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What's October without some mysterious reading? And what's a Saturday without something foodie? Today is all about eating your way through murder. And, by the way, today is also the second anniversary of Weekend Cooking. Thanks to all of you for helping make it a success.
Here are a half dozen tasty choices—all from Penguin Group (USA). In fact the Berkley Prime Crime Mystery imprint publishes quite a few great cozies, including many culinary mysteries. Dig in to these delicious devilish delights.
Liz Lipperman's debut novel, Liver Let Die, introduces food columnist Jordan McAllister, based in small-town Texas. Poor Jordan didn't know that food writing could be so dangerous. Be sure to check out the recipes in this Clueless Cook Mystery; Ray's Pumpkin Pie Crunch and Alex's Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole both sound good. (Berkley Prime Crime, ISBN-13: 9780425244043, October 2011)
Jordan McAllister can’t cook her way out of a macaroni & cheese box, but filling in for the culinary reporter at The Ranchero Globe is better than writing personal ads. Her first assignment to review the new steakhouse in town is a disaster that ends with her waiter murdered outside her door—with her name and number in his pocket. Now Jordan is the prime suspect, as well as the main course on the murder menu.Lost and Fondue, by Avery Aames is the second entry in the Cheese Shop Mystery series. Charlotte Bessette lives in Ohio and owns Fromagerie Bessette. Aames's first in this series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, won an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Recipes at the back of the book include a couple for (of course) fondue. (Berkley Prime Crime, ISBN-13: 9780425241585, May 2011)
The fair town of Providence has settled down to normal after last year’s murder. Jonquils are in bloom. The Cheese Shop is thriving. and Charlotte’s romance with Jordan is flourishing. But when her friend, Meredith, decides to throw a fund-raiser to create a liberal arts college out of a long-abandoned winery—a winery that is rumored to hold not only buried bodies but buried treasure—Charlotte’s joie de vivre deflates like a bad souffle. Charlotte’s fears are realized when an art student is found dead in the wine cellar, and Meredith’s niece is the main suspect.The third title in Jenn McKinlay's Cupcake Bakery Mysteries is Death by the Dozen. Bakery owners Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are based in Arizona, and murder and mayhem seem to follow in their tracks. Bakers will find recipes for several yummy treats, including chocolate chili cupcakes (yum!). (Berkley Prime Crime, ISBN-13: 9780425244050, October 2011)
Melanie and Angie are determined to win the Challenge to the Chef to promote their Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. Mel’s mentor from culinary school, Vic Mazzotta, may be one of the judges, but Mel and Angie will have to win fair and square. But, when Vic’s dead body is found inside a freezer truck, Mel and Angie will need to use their best judgment to find the cold-blooded killer or they may lose more than the contest—they may lose their lives.Just in time for Halloween we have Krista Davis's newest Domestic Diva Mystery, The Diva Haunts the House. This series stars Sophie Winston, an event planner in Virginia. Her job exposes her to all kinds of people, including killers. Davis's The Diva Runs Out of Thyme, was a finalist for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. The recipes are perfect for October and will delight the kids, with names such as Bat Cave Risotto, and Chicken Scaryaki. (Berkley Prime Crime, ISBN-13: 9780425243787, September 2011)
Domestic diva Sophie Winston is getting into the Halloween spirit—her decorations for a community haunted house are so good, it’s scary. Not to be outdone, rival domestic diva Natasha is throwing a spooktacular Halloween party at her house. But when Sophie arrives, she discovers one of Natasha’s guests dead in a Halloween display, and a pale, fanged partygoer fleeing the scene. Could the killer be a real vampire—the same one rumored to have lived in Sophie’s haunted house back when it was a boardinghouse? Good thing a domestic diva never runs out of garlic.As the chill of fall sets in, warm up with B. B. Haywood's Town in a Lobster Stew. This is the second time Candy Holiday—a blueberry farmer on the coast of Maine—finds herself in the middle of mystery. Recipes include several versions of lobster stew and chowder. Where's my spoon? (Berkley Prime Crime, ISBN-13: 9780425240014, Februrary 2011)
Things start to boil over at the annual Lobster Stew Cook-Off when an award-winning recipe is stolen and a seven-time contest champion mysteriously disappears—leaving Candy no choice but to find out who in Cape Willington, Maine, would get steamed enough to break the law.What's a murder mystery without a little chocolate? JoAnna Carl's The Chocolate Castle Clue is the eleventh in the poplular Chocoholic Mysteries starring Lee McKinney, who makes her chocolate goodies in Michigan. No recipes in this book, but the descriptions of sweet treats will make you raid your chocolate stash. (Obsidian, ISBN-13: 9780451234742, October 2011)
Lee McKinney Woodyard discovers a dusty trophy inside TenHuis Chocolade that belongs to her aunt Nettie and her old high school singing group, the Pier-O-Ettes. It’s a trophy that brings back terrible memories of an unsolved murder years ago. Before Lee takes aim at the past, someone is murdered in the here and now. Lee needs to keep her eyes on the prize, hoping the trophy is a clue to finding the killer—before she’s a target herself.Lots to satisfy the murder mystery–loving foodie in us all.