Cape May, New Jersey, is the site of a big culinary competition—and the knives are out . . .
Poppy McAllister is happy about opening a Jersey Shore B&B—but working in a professional kitchen has always been her real dream. Now it’s coming true, at least briefly, as she teams up with her former fiancée, Tim—and his condescending partner, Gigi—during the high-profile Restaurant Week challenge. Poppy’s specialty is pastries, despite her devotion to a Paleo diet. But if anyone can make glorious gluten-free goodies, it’s Poppy.
Things get heated quickly—especially when some ingredients get switched and Tim’s accused of sabotage. Relatively harmless pranks soon escalate into real hazards, including an exploding deep fryer. And now one of the judges has died after taking a bite of Poppy’s cannoli—making her the chefsuspect . . .
Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!
Available on Amazon.
Libby Klein does it again with another laugh out loud, glue-you-to-the-pages cozy mystery.
The mystery: Who killed Bess Jodice. The retired cooking instructor is rude, arrogant, malicious and snooty. She’s hardly the friendship inspiring kind and that’s why the list of potential suspects is quite long. Almost every single character in the story has a reason to want Bess dead, and many of them have the means and opportunity to do it too. Libby weaves quite the mystery web for us to get all caught up in. The pacing of the story is great as clues, secrets and red herrings are revealed chapter by chapter.
There are also some minor mysteries such as why does one of Poppy’s extra deserts disappear every day; and who has been trying to sabotage the chefs in the competition?
The Restaurant Week Cooking Competition setting is hilarious and really well described. If you’re a fan of any cooking competition, you’ll appreciate this for sure. But don’t go off like Stormin’ Normanand think that you’re an expert just because you love watching Chopped on the Food Network.
The characters are delightfully described, yet again. The suspects have full stories for the reader to delve into, making each of them quite intriguing. If you can end up liking them or not, is a whole other story! The recurring characters are a delight to read. Aunt Ginny is up to her antics once again. Whether she’s making dramatic entrances or playing bookie, she’s guaranteed to make you laugh. Gigi is as annoying as ever, and I wish we had a grand showdown between her and Poppy, though you may feel a little sorry for her by the close of this one… not really… but maybe. Sawyer is as sweet and silly as ever. C’mon girl, friends over romantic interests you’ve only just met. All in all, a truly enjoyable cast to spend some time reading.
And the drama continues between Gia and Tim and Poppy. I’m so not a love triangle person… unless it’s written really well!!! And this one is. I’d been having a hard time choosing between Tim and Gia in the first two books. I think I’m leaning more towards the sexy Italian now. He of consistent loving gestures may have more staying power over he of the grand gesture… just saying. That said, both gentleman are cute and wonderfully depicted and I’d hate to see either of them end up with a broken heart.
The attention given to healthy eating and self-care is not overdone but a really great inclusion; especially as there is a focus on all the lovely and delicious deserts you can still have even if you must go gluten and dairy free. Recipes included at the end!
I’ve enjoyed both books one and two in this series but I think this one is my favourite yet. I love seeing authors really hit their strides in a series and Libby has done just that. Now I can’t wait for book 4!
I give this book 5/5 competitive stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Kensington and NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.