Sunday, February 19, 2023

Review: Wined and Died in New Orleans (A Vintage Cookbook) by Ellen Byron (Blog Tour/Tour-Wide Giveaway)


Wined and Died in New Orleans (A Vintage Cookbook) by Ellen Byron

About Wined and Died in New Orleans


Wined and Died in New Orleans (A Vintage Cookbook) 

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 

Setting - Louisiana 

Berkley (February 7, 2023) 

Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages 

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593437632 

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593437636 

Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09TZPW81C

The second in a fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Ellen Byron. 

It’s hurricane season in New Orleans and vintage cookbook fan Ricki James-Diaz is trying to shelve her weather-related fears and focus on her business, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbook and Kitchenware Shop, housed in the magnificent Bon Vee Culinary House Museum. 

Repairs on the property unearth crates of very old, very valuable French wine, buried by the home’s builder, Jean-Louis Charbonnet. Ricki, who’s been struggling to attract more customers to Miss Vee’s, is thrilled when her post about the discovery of this long-buried treasure goes viral. She’s less thrilled when the post brings distant Charbonnet family members out of the woodwork, all clamoring for a cut of the wine’s sale. 

When a dead body turns up in Bon Vee’s cheery fall decorations, the NOPD zeroes in on Eugenia Charbonnet Felice as the prime suspect, figuring that as head of the Charbonnet family, she has the most to gain. Ricki is determined to uncover the real culprit, but she can’t help noticing that Eugenia is acting strangely. Ricki wonders what kind of secret her mentor has bottled up, and fears what might happen if she uncorks it. 

In the second Vintage Cookbook Mystery, Ricki has to help solve a murder, untangle family secrets, and grow her business, all while living under the threat of a hurricane that could wipe out everything from her home to Bon Vee.

My Review
Ricki James-Diaz hasn’t lived in New Orleans long.  It makes her more than a little nervous to hear a hurricane is on the way.  It’s not easy to put her fears aside and concentrate on her vintage cookbook shop.  However, she tries to do just that.
When a buried treasure is discovered on the Charbonnet property, long-lost relatives come to claim their share of the prize.  Of course, it’s up to the Charbonnet family to figure out who really shares their DNA.  Amid the excitement, a dead body shows up and the police focus their attention on Eugenia Charbonnet Felice, Ricki’s boss.  
Ricki is sure her boss is innocent and intends to prove it. 
I absolutely love this series.  I enjoyed the first one but this one is even better as I got to know all the characters even more than before.  Ricki is now on my favorite amateur sleuth list.  She’s strong, capable and a little vulnerable, too. 
Each character is well-written and jumps right off the page.  They are wacky, fun and a couple are pretty evil.  The story moved along at a fast pace.  All of this combined to make an exciting cozy mystery.
I’ve never been to New Orleans, but it’s on my list of places I’d love to visit.  This book really gave me a taste of it. The author transported me into the story and right to New Orleans.  She does make armchair traveling fun.
Although the mystery is contained in this book, there’s also a secondary storyline which carries through the series.  I think it’s so much fun to read from the start.  This is only the second book in the series, which makes it easy to catch up.  
I’m so looking forward to meeting up with Ricki and her zany friends again in the next book.  This book has landed on my favorites of 2023 list.

For reading challenges:
          Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2023
          Literary Escapes Reading Challenge 2023 (Louisiana)
          Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2023
          NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2023

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About Ellen Byron

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty Awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Bayou Book Thief will be the first book in her new Vintage Cookbook Mysteries. She also writes the Catering Hall Mystery series under the name Maria DiRico.

Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. An alum of New Orleans’ Tulane University, she blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster. Please visit her at

Author Links 

Purchase Links 


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  1. Thank you so much!! I'm thrilled you love the series. Whoo hoo!

  2. Thank you so much for a great review!!

  3. I really enjoyed this too and definitely felt it was better than the 1st book. I've spent quite a lot of time New Orleans and the author definitely has a gift for making the city come alive.


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