cozy goodness with everything going on in my life. This book gave me a nice spot of humor and entertainment! I read my review copy and then also checked out the audio book on Scribd. I love listening to makes my commute to work more interesting and it's just enjoyable to have a cute story read to me. Even though I knew how the plot turned out already, I still enjoyed listening to the audio. Emily Beresford narrates. She reads at a nice, steady pace and has a pleasant voice. The audio is just over 7.5 hours. All in all, a great listening experience!

Can't wait for the next book in this series! Oh, and there are recipes in the book as well! 

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Kensington. All opinions expressed are completely my own.**
Was this review helpful?
Sarah Blair has moved back to Wheaton, Alabama.
Her twin sister, Chef Emily and Marcus are 
running the Southwind’s Pub. They are waiting 
inspection for their white tablecloth Southwind 
restaurant to open.
Meanwhile, Sarah’s nemesis, Jane has opened a
restaurant right across the street from where 
Southwind is to open. Jane is “the bimbo” that
stole Jane’s ex-husband. Jane has hired a cook
named Riley Miller that specializes in vegan 
cuisine. The vegan menu has their restaurant packed. 
The night before the grand opening of Jane’s 
Place, the vegan chef is found murdered!!!
When Sarah’s friend gets accused, she has to
prove his innocence. Especially when Anne, the 
sister of the accused and up-coming politician, 
requests Sarah to investigate.
As Sarah moves forward the plot thickens at 
every turn. A slew of well defined, well written 
characters keep Sarah rethinking the culprit. 
But Sarah is determined to weed through all she 
has discovered to find out who murdered the 
vegan chef.
Besides well created humans, Sarah’s fur babies:
Siamese cat Rah, Rah and her dog Fluffy add to 
the flavor of the story.
I could not put the book down from the first word
until the complex puzzle was solved. I enjoyed the 
different angles thrown into the mix as it kept me
guessing up until the culprit was caught.
Although this is book # 3 in the Sarah Blair 
Mystery series, the author provides enough 
backstory that the past and present are presented 
I volunteered to read Three Treats Too Many.
My opinion is voluntary and my own.
Delicious recipes are included at the story’s end.
A Definite Book To Read!!
Thanks to Kensington Publishers via Net Gallery 
for the opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars

This is the third book in the Sarah Blair mystery series by Debra H. Goldstein.

While Sarah and her sister are waiting for their new restaurant to be inspected, her late ex—husband’s mistress is already having a grand opening for her own restaurant. Lots of rivalry between these two as Jane even tries to steal one of Sarah’s employees after her popular vegan sous chef is found dead outside their establishment.

Sarah’s life is pretty full in this book. There is a whole secondary storyline featuring her two animals RahRah the cat and Fluffy the dog and the veteran run vet clinic.

Riley Miller, the late sous chef is also a pretty visible character even in death. She was a big fan of motor bikes and  made it her mission to ride with others who owned a bike every weekend. She dated and dumped quite a few guys in her young life and so the suspect pool was pretty large, to say the least.

This one was a hard one to figure out but I enjoyed the chase as Sarah stuck her nose into the investigation. Lots of great characters here and a rich community that just jumps off the page. Loving this new to me series. Definitely one I want to continue on with.

If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
Was this review helpful?
Another good addition to this story, this book is as enjoyable and engrossing as usual.
It's was great to catch up with the characters and to live their small town live.
The mystery was solid even if it sometimes it took the backseat.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?