The Dinner Lady Detectives

By Hannah Hendy – Canelo, 2022

Do you enjoy a cozy mystery? In this first book in a series, we meet Margery and Clementine, two women in their 60s who are dinner ladies (or lunch ladies) at the local school in the small, neighborly (read: gossipy) town of Dewstow. When Caroline, the cafeteria manager, is found dead in the freezer, Margery and Clementine are determined to solve the case, even though the (incompetent, lazy) police are convinced it was an accident.

The women are a mismatched pair, but they make a good team. Margery is a former police officer, sharp as a tack, while Clementine, a former office worker, is a more laid-back and eccentric character, often a sourpuss. All of the school employees are suspects—was it the millennial who practices alternative medicine or the coworker arrested for shoplifting a hunk of cheese? With only their intuition and a single earring to go on, the dinner ladies go down several rabbit holes, often at their own peril, before they solve the murder.

The Dinner Lady Detectives is a charming series. We love the resourcefulness of the women, who are always relatable. The novel is full of humor, suspense and heart, leaving us guessing until the end and looking forward to the next installment.