Release Date: Apr 24, 2018
Series: Hayley Powell Mystery
Hayley Powell is excited to be attending Penelope Janice’s book-signing event at her summer home in Seal Harbor, Maine, to promote Penelope’s newest cookbook. Hayley can’t believe it when Penelope tells her she’s a fan of her food column and invites Hayley to her home for a celebrity chef potluck weekend. Hayley is thrilled to be included with famous chefs she admires for an event that is being filmed for television. After the first night of the event, one of the chefs discovers a dead body, but in spite of this tragic event, the show must go on. Hayley decides to ask questions and find out if the death was an accident or if there is a killer in their group.
Death of a Cookbook Author is the tenth in the series, but the first I’ve read, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I like the Maine setting and the diverse group gathered to film a television show. Most of the characters are interesting, although some of the less pleasant characters, such as Clara, come across as cartoon villains. The main character, Hayley is enthusiastic and kind, but seems immature for someone with grown children. There are also some issues with awkward dialogue between Hayley and some of the others that doesn’t sound realistic and takes the reader out of the story.
In spite of some of the book’s flaws, the situation Hayley finds herself in for a weekend with famous chefs, a possible murderer, and two potential love interests make an entertaining read. Adding to the humor is the inclusion of several of Hayley’s food columns, complete with recipes. The columns are funny and some of the recipes sound delicious and easy to make, such as the tomato casserole pie and the amaretto coffee. The book is a quick read with a fun premise that keeps the reader guessing as to what really happened. Fans of Joanne Fluke may want to give this light mystery a try.