James "Professor Puff" Henry may as well have "loser" stamped on his forehead. Divorced, overweight, shy, and living at home, he relies on books and his favorite snack-cheese puffs-for sweet relief from his problems. A former English lit professor at William and Mary, he moves back to Quincy's Gap, a small Virginia town in the Shenandoah Valley, to take care of his recently-widowed father. To improve his social life and waistline, he joins a supper club for dieters who lovingly call them the "Flab Five." Avoiding carbs is nearly impossible in this deep-fried potato-loving land, so a mysterious death in their small burg provides an effective, if disturbing, distraction. While dodging delectable temptations, Professor Henry and his fellow dieters work together to shed pounds and find the killer who has struck fear in this tight-knit community.
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James Henry is a former English Lit professor. He has come back home to Quincy’s Gap, Virginia, to take care of his father after his mother’s death and his divorce. His father isn’t a very nice person. James was lucky to get a job as the local librarian, and now he has no social life. He just hides among the books at work and eats cheese puffs.

When he hears about the supper club, he figures he can stand to lose fifty pounds and he might make some friends. He jumps at the chance to join. He meets Lucy Hanover who works in the sheriff’s department and is attractive. She’d like to be a deputy someday. He also meets Lindy, Gillian, and Bennett. They decide to call themselves the “Flab Five.” Each of them needs to lose weight, but they all seem to have dreams and aspiration. I think that’s what made me like them so much.

James and his fellow dieters end up in the middle of a murder investigation when someone mysteriously drops dead in the Sweet Tooth Bakery. Soon James finds himself looking forward to the next meeting of the supper club. But can they stick to their diets and find the killer without putting themselves in danger? And what is James’ father doing in the shed all the time?

I really enjoyed this book. I read it in two days. The characters are so much fun. You might think that a mystery set around dieting would be boring. Not in this case. You will laugh out loud at their antics. The supper club is such a fun idea. I just wanted to keep reading. Can’t wait until the next one is out! I highly recommend this book. I hope she writes fast!

Dawn Dowdle

James is definitely overweight. All kinds of things are not working for him. First, his wife divorces him, then his mother dies and now he has to care for his father. His father is not a pleasant man; in fact, he is downright cranky. What else can go wrong?

James leaves his professor job at Williamsburg but does take a job as head librarian in his hometown of Quincy Gap, Virginia. Not too long after James moves back to his father's house, he is invited to join a supper club for dieters. These five fascinating people name themselves the Flab Five. You will meet each one of them and I absolutely enjoyed learning about them. They no sooner start this group than a murder happens. Off they go, to investigate what is really happening. One of the members, Lucy, works for the sheriff department and she would love to come up with the real scoop. Her goal is to become a deputy but she knows she will have to pass the physical. Maybe procuring some needed information will gain favor for her. Lucy and James have a special bond.

Each chapter is titled with a wonderful sounding food, complete with nutritional facts. Food, such as Cheetos (James' food choice), canned frosting, and other favorites, is considered to be hot buttons for the five. This dieting group is a boost for James. He researches the food that is diet friendly. He likes the praise and friendship he receives here. James is not used to praise. I like James' character. He's very kind, competent and extremely vulnerable. Flawed as his other four friends in the group, James exhibits hard work, cooperation, friendship and humor. These are normal sounding people and you may feel like you know them personally.

One of my favorite parts of the book involves the town parade. Several floats, including one from the library, participate. This will be an extra fun section for all readers to experience. You will wish you were at the parade.

A multitude of secondary characters are introduced and you may find yourself cheering on their community efforts. Watch James' father; I think he may surprise us all. I, for one, will be awaiting another installment in anticipation of revisiting these people.

Rita Ratacheck

Welcome to Quincy's Gap, Virginia home of the warmly engaging James Henry. Whoever said going home was easy? It can be a bumpy rode at first but turns out to be the path meant to travel.

Former college professor now librarian, James Henry, returns home to care for his irascible father, Jackson, after the untimely death of his mother. Dubbed "Professor Puff" by his former students, James is more than a little overweight. Determined to do something about his expanding waistline and his incessant munching James joins a diet club to trim off the pounds. There he meets some of the most appealing individuals you'll ever meet.

The members of the supper club coin themselves the "Flab Five." The four members of the Flab Five are just as charismatic and delightful as James. The bond forms and friendship builds. The love of food isn't the only ingredient holding the gang together. The darling group gets embroiled in a murder in their charming hometown.

Resolved to find out who would do such a thing, the Flab Five set out to track a killer.

Chockfull of friendship and fun the entertaining bunch warms you heart. J.B. Stanley does a magnificent job setting up this remarkable series! The characters, plot and setting are sensational. Ms. Stanley is simply superb.

I was tempted to visit James and the rest of the bunch in Quincy's Gap.

This is a must for cozy fans, series connoisseurs, mystery devotees, or one looking for a phenomenal read.
Run don't walk to pick up this phenomenal book!!

Diane Williamson