I've just finished the first part in a brand new series. I get a craving for a food themed mystery and this sated my hunger perfectly. Toasting Up Trouble (Dinner Club Mystery #1) by Linda Wiken, was a fun look at how the other side lives, and celebrates. I've never thrown an event that needed a planner, but had I, I'd trust it to J.J..
From the back of the book:
A delicious new cozy mystery series featuring the Culinary Capers Dinner Club—who are fearless when it comes to cooking up new dishes and putting the lid on crime...
Event planner Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner has a full plate, but that’s the way she likes it. First, it’s her turn to choose the recipe for the next meeting of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club, a gathering of foodie friends who experiment with entrées for their creative and gastronomical pleasure. Second, she’s organizing an Italian princess party for the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a high-tech millionaire.
But one thing J.J. didn’t plan on is that the caterer for the event—hotshot chef Antonio Marcotti—would end up murdered the night of the party. Or that she’d end up being a prime suspect after having had a heated argument with the unscrupulous chef. Now it’s up to J.J.—with help from her fellow Club members and a handsome if mysterious private eye—to turn the tables on the real killer.
I want to mention before I forget what I found very unique is that this had two themes and they blended seamlessly together. It had a clear event planning element, and a scrumptious foodie element in the dinner club. That worked because the characters involved in both had a tangible passion for them which came across in the reading. I enjoyed that the detail gave, even the secondary players unique identities. I was able to get a clear picture of where I was.
The mystery was was a good one with layers that made it hard to figure out. I did not. The resolution was satisfying and heartbreaking. I was really glad there were some playful and romantic elements to offset the sadness, which I expect when dealing with murder. I am really looking forward to seeing where this series goes next. Also you will find some delicious recipes in the back of the book.
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