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I didn't do any cooking this week (woot!) because I was in New York at BookExpo America (BEA) learning about all things books and publishing. I met up with friends, drank a little wine, ate in restaurants, met authors, talked to publicists, and came home with a book or two.
This week I'm celebrating books and food by talking about four cozy mysteries coming out next month. Apparently June is chocolate month, because three of these books are definitely on the sweet side. But, hey, one actually features fruits and veggies! Hope you find something that catches your eye.
Let's talk about the health-inspiring cozy first and then head straight for the chocolate, shall we? Paige Shelton's Bushel Full of Murder is the sixth installment in her very popular Farmer's Market series. Becca Robins, who makes and sells jam and preserves, is a regular fixture at her local South Carolina farmers market. Lately, though, it seems that the goodwill among the vendors is reaching a breaking point. Food trucks are vying for space with producers and authorities are checking everyone's licenses. When the town business manager turns up dead, the police decide Becca's cousin is the killer. Can the jelly maker find the true villain before an arrest is made? Follow the included recipes to make your own versions of popular market treats. (Berkley Books; ISBN: 9780425279809, June 2015)
Are you fan of food festivals? If so, you might want to give Penny Pike's Food Festival Mystery series a try. Death of a Chocolate Cheater is the second installment featuring Darcy Burnett, a food truck owner who sells wonderful chocolate treats. This time out, Darcy and her aunt Abby are determined to win the $10,000 grand prize at a San Francisco chocolate contest. They're pretty confident that Abby's chocolate raspberry whoopee pie is going to beat the competition. Before the check can be cut, however, one of the judges has a fatal "accident." Darcy is quickly on the case, hoping to find the bad guy before anyone else is taken on a one-way ride to the morgue. A little romance and mouth-watering chocolate delights sweeten the story. Don't miss the recipes for six yummy desserts. (New American Library, ISBN: 9780451467829)
For many of us, a little spot of heaven would include both books and chocolate. Apparently Kathy Aarons, author of the Chocolate Covered series thinks so too because the protagonists of her series, Michelle and Erica, own a store that sells both confections and books. In Truffled to Death (the second in the series), the Maryland shopkeepers are asked to host a party in honor of an archaeology exhibit opening at the local museum. The event may have been a success, but the theft of a priceless artifact and the murder of one of the experts leave the friends with a bitter taste, especially because law enforcement thinks Erica had means and motive. Will they be able to find the true killer before someone else meets an early demise? The truffle recipes at the back of the book look divine. (Berkley Books, ISBN: 9780425267240)
Would you like to go to a chocolate-tasting? Krista Davis's ninth Domestic Diva mystery, The Diva Steals a Chocolate Kiss, is centered around just such an event. Professional organizer Sophie Winston snags the sweet job of putting together a delightful sixtieth anniversary celebration of a local chocolate company. She has made sure that there will be chocolate goodies of all kinds, including cakes, cookies, confections, and even cocktails. Party-goers are well on their way to basking in the ultimate sugar high when the guest of honor disappears and Sophie discovers a dead body. Will the domestic diva find the missing chocolatier and discover the murderer before she becomes the next victim? The recipes are seriously sinful: Chocolate martini, anyone? (Berkley Books; ISBN: 9780425258156)