Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blog Tour: Sweet Pepper Hero by J.J. Cook (Review/Giveaway)

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.

My Review

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

J. J. Cook is a pseudonym for a married couple who writes mysteries, mostly set in the South, with a touch of paranormal and romance.
Author Links:
Webpage       Facebook      Twitter
Purchase Links:
Amazon     B&N     Google Play

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.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the rafflecopter form below.

2) Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

3) US Residents Only

4) For one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.

5) For one extra entry: Leave a comment for the author.

6) For one extra entry:  Follow this blog...old followers, too!  Just let us know how you follow and under what name.

7) For one extra entry: Follow me on Twitter.

8) For one extra entry: Follow or friend me on Goodreads

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.

The giveaway begins on January 20th (midnight est) and ends on January 27th (midnight est).

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner here on my blog.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you again, for hosting a great book giveaway! I will add it to my blog's sidebar.

  2. I think the premise in the installment looks great! Thanks for the review and chance to win!

  3. Thanks for this delightful cozy written by wonderful authors. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. I love this series—thanks for a chance to win a copy of Sweet Pepper Hero!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  5. I've enjoyed evertyhing I've read by the Lavenes so I'm especially excited about this series! How can I resist the combination of food, ghosts, murder, and 1 of my favorite writing pairs?

  6. I've enjoyed the other in the series a great deal!

  7. The Lavene's series are wonderful and this is one of the very best. I can't wait to get more books read in this series.

  8. I am a big fan of Joyce and Jim Lavene excited to find J. J. Cook is their pen name. Great book review...I'm in!

  9. I loe books written by the Lavenes. Thank you for a chance to win a copy of Sweet Pepper Hero!

  10. Thank you for the giveaway! I just love this series!

  11. LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! So sad that Joyce passed -- they were such a great team.

  12. Thank you for the chance to win! This book sounds like a great read.

  13. I've been reading the Lavene's books fore years, but haven't tried this series. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  14. Love the cover...especially the dog. Thanks for the chance
    to win.
    Carol Smith

  15. I love the cover of the book and it sounds like a real interesting series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. You said the magic words - "a touch of romance"! I'm a romance fiend!

  17. Great review! I can't wait to read it.

  18. Sounds really good, and has a great cover!

  19. Whether identified as J.J. Cook or Joyce and Jim Lavene, you can be guaranteed a great book to read. Thanks for this opportunity to enter a giveaway for this book.

  20. I can't get enough of these authors. Joyce is missed. I'm getting ready to read two of their newest releases. This was such a fun cozy and I loved those pups!

  21. Hmmmm, the only pepper I like is green pepper, not red, not orange, GREEN, lol. Now my husband on the other hand loves any pepper, the hotter the better, I mean like jalapeno, habanero, ghost (he has this in the ground form to use on jerky) and scorpion (he has this in a hot sauce).

    Anyway thank you for the chance to win this great sounding cozy!

    wfnren at aol dot com

  22. Sounds like a great read. I love the cute cover.

  23. I love this series, and of course Hero

  24. Sweet Pepper Hero sounds like a great story ♡ Thank you


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