11 August 2015

Today's Read & Giveaway: If Onions Could Spring Leeks by Paige Shelton

If Onions Could Spring Leeks by Paige SheltonWhat if you could see ghosts? Not the spooky kind, but restless souls who have unfinished tasks and are looking for lasting peace. Isabelle (Betts) Winston is one of those people who can talk to ghosts, and she tries her best to help, whether the person in need is living or dead.

At first the mournful whistle sounded far away and lonely. I was asleep and I liked the noise, as though it were part of a sad but hopeful dream. But then it became less a part of the dream and more the thing that was waking me up.
If Onions Could Spring Leeks by Paige Shelton (Penguin Random House / Berkley Prime Crime, 2015, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: Broken Rope, Missouri, modern times and 1888
  • Circumstances: Betts and her grandmother run a country cooking school, but they share more than a love of food: They both can see and talk to ghosts, who are generally harmless and are seeking assistance. This summer Betts has her hands full, helping star-crossed lovers from 1888, coping with tourists, dealing with culinary students, and solving a modern-day murder. Can living and dead get together to solve the dual mysteries?
  • Characters: Betts and her grandmother, Miz; Cliff, her boyfriend; Jerome, a cute ghostly friend; Grace & Robert, ghost lovers seeking help; Jake, friend & historian; Roy, Derek, and other culinary students; various townspeople and other ghosts
  • Genre: cozy mystery with paranormal elements and a culinary slant
  • Themes: friendship, race relations, family, town politics
  • People & mysteries: I loved Betts's personality; she's a kind, caring young woman and is a friend to both the dead and the living. Her dual boyfriends (ghost & breathing) and her relationship to her grandmother and friend Jake are fun to read about. The success of a cozy mystery rests on its characters and setting, and Shelton has done a super job with both. I felt fully invested in both mysteries and wanted things to work out for everyone involved.
  • Setting: Broken Rope, Missouri, is a place of action: both now and in the past. In the 1880s, the town boasted a lively train station and today it's a tourist attraction, complete with Wild West shows. There's a lot to like about the town and its people.
  • Cooking: You all already know that I love a good culinary mystery, so the cooking school aspects of the story grabbed my attention. The evening summer class at the cooking school was all about veggies, and the book includes a few recipes.
  • Good to know: This is the fifth in the Country Cooking School mystery series, but the first of the books I read. Paige Shelton offered just enough background so I didn't feel lost. I'm adding her to my cozy reading list. 
  • Recommendation: If you're looking for something different (in a good way) in your light mystery reading, you should give If Onions Could Spring Leeks a try. I plan on tracking down the earlier books to learn more about Betts, Miz, Jake, and the rest of the gang.


Thanks to Berkley Prime Crime I can offer one of my readers a copy of Paige Shelton's If Onions Could Spring Leeks (I love that title!). Because the publisher will be sending out the book, the giveaway is restricted to those of you with a U.S. mailing address. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the form. I'll pick a winner using a random number generator on August 18. Once the winner has been confirmed, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!


Unknown 8/11/15, 6:46 AM  

It looks great and thanks for the chance to win :)

bermudaonion 8/11/15, 6:47 AM  

I love the title! Thanks for the giveaway!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 8/11/15, 7:13 AM  

What a fun title, I'd try it for that reason.

sherry fundin 8/11/15, 7:32 AM  

Thanks for the giveaway. I believe everyone can use a cozy.

sherry @ fundinmental My TT

Kathy Martin 8/11/15, 8:40 AM  

This sounds like fun. I hope you are enjoying it. The teaser on my adult blog comes from Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong this week. Happy reading!

Unknown 8/11/15, 10:46 AM  

Sounds like a fun read! Thanks!

Sandra Nachlinger 8/11/15, 11:11 AM  

Sounds like Paige Shelton has a great series going. I'm sure I'd enjoy this book, especially since it's a stand-alone.
Thank you for visiting my blog today.

Literary Feline 8/11/15, 11:14 AM  

My husband would be moaning if I told him the title of this one. LOL He hates puns. I love it though. :-) I really like the intro you shared, and from the description, think I would really like this book. I love cozy paranormal mysteries. Thanks for sharing!

Vicki 8/11/15, 11:18 AM  

I love the title of the book. It made me LOL!
I also love the teaser you added, I've heard noises like that while sleeping before.

Thanks for the chance to win!

Kay 8/11/15, 11:38 AM  

I love this title too. And I've been sort of aware of this series, but have not read any of it. Sounds like fun. A ghost boyfriend and an actual one? How does that play out? LOL

Unknown 8/11/15, 11:48 AM  

A country cooking school sounds like a great device for bringing together a group of interesting characters as students. And, like the other commenters, I love the title. Puns always make me smile

Unknown 8/11/15, 11:48 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb 8/11/15, 12:03 PM  

I love this series by Paige Shelton. Thank you so much for this giveaway.

Laurel-Rain Snow 8/11/15, 12:19 PM  

I haven't yet read this author, but I love the title and the premise. Great excerpts, too. Ghosts that need assistance are appealing to me, and I love the idea of that cozy setting.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Joy Scaggs 8/11/15, 12:19 PM  

Loved all your other books. I'M so looking forward to this book. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

Joy Scaggs 8/11/15, 12:19 PM  

Loved all your other books. I'M so looking forward to this book. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

Karen B 8/11/15, 12:57 PM  

Love the title! Thanks for a great giveaway.

rhonda 8/11/15, 1:16 PM  

Great title.thanks for giveaway,

Margot 8/11/15, 1:28 PM  

I liked your first paragraph and the book's opening. Together they made me want to read on. In other words, the first paragraph alone didn't grab me, you did. Like everyone else, I like the title.

Anonymous,  8/11/15, 3:25 PM  

A great title and cover!

Kelli Jo 8/11/15, 4:38 PM  

Sounds like a fun read! I love Cozies!!

Katherine P 8/11/15, 5:18 PM  

I read the first book in this series and really enjoyed it. This one sounds great! I've enjoyed Shelton's Farmer's Market series as well.

holdenj 8/11/15, 6:24 PM  

This is a great series, thanks for sharing the info about the new book and the chance to win!

grammajudyb 8/11/15, 6:28 PM  

This looks like a great cozy to add to my TBR list. And thanks for the giveaway!

Harvee 8/11/15, 6:48 PM  

I won't enter your contest as I have too many cozies on my list. I do like the way you have organized your review, under headings of interest!

Yvonne 8/11/15, 8:19 PM  

I have this one to read. It sounds so good.

Monica's Bookish Life 8/11/15, 9:09 PM  

I haven't heard of this series, but it looks fun. I like the title of this book, too! I'd keep reading!

Pamela Woodfield 8/12/15, 7:17 AM  

This is a great series! I've only read the first so far but I have the second one waiting. I'm hooked!

aspiritofsimplicity 8/12/15, 7:53 AM  

Sounds like a great read.

Girl Who Reads 8/12/15, 9:09 AM  

I've been re-watching The Ghost Whisperer on Amazon Prime and this book made me think of that. It sounds like a fun read. Girl Who Reads

Daryl 8/13/15, 10:05 AM  

sounds like a good palette cleanser for me between my other reads .. thanks

Tea 8/13/15, 10:21 AM  

I like cozies with ghosts. I've started "Balm." The woman hears the voice of a dead man in her head, a ghost. It's a more serious read than a cozy. Hope to get back to it soon. Thanks for entering me in the contest. I would enjoy this one. I can hear the train whistle.:)

Unknown 8/13/15, 10:37 AM  

Love it!! Cant wait to read 💖💖

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