Sunday, February 9, 2014

Books, Cooks, and Crooks by Lucy Arlington

book cover
Books, Cooks, and Crooks
by Lucy Arlington

ISBN-13: 9780425252246
Mass Market Paperback:
304 pages
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: February 4, 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, is bubbling with excitement for the Taste of the Town festival, and Lila Wilkins is right in the middle of it all. Along with her coworkers at the Novel Idea Literary Agency, Lila is organizing a grand celebrity chef event, featuring food television's biggest stars, complete with cooking demonstrations, cookbook giveaways, and even a culinary writing contest.

But just as the celebration is about to start, the demo kitchen blows up, taking one of the star cooks with it. With all the explosive egos of the cook’s colleagues, it’s hard to find someone who didn't have a motive to eliminate the competition. Now Lila will have to scramble to figure out which of her clients is a killer—before someone else gets burned

My Review:
Books, Cooks, and Crooks is a cozy mystery. It's the third in a series, but you don't need to read the previous books to understand this one, and this book didn't spoil the whodunit of the previous novels.

The characters came across as complex, realistic people who acted in realistic ways. Though the visiting chefs weren't nice people, I understood why they acted the way they did. I enjoyed the hometown characters, and the heroine was a nice, fair person. I liked her romantic relationship because it was built on respect and they brought out the good in each other.

The mystery was a clue-based puzzle. I suspected whodunit from the beginning since, logically, the evidence pointed in that direction and later evidence only confirmed whodunit. I found it odd that no one brought up this "logic trail" that seemed so obvious to me. On the other hand, the police might have thought of it and not mentioned it, and the heroine had so much to do for her job that it's not surprising that she didn't have time to think it over.

There was no bad language or sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable mystery.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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