by Sunny Frazier
In my part of California known as the Central Valley, triple-digit heat is the norm. Of course, we tell ourselves it’s a “dry heat.” Reading under cool shade with an icy drink and a good book is one way to beat the heat.
Although it came out last month, Murder is No Picnic makes the list because it centers around the Fourth and fireworks. “Cape Cod Foodie” Samantha Barnes is in search of the best blueberry buckle recipe for a picnic. A famed cookbook author (and retired restaurant owner) has what she’s looking for and offers to teach her how to make the dessert. But when the woman dies in a house fire, Sam doesn’t think it’s an accident. Could it be the new owner of the restaurant–or even her boyfriend’s cousin! This is Amy Pershing’s third Cape Cod Foodie Mystery.
When Murder Spills the Tea is also set in Cape Cod. Lily Roberts’s tea shop, Tea by the Sea, will be featured on the TV show, America Bakes! But when the celebrity judge loses his temper on camera, someone decides he needs to be off the show by killing him in the kitchen—with Lily’s rolling pin! This is the third tasty morsel from Vicki Delany’s Tea by the Sea mysteries.
Lindsey Bakewell’s Beacon Bakeshop in Beacon Harbor, Michigan, is hosting a pie-eating contest during the Blueberry Festival. Good-natured pranks, like pelting a parade float with water balloons and setting goats rampaging, are tolerated. It’s all fun and games until a man dressed as a Viking is found dead in a boat. Now it’s not mischief—it’s murder. Murder at the Blueberry Festival is third in Darci Hannah’s Beacon Bakeshop mysteries. Recipes are included.
What’s pie without a dollop of ice cream? But it’s Death of an Ice Cream Scooper in the fifteenth of the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mysteries by Lee Hollis. When her friend, owner of a gourmet ice cream shop in Bar Harbor, Maine, believes her husband is cheating, she wants Hayley to investigate. But the sleuthing takes a backseat when the body of an employee is found in the freezer. This is the woman the husband was photographed with, but does that make him just a cheater, or a murderer?
Finally, relax with Elaine Faber’s cozy, published earlier. Like her name, Mrs. Odboddy is, well, a little odd. She’s trying to find a home for a carnival tiger which the city of Newbury, California, wants put down. After a fall from a tree, the seventy one year old’s eccentricities go to extremes. Should people believe her when she claims she saw a well-known citizen steal a church painting, or is she having a brain bleed? Mrs. Odboddy’s Desperate Doings: A WWII tale of daring to save a tiger and expose a thief, is fourth in Elaine Faber’s Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries.
BEST OF THE REST
Kathy Reichs: Cold, Cold Bones Temperance Brennan Mystery #21
Christy Barritt: Tone Death School of Hard Rocks Mystery #3
Leslie Budewitz: Peppermint Barked Spice Shop Mystery #5
Lynn Cahoon: Caught Dead to Write Cat Latimer Mystery #8
Kate Carlisle: The Paper Caper Bibliophile Mystery #16
Cheryl Hollon: Death a Sketch Pain & Shine Mystery #3.
Abigail Keam: Murder Under a British Moon 1930s Mona Moon Mystery #9
Victoria Laurie: Coached Red-Handed Cat & Gilley Life Coach Mystery #4
David Rosenfelt: Holy Chow Andy Carpenter Mysteries #25
Alexander McCall Smith: The Sweet Remnants of Summer Isabel Dalhousie Series #14
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. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week.
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