Thursday, December 3, 2015
Series-ously Good Food Mysteries - December 2015
Another month where I found lots of food related series adding to their ranks! Do foodie mystery stories make you hungry?
The fifteenth title in the Coffeehouse mystery series by Cleo Coyle is Dead to the Last Drop. It follows Once Upon a Grind. Coffeehouse manager and master roaster, Clare Cosi's visit to the nation's capital is off to a graceful start. Her octogenarian employer lands her a house sitting job in a charming Georgetown mansion, and she’s invited to work with a respected curator on the Smithsonian’s culinary salute to coffee in America. Unfortunately, Clare's new Village Blend DC coffeehouse is struggling to earn a profit, until its second floor Jazz Space attracts a high-profile fan—the college-age daughter of the U.S. President. Clare's stock rises as the First Lady befriends her, but she soon learns a stark lesson: Washington can be murder. First a stylish State Department employee suspiciously collapses in her coffeehouse. Then the President's daughter goes missing. Is she a runaway bride or is something more sinister in play? After another deadly twist, Clare is on the run with her NYPD detective boyfriend. Branded an enemy of the state, she must piece together clues and uncover the truth before her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness come to an end.
Guilty as Cinnamon by Leslie Budewitz is the second title in the Spice Shop mystery series. It follows Assault and Pepper. Springtime in Seattle’s Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper’s Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. With flavorful combinations and a fresh approach, Pepper Reece is sure to win over the public. Even better, she’s working with several local restaurants as their chief herb and spice supplier. Business is cooking, until one of Pepper’s potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead, her life extinguished by the dangerously hot ghost chili—a spice Pepper carries in her shop. Now stuck in the middle of a heated police investigation, Pepper must use all her senses to find out who wanted to keep Tamara’s new café from opening.
Ellie Alexander is publishing the third title in her Bakeshop mystery series, On Thin Icing, following A Batter of Life and Death. It's the dead of winter in the sleepy town of Ashland, which means no tourists-and fewer customers-for Jules Capshaw and her bakery, Torte. But when she's asked to cater an off-season retreat for the directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, business starts heating up...until Jules finds a dead body in the freezer. Someone at the retreat has apparently iced the bartender, a well-known flirt with a legendary temper-that is, before a killer beat him to the punch. Then, from out of nowhere, Jules's own ex-husband shows up at the shop-and soon becomes a suspect. With accusations piling up higher than the snow-and thicker than a chocolate mousse cake-Jules has to think outside the box to find the real culprit.
Just to make it confusing, another author has a mystery series by the name of the Spice Shop mystery and they have a title coming out this month which references cinnamon!
Third in Gail Oust's Spice Shop mystery series is Cinnamon Toasted. It follows Kill 'em With Cayenne. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Case in point: Piper Prescott's former mother-in-law Melly. Beneath her twin sets and pearls beats the heart of a geek--a geek whose programming changes for the point-of-sale software in Piper's shop have the owners of the program ready to make her an offer she can't refuse. "Trusty" Rusty Tulley and Chip Balboa swing by Brandywine Creek--just in time for the town's annual Oktoberfest, which has cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom flying off Piper's shelves in record numbers. News spreads faster than a text message, and Melly is the toast of the town. But it isn't long before Melly's status changes to public enemy number one when Chip's body is found at the foot of her basement stairs. Questions start to pile up when handsome police chief Wyatt McBride arrives on the scene and the coroner sets the time of death for the previous evening. McBride wants to know why it took Melly so long to report the incident--especially after she admits to arguing with Chip about the contract he wanted her to sign. Piper knows Melly would never hurt a fly, so she enlists the help of her BFF Reba Mae to clear her name--but can they find the real killer before Melly gets sent away for good?
Fat Tuesday Fricassee by J.J. Cook the third title in the Biscuit Bowl Food Truck mystery series following Fry Another Day. It’s Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama, and food truck chef Zoe Chase is driven to distraction attending high-society soirees, and feeding the partying masses. Two weeks of carnival celebrations has got Zoe running ragged. By day, she charms hungry tourists with authentic Southern cuisine. At night, she accompanies her father to one masquerade ball after another, hobnobbing with the high rollers of the secret cabal known as the Mistics of Time. But the fun turns frightening when Zoe stumbles across "Death’s" dead body. Journalist Jordan Phillips attended the Mistics’ latest bash in a traditional Death costume, and received a fatal bullet wound for the privilege. With more than three hundred masked suspects determined to remain anonymous, and the police covering up the facts behind the murder of the investigative reporter, Zoe realizes the Mistics have some serious secrets to hide.
This next title isn't exactly about food, but beer is close enough, isn't it?
To Brew or Not to Brew is the first in a new series by Joyce Tremel. The Allegheny Brew House in Pittsburgh is a dream come true for Maxine “Max” O’Hara, who went all the way to Germany for her brewmaster certification, and is now preparing to open her own craft brew pub in a newly revitalized section of Pittsburgh. But before she can start pouring stouts and lagers to thirsty throngs, there’s trouble on tap. Suspicious acts of sabotage culminate in Max finding her assistant brewmaster and chef Kurt Schmidt strangled in one of the vats. Between rescuing a stray gray tabby she names Hops and considering a handsome ex-hockey player as her new chef, Max doesn’t have a lot of time to solve a murder. But with a homicide detective for a dad, she comes to criminal investigation naturally. And if someone is desperate enough to kill to stop her from opening, Max needs to act fast—before her brand-new brew biz totally tanks.