I totally get excited when I see a new cozy that is the first in a new series! Especially in a fun, food-type series. Don't you? I know you do, and I know you will love The Big Chili by Julia Buckley, which is first in the Undercover Dish Mystery series.
From the back of the book:
Lilah Drake’s Covered Dish business discreetly provides the residents of Pine Haven, Illinois, with delicious, fresh-cooked meals they can claim they cooked themselves. But when one of her clandestine concoctions is used to poison a local woman, Lilah finds herself in a pot-load of trouble…
After dreaming for years of owning her own catering company, Lilah has made a start into the food world through her Covered Dish business, covertly cooking for her neighbors who don’t have the time or skill to do so themselves, and allowing them to claim her culinary creations as their own. While her clientele is strong, their continued happiness depends on no one finding out who’s really behind the apron.
So when someone drops dead at a church Bingo night moments after eating chili that Lilah made for a client, the anonymous chef finds herself getting stirred into a cauldron of secrets, lies, and murder—and going toe to toe with a very determined and very attractive detective. To keep her clients coming back and her business under wraps, Lilah will have to chop down the list of suspects fast, because this spicy killer has acquired a taste for homicide…
The thing I love most about new starts is that the first book is always so rich with character development and setting. The characters here really made this such a joy to read! They were well written and original. Even the supporting characters are delightful. Plus, since the victim wasn't very popular, there were plenty of suspects to think about too.
I loved the pace at which the story unfolded and found myself easily lost in the tale. I did not figure it out, but that may well be because I was totally engrossed in the story and not sleuthing too hard myself. I can't wait read the next part and get to know the characters even more! I recommend you grab this now and get in at the very start.
Bonus... and one of the reasons I do so love food themed cozies, there are some very delicious sounding recipes in the back of the book.
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Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.