Food Mysteries For Your Easter Feast

Apr 8, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Food Fun, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

This week we have reviews of 3 food mysteries for you to enjoy for your Easter feast and beyond-Curds of Prey: A Cheese Shop Mystery by Korina Moss, Four Parties and a Funeral: A Catering Hall Mystery by Maria DiRico, and Lemon Curd Killer: A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of all 3 books and links to purchase them at the end of each review–you may not be able to see the Amazon links if you have ad blocker on.

Curds of Prey: A Cheese Shop Mystery by Korina Moss
Review by Sandra Murphy

Summer is getting married to Nelson, the Mayor’s nephew. It’s the local version of a royal wedding, the cover story in All Things Sonoma, a magazine owned by her family, and the cost surely running into the six-figure category, all planned by Summer’s sister, Chloe. Although the menu has been set and supplies ordered, Olivia, mother of the bride, has decided a cheese tasting is in order for the wedding shower. Twenty-three samples later, the Mayor, her son, and the groom-to-be arrive to escort the bridal family to dinner. Unfortunately, it’s at the same time Willa’s date, Roman arrives.

Nelson is immediately in jealous mode, sure Summer arranged to meet Roman at Curds and Whey. A punch is thrown, a secret comes out, and Willa’s left in the dark.

The next day, things seem to be back to normal or at least as normal as Harringtons get. Nelson manages to crash the shower, too, and more fighting follows. With Summer in tears, Chloe laughing, Nelson furious, Roman on the scene again, and Willa once again wondering what the heck just happened, the shower is called off. The wedding ceremony is in doubt as well.

A dead body in the stables is just the icing on the wedding cake as far as disasters go.

Roman’s the best, but not only, suspect. Although Willa now has mixed feelings about him, he is her friend so she agrees to look into the death when the Mayor asks her. The main problem is none of the suspects ever seems to tell the truth and that was the case before the dead body showed up. They’re even worse now. How is Willa supposed to separate truth from fiction?

This is the third book in the series. Willa’s employees, Mrs. Schultz and Archie, are a delight. Willa tries not to take risks but sometimes what looked safe enough to start with, isn’t. With a little help from her friends, another murder can be solved. This is a favorite series.

Recipes include: goat cheese breakfast quesadilla, a savory Dutch Baby pancake made in the oven, and spicy snacks on a stick (spicy Jack cheese adds the heat). Find information about interesting cheeses you’re unlikely to find at the local grocery store throughout the book.

Four Parties and a Funeral: A Catering Hall Mystery by Maria DiRico
Review by Sandra Murphy

Mia Carena has a love interest, but they’re keeping it quiet since it’s a workplace romance, like no one suspects? Puh-leeze, it’s the worst kept secret ever! On the job, she’s in charge of keeping her father on the straight and narrow, running the Belle View catering hall as a legit business, not a mob front for money laundering. This month their special events are graduations, proms, and weddings. Any drama should be of the usual variety, nothing over the top, at least not anything that leads to a dead body.

There’s a new reality show filming in town, and they’ve hired the Belle View to cater. It sounds like fun until the show’s title is told: The Dons of Ditmars Boulevard. Yes, a show about mobsters, and who better to portray mobsters than members of the Family. What could go wrong?

Little D, a mob son, needs a job but doesn’t want to work. What better place to put him than at the catering hall. It might have been a good idea if he hadn’t fallen for the producer, who is the ex-wife of the CEO of the film company—and who is on the set.

In her personal life, besides the love interest, Mia’s friend Jamie is marrying Madison who has become a friend, and it’s not just for her easy access to makeup and other freebies. Of course, some of the guests will be mobster families, and then there’s a destination bridal shower and bachelor party plus filming for the reality show, but it should go smoothly, right? Sure, if you don’t count the bride getting drunk, jealousy among the guests, rooming with an obnoxious reporter, and there was that dead body before they even left.

Mia’s life has more drama than that on any given day. Add in her father’s new obsession with exercise, her boyfriend’s aversion to bachelor parties, and her grandmother’s new hobby of crocheting clothing items out of garish colors of itchy yarn, and Mia’s got her hands full.

This is book three in the series. Mia’s relationship shows promise, mostly. Keeping Little D’s mob boss father happy is a tightrope walk. Teri, the annoying reporter, tries to act human but falls short. Still, you have to give her credit for trying. To know how the reality show goes, you’ll just have to read the book.

Maria DiRico is the pen name for Ellen Byron. This is one of her best books yet! Can’t wait for number four. Ellen wrote a fun guest post for us that went up during this past week. You can find it HERE.

Lemon Curd Killer: A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs
Review by Sandra Murphy

It’s Fashion Week in Charleston and that raises the anxiety level of designers for everything from sportswear to bridal gowns. Tea shop owner Theodosia Browning is catering a showing for her fashionista friend Delaine, who is always high strung but who takes that to a new level when the newest in fashion is on display. Sales depend on it.

Sixty of Charleston’s wealthiest women are invited to a Limon Tea Party in South Carolina’s only lemon grove. A perfect setting with lemon tea and lemon scones as a first course.

With the scones popular enough for requests of seconds, of course, the ladies need more lemon curd as well. Theo volunteers to go inside to fetch more from the cooler. That’s when the whole day fell apart.
Finding a dead body, face down in a bowl of lemon curd, will do that.

When someone’s been shot, it’s a good guess it’s murder. As the police arrive on the scene, they agree. Being first on the scene, so close to the time of death, Theo’s practically a witness. While death stops the lemon tea party, it would take a lot more to put a halt to Fashion Week.

Theo’s once again chasing clues among the designers, business partners, film crew, models, and makeup crews. Will she be able to find the killer before the last dress makes its debut on the runway?

This is book twenty-five in the series. Theo and her detective, Riley, are still an item. Her business seems to grow every day, with tea soaps, lotions, hand-woven baskets, and much more. Haley and Drayton, Theo’s chef and tea sommelier, are essential to success.

As always, at the back of the book find recipes for lemon cream scones, strawberries with balsamic vinegar, roasted red pepper hummus, lemon bars, lemon curd (dead body not included), English crumpets, butterscotch brownies, muffuletta olive salad sandwiches, chicken an fruit luncheon salad, baked brown sugar salmon, Devonshire cream with mascarpone, and ideas for tea parties like a Silk Road tea or baby reveal tea. Haley also adds ideas for variations of the classic jam and Devonshire cream scone—like maple syrup and cream cheese, fig and cheese, cheese and chutney, Gruyere and bacon, fried egg and hot sauce, and more. There are lists of tea resources, an excerpt of Honey Drop Dead, the next in the series, and a hint about Cadmium Red Dead, the next scrapbooking mystery.

To enter to win a copy of all 3 books, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “easter,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 15, 2023. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She’s editor for Peace, Love, and Crime: Crime Stories Inspired by the Songs of the ’60s, with twenty-two cozy stories. She also edited A Murder of Crows, twenty-one stories featuring animals and crime (no animals were harmed). She also writes for magazines, newsletters, and the occasional guest blog. Both anthologies are available at the usual outlets, print or ebook.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. What a great bunch of books! Count me in!

  2. Two of the books would be new series
    for me. Always looking for more good
    stories. thanks txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  3. Great choices. Thanks for the chance.

  4. Three great books by three great authors. Would really like to read.

    • These books sound so good!

  5. All three books sounds like delicious reads for lovers of cozy mysteries. Korina Moss is an author who is new to me. I have read many of Laura Childs books in her various series over the years.

  6. I would love to read all these books.

  7. All books I would love to read.

  8. We have a winner!


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