About the Book
Genre: Cozy Mystery, #4 in A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: January 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads...
Old rivalries heat up in the fourth Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade mystery from the national bestselling author of In Hot Water.
Fire chief Stella Griffin has been put in charge of judging the annual recipe contest, but Eric—her resident ghost and true culinary genius—has vanished. Before she can track down his latest haunt, she’s called in to investigate a local moonshine distillery that was set ablaze, making her realize there’s more than pies and cakes cooking in Sweet Pepper.
As rumors of a revived whiskey war ignite, Stella turns to the town’s elders to help her find answers. The past might have some clues as to what has sparked the present fires. But when following a lead lands her in buried rubble, Stella realizes she must extinguish this case fast or she might be going down in flames.
Fire chief Stella Griffin has her work cut out for her in the fourth installment of the “Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade” series. First, she’s in charge of judging Sweet Pepper’s annual recipe contest. The problem is… she doesn’t cook. The real cook in her house is former fire chief Eric Gamlyn, but not only has he been dead for thirty years and living with Stella as a resident ghost, he’s now gone missing. Stella is determined to find him, but it’s not easy since only a couple of other people know about him and only two of them can actually see him.
To add to her troubles, a whiskey war has begun and someone is setting moonshine stills on fire. Stella’s own life is on the line as she has to dig into Sweet Pepper’s past to find the answers to the current problems.
This is by far my favorite series by the writing team J.J. Cook (aka Joyce and Jim Lavene). I love them all, but this one particularly has me riveted. It’s jam-packed with adventure, drama and even a touch of romance. It kept me guessing until the last couple of chapters.
Stella and Eric really come to life in this series. All the characters do, but these two have a strong presence. I can easily visualize them.
I feel as if I’m visiting the town of Sweet Pepper with each book and catching up with old friends. Stella’s relationships with different characters keeps growing – from Eric to Tagger to Walt to the police chief and even to her grandfather. It all comes together quite nicely.
Stella has certainly accumulated her fair share of enemies along the way, too, which makes a nice segue to the next book. I sincerely hope the Lavene family is able to keep this series going for a long time. This is cozy mystery at its best!
On a side note: Can I just say the cover alone would have won me over? What a cute and beautiful cover!
For reading challenges:
Craving for the Cozies Reading Challenge 2016
Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2016
FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Now you can win a print copy of Sweet Pepper Hero by J.J. Cook? Thanks to the author, I have one print copy to giveaway to one lucky winner.
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The giveaway begins on January 20th (midnight est) and ends on January 27th (midnight est).
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