About the Book
Genre: Cozy Mystery, #3 in A Novel Idea Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: February 2014
Synopsis from the author's website:
The national bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries are back, as Lila Wilkins—literary agent and sleuth—is setting up a delicious cookbook fair. But the tension in the kitchen is about to boil over…
Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, is bubbling with excitement for the Taste of the Town festival, and Lila is right in the middle of it all. Along with her coworkers at A Novel Idea literary agency, Lila is organizing a grand celebrity chef event, complete with cooking demonstrations, cookbook giveaways, and even a culinary writing contest.
But just as the celebration is about to start, the demo kitchen blows up, taking one of the star cooks with it. With all the explosive egos of the cook’s colleagues, it’s hard to find someone who didn’t have a motive to eliminate the competition. Now Lila will have to scramble to figure out which of her clients is a killer—before someone else gets burned.
Author Guest Post
Food and Violence: The Perfect Pairing for a Mystery
By Lucy Arlington
Food often takes center stage in cozy mysteries because the act of sharing food is an intimate one. Food is filled with comfort. It invokes memories. And it can be made as on offering of friendship or sympathy (unless it’s laced with poison, which does tend to happen in mystery novels).
But food can be used to express less pleasant emotions. In Books, Cooks, and Crooks, the third installment in the Novel Idea Mysteries, literary agent Lila Wilkins learns just how dangerous a kitchen can be.
Consider what your own kitchen is like during holiday meal preparation. Think of the tools you use. You have sharp knives for chopping, a cleaver for hacking, a peeler for stripping rinds from fruits and vegetables, a food processor to pulverize, a blender to grind solids into liquids. If your kitchen is especially well stocked, you might also have a garlic press, slicers with julienne blades, jagged graters, razor-sharp shears, and more. Try to imagine the sounds as well. The hiss of steam, the crackle of oil in the frying pan, and smack of a chicken breast being tenderized, the gurgle and pops of water boiling on the stovetop. Next, picture the motions of a cook’s hands. The aggressive kneading of dough, the stuffing of a turkey cavity, the squeezing of a lemon over a filet of fish…
See? It’s a fairly violent process. Add vanity, anger, and the stress of competition to the mix and you have a potentially lethal combination. That’s exactly what happens in Books, Cooks, and Crooks. A group of celebrity chefs come to Inspiration Valley to conduct culinary demonstrations, promote their television shows, restaurants, and latest cookbook release, and to vie for the position as America’s favorite chef in the eyes of the adoring public.
All of these ingredients make for an explosion situation, and when a fire erupts in the demo kitchen, it will become clear to Lila and to readers, that food in cozy mysteries definitely has a darker side to it than the pleasant act of sampling a slice of Amazing Althea’s chocolate banana bread.
So brew a cup of tea, warm up a scone, and settle into your favorite chair. Make yourself comfortable. Because once you delve into Books, Cooks, and Crooks, you’re not going to want to move. You’re going to want to read and read until you discover how people who can create such beautiful, incredible food can be so shallow, ugly, and yes, deadly.
For more information on the Novel Idea Mysteries, visit www.lucyarlington.com or http://berkleysignetmysteries.com
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