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Who’s Hungry for Culinary Mysteries?

By Shari Randall

Food and books―the perfect combination! With the holidays on the horizon, why not find some culinary inspiration in these mysteries, all featuring deadly plots and delicious recipes. I’ve asked the authors to tell us a bit about their books below. Happy reading and bon appétit!

The Tell-Tale Tarte

by Maya Corrigan

When café manager Val Deniston serves a tarte Tatin at a book club dinner, the dessert reveals a fraud, embroiling her and her grandfather in a murder investigation. In the fourth Five-Ingredient Mystery, the victim and suspects are all inspired by Edgar Allan Poe: an actor with a one-man Poe show, authors of Poe pastiches, a professor who teaches Poe, and a Poe look-alike. The climax occurs in the shadow of Poe’s tomb in Baltimore, where Val and Granddad try to prevent more murders and mete out some POE-etic justice.

Readers of The Tell-Tale Tarte will enjoy the echoes of Poe stories they remember from school and the weaving of real Poe-related mysteries and crimes into the plot. True to the series title, all the recipes feature five ingredients.

Kensington, 2017.

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Travellin' Shoes

by V. M. Burns

When the choir director at a local church is murdered in the mayor’s neighborhood, Detective R.J. Franklin is called back from medical leave to investigate. However, nothing is as it seems on this case and not even the victim is who he claimed to be. With a lot of help from his colorful godmother, Mama B, his partner, and a new love interest who might turn out to be a suspect, R.J. has to follow the trail and solve the murder before the murderer strikes again.

Travellin' Shoes combines a police procedural and a cozy mystery. Readers will get a glimpse into African American culture―from the spirituals which are used as the titles for all of the books in this series to the delicious soul food recipes included in the back of each book.

Camel Press, 2018.

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The Culinary Art of Murder

by Heather Lee Haven

PI Lee Alvarez is the lead investigator for Discretionary Inquiries, Inc., her family run detective agency. When her Uncle "Tío" is smitten with a visiting chef at a Silicon Valley culinary arts institute and then the lady is arrested for two murders, a fellow chef and the dishwasher, Lee agrees to help find the real killer. But undercover work at the institute proves to be more difficult than whipping up a chocolate soufflé. The killer isn't done yet and tries to get Lee out of the way permanently. But just who is the murderer? The accused? One of her two sons? Another student from the cooking school with more to hide than dirty dishes? With secrets as plentiful as sauces, the nagging question remains: if Lee finds the lady chef guilty, will Tío ever forgive her for sending his new love to jail?

The Wives of Bath Press, 2017.

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In Cold Chocolate

by Dorothy St. James

The vintage seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina seems like the perfect place. The Chocolate Box’s owner, Charity Penn, falls under the island’s moonlit spell as she joins the turtle watch team to witness a new generation of baby sea turtles hatch. Before the babies arrive, gunshots ring out in the night. Cassidy Jones, the local Casanova, is found dead in the sand with his lover Jody Dalton―the same woman who has vowed to destroy the Chocolate Box―holding the gun.

Chocolate recipes, an exciting mystery, and a lesson about the fragile life cycle of the sea turtles that lay their eggs on the South Carolina beaches are all waiting readers who pick up In Cold Chocolate.

Crooked Lane Books, 2018.

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Oink: A Food for Thought Mystery

by J. L. Newton

Emily Addams, foodie professor of women’s studies at Arbor State, finds herself an unlikely suspect in the poisoning of someone she barely knows, Plant Biology Professor Peter Elliott, hot shot developer of a new genetically engineered corn. How did her cornbread end up in his hand as he lay on the smelly muck of the university’s historic pigpen? As Emily and her feminist network seek the real culprit, they uncover some of the dark secrets of a university whose traditionally communal values are increasingly threatened by a wave of profit-fueled ideals.

She Writes Press, 2017.

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Fat Cat at Large

by Kay George

When she’s not dreaming up irresistible dessert bars for her Minneapolis treatery, Bar None, Charity “Chase” Oliver is running after her cat, Quincy—a tubby tabby with a gift for sniffing out edibles. But what happens when this cat burglar leads Chase to the scene of a real crime? Gabe’s corpse is lying on the kitchen floor, and when Chase is discovered at the murder scene, she becomes suspect number one. Now, with a little help from her friends—both human and feline—she’ll have to catch the real killer or wind up behind bars that aren’t so sweet. The book includes recipes for people and cats.

Berkley, 2014.

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Death on the Menu

by Lucy Burdette

Food critic Hayley Snow is attending a three-day international conference at the Harry S. Truman Little White House in Key West, Florida. The event gets off to a bad start when Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal - which belongs to Cuba and is on display for this weekend only) disappears. And things only get worse when a body is discovered in the storeroom. Hayley must spring into action before the killer adds another victim to his menu. In addition to mouth-watering food and a gorgeous Key West setting, Death on the Menu features themes of family lost and found, including Cuban-American families torn apart by the politics of their countries.

Crooked Lane Books, 2018.

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Click to Read the Booklist Review.

Death Over Easy

by Maddie Day

June’s annual Brown County Bluegrass Festival in neighboring Beanblossom, Indiana, is always a hit for Robbie’s country store and café, Pans ‘N Pancakes. This year, Robbie is even more excited, because she’s launching a new bed and breakfast above her shop. But when a performer is found choked to death by a banjo string, Robbie must pair up with an unexpected partner to pick at the clues and find the plucky killer before he can conduct an encore performance. It's an easy read, both fun and suspenseful, with colorful characters, an authentic setting in the southern Midwest, and lots of food for book clubs to try out and talk about.

Kensington, 2018.

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Shari Randall is the author of the Lobster Shack Mystery series. She enjoys being the Library Liaison for Sisters in Crime because it combines two of her passions: libraries and writing.

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