"Roast Date" by Heather Day Gilbert: Review/giveaway

Review by Tracy Condie

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

This is my first time reading a Barks & Beans mystery, and I had no problem keeping up with Macy and her crew as book seven of the series does a good enough job as a stand-alone. What a novel idea for a café that is also a meet ‘n’ greet for rescued pups. I have heard of cat cafes but never a canine café. If that isn’t cozy enough for you, this is a Christmas themed story, and there is nothing cozier than a Christmastime cozy, even if there is murder and mayhem.

The important things to know are that Macy has a heart of gold and is fiercely protective, something that she most likely learned from her big brother, Bo (short for Boaz.) He is a former DEA agent, former vice-president for a coffee company, Macy’s partner in the Barks & Beans Café, and an excellent cook.

➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for more articles ⬅

Image Source WoodHaven Press
Macy’s significant other is Titan (a current DEA agent), and her best friend and soon-to-be sister-in-law (shhh, Bo is proposing), Summer Adkins, is the local animal shelter owner. Last but not least is next door neighbor Vera who, in a way, had a hand in helping to raise Macy and Bo since she was the best friend of the aunt appointed guardian to the siblings following their parents’ fatal accident.

The mystery starts moving pretty fast after we are introduced to the characters. Vera’s book club Christmas party is the scene for some gossip, snark, dog mayhem, and what looks to be suicide by book discussion leader, Mayor Goldie Keaton. It seems like drugs are involved, and since this happened in Vera’s home, she is the first to be questioned. The next suspect is Lena, wife of Dr. Schneider, because the gossip involves her husband. Then there are the Gills because they lost the last mayoral election. Even with the mudslinging about Goldie’s possible drug connections, wife and book club member, Nancy Gill was even more upset by the loss than her husband. Lastly, there is Rashana Evans, who really thinks she is qualified to be the interim mayor. The City Manager, Cully Stone, has other plans; he wants Bo to take up the reigns. There are so many good suspects and so many good red herrings.

Detective Hatcher has his job cut out for him, but thankfully he has a good relationship with Macy and is always open to any bits of information that she can pass along. As with all good cozy sleuths, Macy has a way of getting people to talk to her or being in the right place at the right time. Even if she is uncomfortable, she notices things that others might miss.

This book has all the best parts of a well-developed cozy mystery. I did not figure out the big reveal and, even then, I had missed certain clues that would have really put it into perspective for me. I look forward to reading many more Barks & Beans Café mysteries in the future.

 To enter to win a copy of Roast Date (In the US you can win a print copy, international can enter for ebook copy), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "roast,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 14, 2023. US residents only (unless you are entering for the ebook copy) and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Tracy Condie is a paralegal by day and cozy armchair sleuth by night. When she is not working or reading, she enjoys preparing the recipes found in culinary cozies or researching recipes of meal items described therein and sharing reviews of both books and food on Instagram and on KRL. She lives in Corona, California with her husband and dog Zoolie, and looks forward to visiting with their grown sons when their time permits.


Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I love cozy mysteries especially the ones with animals. Would love to win. Usersns8800@aol.com

  2. Great to see the dogs get their rescue cafe.
    Sounds like a good read - able to start in the
    middle of the series. thanks

  3. Looks like a cute book. She's an author I'd like to try.
    dianemestrella at gmail dto com

  4. What a cute series. And a Christmas theme is extra magical.

  5. New author to me. Would really like to read.

  6. This looks fun! Lyn Perry - lyngperry @ yahoo dot com

  7. Sounds like a fun series! tWarner419@aol.com

  8. Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham

  10. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham


Post a Comment