Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spotlight/Book Giveaway/Guest Post: Books, Cooks, and Crooks by Lucy Arlington

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 or


How would you like to win a paperback copy of  Books, Cooks, and Crooks by Lucy Arlington? Thanks to Berkley, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the form below.

2) US Residents Only

3) For an extra entry: Follow this blog

4) For an extra entry: Follow me on Twitter

5) For an extra entry: Follow me on Goodreads

6) For an extra 2 entries: Post this giveaway on your blog.

7) For an extra 2 entries: Tweet about this giveaway.

8) For an extra 2 entries: Like one of my reviews on Amazon.

9) For an extra 2 entries:  Leave a comment for the author.

The giveaway begins on February 12th (midnight est) and ends on February 19th (midnight est).

The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

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  1. Sounds like another great one! Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

  2. This is a great series and I'd love to read a copy!

  3. Wonderful series which interests me. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Sounds exciting, thanks for the chance to win.

  5. I enjoy reading mysteries with book involved - keep up the good work

  6. I like this series and I am anxious to read this book. Keep the good books coming!

  7. Yep, if I am angry and cooking you can hear it as I slam, grate, peel,

  8. This series features one of may favorite fictional towns. I would love to live there.

  9. Cozies are my favorite. I especially love when we enjoy a character that returns again and again.

  10. Wonderful guest post! Thank you for sharing.

  11. Sounds like a wonderful series. I love that it is about cooking and mystery. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  12. this is a fun series!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!


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