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Posted on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 5 a.m.

'Lost and Fondue' by Avery Aames a tasty addition to the cheese shop series

By Lisa Allmendinger

Lost and Fondue

A Cheese Shop Mystery

By Avery Aames

Paperback, 312 pages, $7.99

Grab a plate of your favorite cheese and a goblet of wine and settle in for the second of a great new series ‘Lost and Fondue’ a Cheese Shop mystery by Avery Aames, which features a darling cheese shop, terrifically developed characters and a swift-moving story.

In this adventure, Charlotte Bessette, cheese shop owner and sometimes super sleuth, is asked by her best friend to cater a fundraiser for a new liberal arts college that’s planned for an old, abandoned winery.

There are a bunch of artsy types in town for a fundraiser for the benefit that’s supposed to transform the abandoned Ziegler winery into Providence, Ohio's first college. But there are rumors of buried treasure and buried bodies at the old winery. Which brings treasure hunters to town — a special breed of humans, always up for an adventure hoping for a big payoff, even though they may not necessarily need the money.

But when the guests say cheese, fondue please and the zany scavenger hunt begins, the festivities offer up more than bargained for. And, ‘Lost and Fondue’ themed-party goes horribly wrong.

Although Old Man Ziegler swore on his deathbed that there was treasure buried on the site, most people think it’s historical lore, but you’ll have to read this terrific book to find the answer to the puzzle.

Two murders in two years is too many for comfort for the residents of Providence, so when one of the artists exhibiting his work in the former winery is found dead, it’s up to Charlotte to get her hands involved in more than just whipping up a new quiche recipe each week. She must help get her niece, Quinn, get off the suspect list for the murder by finding the real killer.

You’ll love the descriptions of Providence, where the sky looked like black velvet that had been studded with diamonds. And there’s a sliver of a moon described as God’s thumbnail.

Plus, there’s great cheese info along the way: “In many ways, children are like cheese. Wrap them too tightly with protective wrap and they’ll suffocate.”

Did you know that the U.S. — with the artisan varieties famous in Wisconsin, Vermont, California, and Oregon — is the number one cheese-producing country in the world? It's followed by France and Germany.

Besides, who doesn’t love cheese? Even those who are on gluten-free diets can eat it in moderation; most cheeses don’t include wheat, so they are a safe alternative.

You’ll devour this title like a great chunk of aged extra sharp cheddar, then long for the next delicious offering.

Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for She can be reached at In addition, each Wednesday she reviews a cozy mystery in her column called “Cozy Corner.”