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That Old Flame of Mine

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Set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, J. J. Cooks thrilling new mystery series features Fire Chief Stella Griffin, who solves crime with the help of her predecessor, who just happens to be a ghost NO MATCH FOR MURDER After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads Set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, J. J. Cook’s thrilling new mystery series features Fire Chief Stella Griffin, who solves crime with the help of her predecessor, who just happens to be a ghost… NO MATCH FOR MURDER After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small town’s fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson and foul play. As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely source—the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief. And if that isn’t enough to rattle her, attractive police officer John Trump seems to have taken an interest in her. But Stella’s got to stay focused if she hopes to smoke out a killer before her own life is extinguished. INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!


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Set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, J. J. Cooks thrilling new mystery series features Fire Chief Stella Griffin, who solves crime with the help of her predecessor, who just happens to be a ghost NO MATCH FOR MURDER After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads Set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, J. J. Cook’s thrilling new mystery series features Fire Chief Stella Griffin, who solves crime with the help of her predecessor, who just happens to be a ghost… NO MATCH FOR MURDER After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small town’s fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson and foul play. As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely source—the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief. And if that isn’t enough to rattle her, attractive police officer John Trump seems to have taken an interest in her. But Stella’s got to stay focused if she hopes to smoke out a killer before her own life is extinguished. INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

30 review for That Old Flame of Mine

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    I couldn't put this down and would give it more stars if I could! I absolutely loved everything about this book. I could tell fairly early on that Sweet Pepper was a town full of secrets and that somehow there would still be some issues to work out in the next three books, so I was completely fine with that. The main murder in this book was solved, but I cannot wait to dig into the next book and see how the new investigation comes out for Stella! These characters were all so awesome! A I couldn't put this down and would give it more stars if I could! I absolutely loved everything about this book. I could tell fairly early on that Sweet Pepper was a town full of secrets and that somehow there would still be some issues to work out in the next three books, so I was completely fine with that. The main murder in this book was solved, but I cannot wait to dig into the next book and see how the new investigation comes out for Stella! These characters were all so awesome! A well-placed clue told me the killer before Stella even realized it. I liked the whole fire brigade as I got to know them better. And what a great ghost story! My favorite kind, meaning that the ghost isn't menacing or evil but helps people and maybe even steps in to solve a murder or save a life. I know I've not even cracked the surface of what the LaVenes have written in their ended-much-too-quickly writing career, but if the rest of their books are like this one, I'm going to be one happy camper.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    A very good read, with a touch of paranormal elements.

  3. 5 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi *Beware of possible Spoilers* After catching her boyfriend cheating, fire fighter Stella Griffin decides its time for a temporary change of scenery. So she hops on her Harley and leaves Chicago and heads for the small town of Sweet Pepper, Tennessee where they are in need of a fire chief to get their own volunteer fire brigade running. The job is temporary as she is planning to go back home after her three month stint is over, where shell hopefully have had Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi *Beware of possible Spoilers* After catching her boyfriend cheating, fire fighter Stella Griffin decides its time for a temporary change of scenery. So she hops on her Harley and leaves Chicago and heads for the small town of Sweet Pepper, Tennessee where they are in need of a fire chief to get their own volunteer fire brigade running. The job is temporary as she is planning to go back home after her three month stint is over, where she’ll hopefully have had time to cool down from her recent heartbreak. Sweet Pepper is a charming little town where news travels fast and everybody knows not only your name (cue the Cheers theme song), but your whole life story! Stella quickly adjusts to her new job as fire chief, training the volunteers and tackling any issues that arise. The town has put her up in the cabin up the road from the fire station that is rumored to be haunted by the town’s former fire chief, Eric Gamlyn, who was killed shortly before the disbandment of the original fire brigade. Stella doesn’t believe in ghosts, but when this one starts talking to her, she can’t help, but to become a believer! Shortly after arriving in Sweet Pepper the fire brigade is called into action. To Stella’s dismay it’s to her new friend, Tory’s, house where Stella finds her friend dead. But it appears that Tory died before the fire, if only she could convince the police chief of that! Stella must find a way to prove that there is foul play afoot to have any chance of getting justice for the dearly departed. I thought this book sounded cute and decided to give a try. It took me a little while to get into it, but once I did, I found myself really enjoying it! I can definitely relate to the small town dynamic, coming from a small town myself, where nothing is ever really secret! Most books you read that involve a ghost don’t get too specific on the details of the ghost. That was not the case in this story. In fact, this poltergeist was probably my favorite character in the whole book! I loved his interactions with Stella and found myself laughing at comments and reactions he made when other people, ones that can’t hear him, were around! I also really liked Stella’s potential love interest, John. He seems like quite the little sweetie! He’s definitely somebody that could tempt you into staying on in the small town life a little bit longer! Stella also learns more about her own family, including family secrets, while staying in Sweet Pepper that she never expected to uncover. This was a nice start to an interesting new series! I just hope with the discovery at the end of this book, an obvious segue into the next installment, doesn’t lead to the end of Eric’s haunting! Like I said before, I really like him:) http://openbooksociety.com/article/th...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    That Old Flame Of Mine is the first book in A Sweet Pepper Mystery series by J. J. Cook(Joyce and Jim Lavene) For me, this was a wonderful story. A well plotted mystery, interesting characters, some you will love and some you may not like so much, and a ghost that you have to enjoy. I can't leave out Hero, the fire station's Dalmatian puppy. Stella Griffin is on medical leave from the Chicago Fire Department and has decided to head to Sweet Pepper, TN to organize and train their volunteer fire That Old Flame Of Mine is the first book in A Sweet Pepper Mystery series by J. J. Cook(Joyce and Jim Lavene) For me, this was a wonderful story. A well plotted mystery, interesting characters, some you will love and some you may not like so much, and a ghost that you have to enjoy. I can't leave out Hero, the fire station's Dalmatian puppy. Stella Griffin is on medical leave from the Chicago Fire Department and has decided to head to Sweet Pepper, TN to organize and train their volunteer fire department. Shortly after arriving Tory Lambert gives Stella a file she has put together over the years on her husbands alleged accidental death by fire. A lot of residents feel that Ben Carlson, the owner of the pepper plant, forced the finding so that the Sweet Pepper Festival could go on without the residents and visitors worrying about a killer being around. Then Stella learns that Ben Carson is her grandfather, that she never knew she had. The next day a call comes in that Tory's house in on fire. While the fire fighters are attacking the fire, Stella and John start searching for Tory. They find her in a closet, dead. Stella sees things that point to murder and not death related to the fire while investigating the fire scene. One evening as she is riding her Harley home one night she crashes it and doesn't know if she was hit or hit someone. She wakes up in s strange home and is being cared for by a private nurse. She soon learns that the home is her grandfather's. The grandfather that she didn't know she had. The grandfather is none other than Ben Carson. With all of this going on, Stella also has the ghost of Eric Gamlyn to deal with. Eric was the previous fire chief and died in a silo fire, losing his life to save another fire fighter. Stella is learning to deal with having a ghost around, but then it is nice to have the lights on when you come home and have the door magically open for you. With a little help from Eric, Stella and John, start looking for clues to help solve Tory's mysterious death and that of her ex-husband. John has a problem with Carson being Stella's grandfather, but are able to put those feelings aside and are able to work together to solve the mystery. I think this is going to be a fun series and am looking forward to the next.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie and Louis Rigod

    Well for a debut novel this particular cozy murder mystery was compelling and leaves me eagerly awaiting the next volume! We are introduced to the new Fire Chief Stella Griffin of Sweet Pepper, TN who is considering the appointment as 'Temporary.' The job Stella has been hired to do is create a Volunteer Fire Brigade since the county has cancelled their contract with Sweet Pepper. Stella, who needs a break from the hectic professional and personal pace of Chicago is delighted with her new job. Well for a debut novel this particular cozy murder mystery was compelling and leaves me eagerly awaiting the next volume! We are introduced to the new Fire Chief Stella Griffin of Sweet Pepper, TN who is considering the appointment as 'Temporary.' The job Stella has been hired to do is create a Volunteer Fire Brigade since the county has cancelled their contract with Sweet Pepper. Stella, who needs a break from the hectic professional and personal pace of Chicago is delighted with her new job. There is just a couple of chinks in the deal...one is the former Fire Chief, now a ghost, and the second is a man named Ben Carson who seems to own the town and more. Stella quickly finds that she just may need to depend upon Eric Gamlyn, the resident ghost, more than she would like. Police Officer John Trump seems to have taken a like to her, except for her family connections, another mystery to be solved. As the fires mount and bodies add up, Stella finds herself believing there is a thread of connection amongst them. Could it be a twenty year old accidental death by fire really be a murder case? In order to solve that question, Stella soon finds herself a target for death. I was compelled to continue reading this novel without a break. The flavors of a paranormal mystery, suspense, tossed in with the heady taste, visual and sensual of hot jalapeno chilli beckons the reader. Luckily, there are delicious sounding recipes thrown in at the ending to experience providing the reader with a bonus indeed. This was a spicy, delicious read with enough layers of mysteries to keep you entertained for hours.

  6. 5 out of 5

    leslye

    Stella Griffin is a Harley-riding fire fighter from Chicago who has taken on an assignment in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee to help establish a volunteer fire department. She discovers an old, unexplained death, the death of a friend, and oh.... a live-in ghost at the fire station. So Chief Stella puts herself at risk to uncover these mysteries. I loved Sweet Pepper- it was the ideal small town setting near the Smokey Mountains, and it had the cozy feel of "Mayberry". I also liked Stella and her Stella Griffin is a Harley-riding fire fighter from Chicago who has taken on an assignment in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee to help establish a volunteer fire department. She discovers an old, unexplained death, the death of a friend, and oh.... a live-in ghost at the fire station. So Chief Stella puts herself at risk to uncover these mysteries. I loved Sweet Pepper- it was the ideal small town setting near the Smokey Mountains, and it had the cozy feel of "Mayberry". I also liked Stella and her live-in ghost, but probably not enough to continue with the series... on the other hand, I haven't ruled them out either. ;-)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    Finding boy friend in bed with her best friend; Stella takes a job in Sweet Pepper, TN. She is the Fire Chief and plans to train volunteers to fight fires in 3 months. Her first real fire she finds a victim in a closet. Setting out to find the cause of the fire, the past becomes important . WAIT SHE LIVING IN A HAUNTED CABIN! I am ready for the next book. I like reading about the fire department rather the police

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Haddock

    Wow! My husband read this one first, and couldn't put it down. I read it in about 4 hours yesterday, and, yes, couldn't put it down. Great characters, including a cool ghost, a terrific mystery, lots of twists. This is the first of a new series, and I can't wait for the next book!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I really enjoyed this cozy and am already hoping for more books in the series! First off, I think Stella is the smartest cozy main character I've ever come across. She doesn't do any of the bone-headed things that cozy heroines tend to do, getting themselves into danger and earning a TSTL label. Maybe it's because Stella is a fire chief, but most everything she does is savvy and sensible, if occasionally a bit risky. There wasn't a single instance where I rolled my eyes, and thought: "GOOD GRIEF! I really enjoyed this cozy and am already hoping for more books in the series! First off, I think Stella is the smartest cozy main character I've ever come across. She doesn't do any of the bone-headed things that cozy heroines tend to do, getting themselves into danger and earning a TSTL label. Maybe it's because Stella is a fire chief, but most everything she does is savvy and sensible, if occasionally a bit risky. There wasn't a single instance where I rolled my eyes, and thought: "GOOD GRIEF! How can you BE THAT STUPID?!" So big points for that. I also loved the town of Sweet Pepper. This is is a small town with all the small town quirks - busybodies, everyone always all up in everyone else's business, world views from several decades past - but somehow, it still came across to me as quirky and charming rather than irritating. There is also a slight paranormal aspect to the story - which I won't disclose as I feel it would be a spoiler, but it is a fun addition, rather than the main focus, and it really works with the plot and added to my enjoyment of the story. It felt natural rather than forced. Finally, there is a family drama aspect to the story that suggests lots more to come for Stella. Again, I won't say more to avoid spoilers, but it was a well-conceived component for the story, I thought. The fire fighting focus was a new one for me and I enjoyed learning more about that. I also loved that Stella is a female fire chief, even though some of the people around her don't love that. Stella is a terrific character and I liked her a lot. There were plenty of set ups for potential drama in future books, even though this book had a proper ending for this story - a biggie for me, I'm not a fan of cliff-hangers. Overall, I liked everything about this and would definitely recommend it if you like cozies!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Ks Book Reviews

    Author J. J. Cook - AKA husband and wife team Jim & Joyce Lavene, have a real winner on their hands.This is a fantastic book!.I wasn't sure at first that I would like a ghost with my cozy (though I love ghost stories and watch true ghost shows), but it worked and I really enjoyed it. Stella is a strong protagonist and not only because she's a fire fighter. She's intelligent and insightful, as well as kind and caring. I love that she has the respect of her volunteer fire fighters. Many Author J. J. Cook - AKA husband and wife team Jim & Joyce Lavene, have a real winner on their hands.This is a fantastic book!.I wasn't sure at first that I would like a ghost with my cozy (though I love ghost stories and watch true ghost shows), but it worked and I really enjoyed it. Stella is a strong protagonist and not only because she's a fire fighter. She's intelligent and insightful, as well as kind and caring. I love that she has the respect of her volunteer fire fighters. Many stories would have at least one or two men disrespecting her authority what with it being a small town. I also like the way she excepts ghost Eric Gamblyn. If all ghosts were like him, I'd want one too! Eric is a good sounding board for Stella. The two play well off each other. Policeman/fire fighter John Trump's feelings for Stella are at war with his feelings for her family, but he seems a good pairing for her. And with a supporting cast of fire fighters Ricky, Petey, Banyin, and Bert, local war hero Tagger, Police Chief Rodgers, who is not a supporter of Stella, and a host of Sweet Pepper locals, THAT OLD FLAME OF MINE is a must read and has left me burning for more! ATTN: Recipe lovers - Look for the great pepper recipes at the back of the book!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie Jackson

    I am in love!!! Why didn't I discover this series earlier. That Old Flame Of Mine introduced me to Stella Griffin and the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, the last chief of the volunteer fire department of Sweet Pepper, Tennessee who died a heroes death 40 years ago. I adore the Stella, Eric, and the volunteers! They are presented realistically but as volunteers often are, they are special people with strengths and weaknesses and great hearts. Stella is on rehab leave as a captain in the Chicago fire I am in love!!! Why didn't I discover this series earlier. That Old Flame Of Mine introduced me to Stella Griffin and the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, the last chief of the volunteer fire department of Sweet Pepper, Tennessee who died a heroes death 40 years ago. I adore the Stella, Eric, and the volunteers! They are presented realistically but as volunteers often are, they are special people with strengths and weaknesses and great hearts. Stella is on rehab leave as a captain in the Chicago fire department. She has been hired as temporary fire chief of the newly reactivated Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade so she can train the volunteers and get the department up to code. Stella makes several startling discoveries including one piece of information that is personal to her and finding the body of a new friend and strong supporter of the department. Since there is no arson investigator and she doesn't feel that the local police chief will investigate carefully, she determines to investigate herself. A really awesome series and I can't wait to read more.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    I loved it! This is a good mystery and a great cast of characters. I love the name of the town. Sweet Pepper. An interesting twist is the ghost of an old fire chief. I highly recommend reading it. I just purchased the second book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    NO MATCH FOR MURDER After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small towns fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson and foul play. As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely sourcethe ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Peppers old fire chief. NO MATCH FOR MURDER After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small town’s fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson and foul play. As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely source—the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief. And if that isn’t enough to rattle her, attractive police officer John Trump seems to have taken an interest in her. But Stella’s got to stay focused if she hopes to smoke out a killer before her own life is extinguished. Dollycas’s Thoughts As the daughter of a firefighter I was thrilled with this book. My dad passed away 25 years ago and it still seems like yesterday. I wish he would haunt his old firehouse, maybe he does? He did not die on “a scene” but he was a chief too just like Eric Gamlyn and I so wanted to be a firefighter and work side by side with him. At that time female firefighters were few and far between. Ladies were on the auxiliary and handled bake sales and delivered food and drink to the big fires. I would have loved Stella’s life even with the crummy boyfriend. The story is so well written and full of wonderful real characters. The drill/practice sessions ring true to me as someone who has observed many. Chief Eric’s haunts struck my heart. Another firefighter lost too soon with so many plans and dedication. Stella has a lot on her plate in Sweet Pepper and with a bit of “help” she comes out on top. A sassy, smart, sleuth that this reader plans to enjoy tagging along with for a very long time. J.J. Cook has written an extraordinary debut. This book will be burning up bookstore shelves next Tuesday. It’s hotter than a 5 alarm fire!! Respond and extricate your copy as soon as possible.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I wasn't sure if I was even going to read this one but it was on my library hold list so I decided why not. It wasn't a bad cozy mystery. I don't know if the type of cozy it represents interests me - it is about Stella who is the acting fire chief of the volunteer fire brigade in Sweet Pepper, TN. There are a few unsolved mysteries floating around town along with a brand new one, who killed and set fire to one of Stella's new neighbor's home. The mystery was multi-layered and not all that easy I wasn't sure if I was even going to read this one but it was on my library hold list so I decided why not. It wasn't a bad cozy mystery. I don't know if the type of cozy it represents interests me - it is about Stella who is the acting fire chief of the volunteer fire brigade in Sweet Pepper, TN. There are a few unsolved mysteries floating around town along with a brand new one, who killed and set fire to one of Stella's new neighbor's home. The mystery was multi-layered and not all that easy to figure out but I feel like the actual person who committed the murder was like uh huh? No clues leading up to this person being the actual killer. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing in a mystery. There was no suspicion whatsoever so it came out of the blue? Stella's love interest, as other reviewers commented on, well there's something to be desired here. He runs hot and cold for me. The ghostly fire chief, that could be interesting but how does someone fall in love with a ghost? There was also a lot going on in this story in general, it might be a little too busy for me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    This book, That Old Flame Of Mine, will be on the shelves on April 2, if I could only buy 1 book this month it would be this one! Fire fighter, Stella Griffin, takes on a temporary job as Fire Chief, in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. Stella lives and works in Chicago, but following an injury and a bad break-up, is in need of a change of scenery for a while. Stella is hired to put together a rag tag group of volunteers in this small southern town, but there is more on her plate than she ever imagined. This book, That Old Flame Of Mine, will be on the shelves on April 2, if I could only buy 1 book this month it would be this one! Fire fighter, Stella Griffin, takes on a temporary job as Fire Chief, in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. Stella lives and works in Chicago, but following an injury and a bad break-up, is in need of a change of scenery for a while. Stella is hired to put together a rag tag group of volunteers in this small southern town, but there is more on her plate than she ever imagined. Not only do the Lavenes take us into the world of fire fighting, we make a stop in the romance aisle, meeting hunky ex-fire chief Eric, and also hunky cop and volunteer fire fighter John. Throw in a dash of unknown family ties, and some eerie events and you have another winner by the Lavenes. This book was so difficult for me to put down, and even more difficult for me to have it end. I could have continued reading this series forever, I think! Oh, to live in that same small town tucked away by the great Smoky Mountains, and to have neighbors such as these, would ensure that I would be a happy camper forever.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sallee

    This series by J.J. Cook is wonderful. The characters are unique and the storyline is wonderful. This particular one had arson, murder, new and old, family secrets and the appearance of the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, former Fire Chief of Sweet Pepper who mysteriously died in a fire. As Stella works hard trying to train the firefighters before she leaves to go back home, she finds several unsolved mysteries about the deaths of several people. She also finds out that she has a grandfather she never This series by J.J. Cook is wonderful. The characters are unique and the storyline is wonderful. This particular one had arson, murder, new and old, family secrets and the appearance of the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, former Fire Chief of Sweet Pepper who mysteriously died in a fire. As Stella works hard trying to train the firefighters before she leaves to go back home, she finds several unsolved mysteries about the deaths of several people. She also finds out that she has a grandfather she never knew existed. As the story unfolds, Stella finds herself in danger. She also comes to believe in and eventually see Eric who built the cabin where she lives. This is the first book. I read the third one first and am getting ready to read the second. They can stand on their own without problems. A great series. Hope to see more.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Excellent first-in-series! I've read one other book by JJ Cook, the first in the Biscuit Bowl series, and this one was completely different. This series, set in a small town in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, centers around the volunteer fire department and its temporary chief, Stella. This book moves at a great pace, and was really hard for me to put down. I found it fascinating to learn about the equipment, training, and duties of a firefighter. There's more than one mystery to solve (and Excellent first-in-series! I've read one other book by JJ Cook, the first in the Biscuit Bowl series, and this one was completely different. This series, set in a small town in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, centers around the volunteer fire department and its temporary chief, Stella. This book moves at a great pace, and was really hard for me to put down. I found it fascinating to learn about the equipment, training, and duties of a firefighter. There's more than one mystery to solve (and not all of them are solved!) and several BIG plot twists that I never saw coming. Most of the characters are likeable, though a couple of them run hot and cold, so it was hard for me to decide if I liked them or not. There are a couple characters who aren't as they appear, in my opinion. I'm looking forward to continuing this series to see if my hunch is right.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    So, I finally got to reading That Old Flame of Mine this last week. My first question is "Why did I wait so long?!?" I absolutely loved the book. While it's still a cozy mystery, which I do love, it's not your average cozy. Ghosts, action, a little romance, and of course mystery, this book has something for almost everyone. I'm not going to spoil the story by recapping it here. Suffice it to say that while this book starts out as a fairly ordinary cozy mystery, it quickly becomes something So, I finally got to reading That Old Flame of Mine this last week. My first question is "Why did I wait so long?!?" I absolutely loved the book. While it's still a cozy mystery, which I do love, it's not your average cozy. Ghosts, action, a little romance, and of course mystery, this book has something for almost everyone. I'm not going to spoil the story by recapping it here. Suffice it to say that while this book starts out as a fairly ordinary cozy mystery, it quickly becomes something completely new and different while still remaining within the cozy genre. I loved it, enough to give 5/5 stars, which I almost never do. My only other question is...when does the next one come out? I have to know what happens next!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    This was a funny, well-written mystery that had the right tones of suspense, action, and murder to make it a winner. I loved the characters. Stalla, John, Erin, Petey, Walt, Ricky, even Ben. They all were 3D, and believable, which is what I want when I read a book. I really want to know more about Ben, if he's really turning good or if he just wants Stella to stay selfishly. I also loved the setting, I could picture the mountains in Tennessee and Sweet Pepper. The name of the town is magnificent, This was a funny, well-written mystery that had the right tones of suspense, action, and murder to make it a winner. I loved the characters. Stalla, John, Erin, Petey, Walt, Ricky, even Ben. They all were 3D, and believable, which is what I want when I read a book. I really want to know more about Ben, if he's really turning good or if he just wants Stella to stay selfishly. I also loved the setting, I could picture the mountains in Tennessee and Sweet Pepper. The name of the town is magnificent, Sweet Pepper, I'd love to live there. I honestly can't think of one bad thing to say about this book, I loved it. There wasn't too much romance, just a little bit, and the fact that Stella punched her ex made me smile. An amazing book and a start to what looks like an amazing series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary Brown

    That Old Flame Of Mine by J. J. Cook was a fantastic read. The characters are well developed and realistically portrayed. You can see the growth of the fire brigade from the beginning to the end of the book. The mystery continues throughout the whole book and at the end there is another mystery to solve, (who killed the old fire chief). The settings were descriptive and at times I felt I was there witnessing the fires and the action. The writing style flowed easily and it was a quick easy read. That Old Flame Of Mine by J. J. Cook was a fantastic read. The characters are well developed and realistically portrayed. You can see the growth of the fire brigade from the beginning to the end of the book. The mystery continues throughout the whole book and at the end there is another mystery to solve, (who killed the old fire chief). The settings were descriptive and at times I felt I was there witnessing the fires and the action. The writing style flowed easily and it was a quick easy read. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read cozies. One of my favorite category of books to read is a cozy mystery with a ghost and this book was one of the best that I've read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Schwartz

    This book is set in Tennessee right near the Smoky Mountains. Great setting for a mystery series. Stella Griffin is a firefighter from Chicago who has taken an assignment in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee to help set up a volunteer fire department. All is not sweetness and light there though. She discovers old unexplained deaths, a new fresh death of a friend of hers and a live-in ghost at the fire station. Chief Stella puts herself at great risk to uncover the mysteries that seem to abound in Sweet This book is set in Tennessee right near the Smoky Mountains. Great setting for a mystery series. Stella Griffin is a firefighter from Chicago who has taken an assignment in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee to help set up a volunteer fire department. All is not sweetness and light there though. She discovers old unexplained deaths, a new fresh death of a friend of hers and a live-in ghost at the fire station. Chief Stella puts herself at great risk to uncover the mysteries that seem to abound in Sweet Pepper. I like Stella and her live-in ghost, but I'm not sure I'll continue to read this series. Some of the other characters aren't so likeable or as well-drawn.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I really liked this new series, which wasn't surprising since I love the author's Missing Pieces series too. The setting here is very different- a small town at the base of the Smokey Mountains. There is mystery, a twist right toward the beginning, a ghost, a little romance, small town gossip and a lot of curiosity into whether this town has a secret dark side. There was even a cute Dalmatian puppy and another twist at the end that has me looking forward to the next installment in this series. I really liked this new series, which wasn't surprising since I love the author's Missing Pieces series too. The setting here is very different- a small town at the base of the Smokey Mountains. There is mystery, a twist right toward the beginning, a ghost, a little romance, small town gossip and a lot of curiosity into whether this town has a secret dark side. There was even a cute Dalmatian puppy and another twist at the end that has me looking forward to the next installment in this series. Highly recommended!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    I was coaxed into entering to win this book by my wife (lover of all books) and to my surprise, i liked it. This book ignites a fire in a fire in the reader to learn about Sweet Pepper and all of its inner mysteries. I come from a small town and the relation to the book and its many characters is relatable in my everyday life. Definitely a book to pickup and read, but be warned as you will not put it down until you have read it all.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nora-adrienne

    Totally outstanding first book in a new series.. I love the location, and the small, busybody town it's set in. I'm also looking forward to seeing how our fire chief is going to deal with her interfering grandfather and his obnoxious wife. I was sorry when the book ended. I kept hoping there was more to read. I am so glad my friend was thoughtful enough to gift me with a copy of this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Currently about halfway through....I'm enjoying this book but noticed 2 things. One, the relationship between Stella and John escalated quickly. One minute, they are friends (sort of) and the next he's holding her hand. No real progression of a relationship there. Two, the chief of police is a jerk. (Don). I sincerely hope he loosens up or retires because the animosity he has towards Stella is annoying at best.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nancy H

    This is the first entry in a new mystery series featuring Stella Griffin as fire chief in a small town in Tennessee. Not only is she plagued by the ghost of the old fire chief haunting her cabin, but she is beset by a new murder and old mysteries. This is a good story, and the beginning to a very promising series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    I can't help it, I like her grandfather and her scheming ways. The story grew on me after awhile.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book was so annoying! Part of me disliked it. So many of the characters where so unusual and not necessarily in a good way. I thought Stella and Eric the ghost had way better chemistry than her and John. He must of been super handsome to put up with all his mood swings. I felt the story really picked up at the end and left off with a great hook that makes me want to read the next one. Well played book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    ☺Trish

    I really enjoyed this introduction to The Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery series: That Old Flame of Mine by J. J. Cook. Fire Chief Stella Griffin and her resident ghost, Eric Gamlyn (who just so happens to have been Sweet Pepper, Tennessee's previous fire chief) make an interesting team while investigating the arson/murder of one of the small town's prominent citizens. I look forward to finding out what happens in Book 2!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maureen DeLuca

    to be honest... I just couldn't finish this book -- The reviews were mostly good- I kept on thinking of that old TV show... The Ghost and Mrs. Muir - It could just be me , so in no way would I want to slam this book- It is a cozy mystery with a ghost..... It just didn't move me- This is the first in the series and from what I am reading , people love it and enjoy it- SO, therefore, if you think you may like it, I suggest you give it a try.

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