by Sunny Frazier
Coffee, tea, beer, maple syrup, tamales, biscuits and cinnamon—we all have our own tastes when it comes to mysteries. Sample the goods with these fun offerings.
P.I. Deena Powers is in Four Creeks to attend the annual Colonial Tea put on by her aunt’s chapter of Women of Colonial Heritage. When one of the ladies is discovered with a knife in her back, Deena discovers misappropriated funds, adultery, and secrets. The sins of the past are never left behind, no matter how carefully the trail is covered up. Working with a police lieutenant (and former flame) also fires up feelings. Birds of a Feather is the latest from Gloria Getman.
Book clubs descend on Pine Hills for the annual competition held at Krissy Hancock’s bookstore café, Death By Coffee. But when one of the competitors is bludgeoned with a silver teapot, suspicion falls on Krissy. To clear her name and find the real killer, Krissy turns to an old boyfriend in the police department, but even he can’t ignore the evidence pointing to her. Death By Tea is the second Bookstore Cafe Mystery by Alex Erickson.
The Christmas rush is about to begin, and curio shop owner Camryn Brooks and coffee shop owner Alice “Pinky” Nelson need to hire additional help. Their former high-school classmate and a rich socialite is not who they had in mind! When she’s found dead on her first day from a poisoned cup of coffee, Cami starts sifting through clues—including a shattered snow globe of Marilyn Monroe. The Iced Princess is Christine Husom’s second in the Snow Globe Shop Mysteries. Snow globe-making projects and tips are included.
Dead To the Last Drop is the 15th in the highly caffeinated Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle. On a visit to Washington DC to consult in a coffee service for a Rose Garden wedding, Clare Cosi is invited to work on the Smithsonian’s salute to coffee in America. Her own coffee shop, Village Blend DC, is struggling to earn a profit until its second-floor jazz club attracts the college-age daughter of the U.S. president. But when a State Department employee collapses in her coffeehouse and the First Daughter goes missing, is Clare on the trail of a runaway bride—or something more sinister? She must piece together clues and uncover the truth before her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness come to a bitter end. Includes great American recipes!
Need a donut to go with your coffee? Dying For a Donut is Number Five in Cindy Sample’s (check out KRL’s review & giveaway in this issue) Laurel McKay series. When Laurel’s daughter gets a job at the Apple Tree Farm & Bakery, Mom is in pastry heaven. But when Laurel finds the owner dead and covered with powdered sugar, her daughter sets out to prove the son of the store manager innocent. That lands the girl in jail, and now Laurel has to solve the case herself—but it’s not a piece of cake. Dessert recipes are included.
Craving something a bit stronger than coffee and tea? Joyce Tremel has a début mystery centered around a Pittsburgh craft brew pub. In To Brew Or Not To Brew, The Allegheny Brew House is a dream come true for Maxine “Max” O’Hara, who went all the way to Germany for her brew master certification. But before she can start pouring stouts, there’s trouble on tap when her assistant brew master/chef is found strangled in one of the vats. Between rescuing a stray tabby named Hops and considering a handsome ex-hockey player as her new chef, Max doesn’t have a lot of time to solve a murder. But with a homicide detective for a dad, she comes to criminal investigation naturally. This one includes recipes.
Truth is stranger than fiction in The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle is Book Club Mystery Number Two for Laura DiSilverio. Amy-Faye Johnson and the Readaholics are reading Murder on the Orient Express. Real life intervenes when Amy-Faye’s brother is a suspect in his pub partner’s murder. The Readaholics take a page from Poirot as the clues lead to unlikely places, surprising motives, and many suspects.
It’s Oktoberfest in Brandywine Creek, Georgia, and Piper Prescott’s spices are flying off the shelf of her store, Spice It Up! Her former mother-in-law helps out by tweaking sales software, and now the program’s owners want to make her a lucrative deal. When one of the programmers is found dead at the foot of Mom’s basement stairs, Piper knows she has to find the killer or Mom goes to jail. Cinnamon Toasted is Spice Shop Mystery Number Three for Gail Oust.
Someone is also Guilty As Cinnamon in another Spice Shop Mystery, the second in the series by Leslie Budewitz. Springtime in Pike Place Market means tasty foods and tourists, and the Seattle Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. Owner Pepper Reece also has an in with local restaurants as their herb and spice supplier. When a young chef is found dead from ghost chili, a muy caliente spice Pepper sells, she finds herself in a heated police investigation. Recipes are included.
No ghost chilies in this one! After losing her newspaper job, Josie Callahan scoops up her Chihuahua, Lenny, and goes back to Broken Boot, Texas. Working at the family restaurant, Milagro, business is booming during the Wild West Festival. After a tamale-making party at the restaurant, the local jewelry designer is found strangled and Josie’s reporter instincts kick in. Here Today, Gone Tamale is the debut novel in Rebecca Adler’s A Taste of Texas mysteries and includes Tex-Mex recipes.
Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama, has Biscuit Bowl food truck chef Zoe Chase running ragged. By day, she offers hungry tourists authentic Southern cuisine. By night, it’s masquerade balls with the Mystics of Time. But an investigative reporter who crashed the party dressed as Death is shot and killed. Three hundred masked suspects and the police covering up the facts make it a Fat Tuesday Fricassee in J.J. Cook’s third food truck mystery.
Bookmobile librarian Minnie Hamilton’s favorite time of year is maple syrup season in Chilson, Michigan. When her favorite syrup provider dies in a sugaring accident, the old man’s friend is convinced the death wasn’t an accident. The local police are overworked, so it’s up to Minnie and her rescue cat Eddie to tap all their resources for clues. Pouncing On Murder is the fourth in the series A Bookmobile Cat Mystery by Laurie Cass.
There’s something crafty going on in Plum Harbor, Massachusetts. The manager of the local cinema is murdered in a robbery, but the struggling theater seems an unlikely target for burglars. The Black Sheep Knitters are suspicious of a psychic who has hoodwinked one of their own. The knitters are pulled into the web and must solve two murders before the truth is revealed. It’s A Murder In Mohair with Anne Canadeo’s eighth Black Sheep Knitting Mystery.
Meanwhile, in the seaside town of Haven Harbor, Maine, Angie Curtis and the Mainely Needlepointers are asked to look at an antique piece of needlework that may have been stitched by Mary, Queen of Scots. If Angie’s right, the piece would be extremely valuable. She turns it over to a lawyer who places it in a safe. But when the lawyer is found dead with the safe open and ransacked, the real mystery begins. Thread and Gone is the third in author Lea Wait’s series.
To enter to win a copy of The Cat of Christmas Past by Kathi Daley and Faux Paw by Sofie Kelly, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “sugarplums” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen after December 5, 2015. U.S. residents only.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section. Check back every month for Coming Attractions!
Click on this link to purchase any of these books. Keep in mind that this link just takes you to Amazon where you can look up these books & purchase them: