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Drizzled with Death, the first entry in Jessie Crockett's Sugar Grove mystery series, is a great cozy for getting ready for fall here in the Northern Hemisphere. Dani Greene's family has been making maple syrup on their New Hampshire farm for generations. As part of the town's fall festivities, the fire department hosts a pancake-eating contest, and Dani's family provides the syrup. The fun times turn sour, however, when one of the contestants ends up dead at the table and suspicion falls on the Greene family. Will Dani be able to find the true killer and get her loved ones out of a sticky situation? This fun mystery has all the right elements: great townsfolk, a beautiful setting, a love interest, and multi-generational family life. Don't miss the recipes at the back of the book, including one for the Who'd a Thunk It sandwich:
I sandwiched maple cheddar cheese, caramelized apples, and crispy bacon strips between two whole grain waffles then toasted the whole thing on the griddle. It's best drizzled with syrup so eat it with a fork. (p. 151)Available October 1 at a bookstore near you: Penguin USA / Berkley Prime Crime; ISBN-13: 9780425260005.
Rosie Genova's new Italian Kitchen series starts off with Murder and Marinara. Our hero is mystery writer Victoria Rienzi, who decides to take a hiatus from her successful career and spend some time with her family, helping out at their Jersey Shore restaurant. But all is not calm in Oceanside Park; a television film crew has tapped the town as the setting for a new weekly show. When the TV producer dies after eating a meal at the Casa Lido restaurant, Vic gets involved in trying to solve the murder before the summer tourist season heats up. You'll love Vic's Italian family, the restaurant staff, and their friends and neighbors. The beach setting adds to the charm, and the food scenes will make you hungry. Look for recipes at the back of book, and enjoy Nonna Rosie's wonderful sauce:
The secret to Nonna's sauce was the fresh tomatoes she put up every August; our pantry shelves were lined with Mason jars full of bright red-orange pomodori, accented with basil leaves from the garden. I sniffed deeply at the rising steam from my plate, and my salivary glands wept with joy. (p. 13)Available October 1 at a bookstore near you: Penguin USA / Obsidian Mystery; ISBN-13: 9780451415141.
You won't have any trouble warming up to a great new series by veteran cozy author Kylie Logan. Chili con Carnage introduces us to the Chili Cook-Off books, featuring Maxie Pierce and her half-sister Sylvia. When their chili-champion dad goes missing, the sisters must find a way to put their differences aside to cook up a winning dish. But when Maxie's ex-boyfriend turns up dead, the two realize there is more than one kind of heat. Can Maxie and Sylvia finish the cook-off and avoid being charged with murder? The Taos, New Mexico, setting is as wonderful as Logan's humor. You'll love tagging along with Maxie while she juggles solving the murder with finding her father and making a good showing at the cooking contest. The chili recipe at the back of the book includes a surprise ingredient; I may have to give it a try.
Even from so faraway, I could feel the heat of the flames. A breeze pushed it past us along with the combined aromas that were usually commonplace at any cook-off: beans at the boil and meat simmering in pots. Spices. The simmering air was filled with the combined scents of chili powders and herbs, boiling together and wrapping around us like scented cloud. (p. 197)Available October 1 at a bookstore near you: Penguin USA / Berkley Prime Crime; ISBN-13: 9780425262412