About the Book
Author: Gail Pallotta
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release date: April 24, 2020
Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She’s on edge from the emotional scars and her parents’ deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it’s all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.
When Eric discovers that Laney’s in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him? . . .and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There’s more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.
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This is a mystery for readers who like a plot that is not complex and writing that is not overly sophisticated. The movement of the mystery is easy to follow and there are a limited number of characters to remember. Laney is a good damsel in distress. She has a ton of hurt and insecurity to overcome. It took me a while to like Eric but he overcame his character flaws to become a knight in shining white foot cast.
There is a good spiritual message contained in the plot, supplemented by a devotional at the end. And there is food, yummy food. I was so glad to see recipes were included. I enjoyed this cozy mystery, an easy read.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
More from Gail
In Cooking up a Mystery running a business with no background or formal training in accounting or management overwhelms Laney, the heroine. George, her assistant, tells her she has him and God, who knows her needs. Then he adds, “You … have your mom’s wonderful recipes and you whip them up like a pro.”
I chose the food industry for Laney, a woman entrepreneur succeeding against the odds, because I have lots of cooking experience. I learned the skill at age ten. The reason, according to my father—I’d know how when I got married. I didn’t marry until I was thirty. By then, I’d received lots of instruction, so I knew how to prepare some pretty good dinners. My husband said, “You could start a restaurant.” I wanted to do other things instead, such as write, but I started one in this book.
Mt first woman entrepreneur appears in Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, a romantic comedy about a hairstylist. It’s set in Eve’s Clips, a salon in Triville, a fictitious town in the North Carolina Mountains where Laney opens Laney’s Delectable Delights.
A section in the back of Cooking up a Mystery, Laney’s Chefs in the Making, features over two dozen recipes. Only Laney’s Pineapple Rice is mine. The rest are from a book, Heavenly Delights, authored by my friend, Pam Nichols Griffin, as a fundraiser for Mission Love Seeds, a charity that helps children throughout the world and responds locally after disasters to demonstrate God’s love.
Laney’s Pineapple Rice
Rice (can be instant, but not boil-in-the-bag)
Cooking oil or spray
One small onion (chopped thin)
Five cloves garlic (or minced gloves equaling five cloves)
One tablespoon fresh grated ginger
One cup fresh pineapple
Small amount of pineapple juice
One teaspoon sugar
Cook rice according to directions on the box, but substitute a couple of tablespoons to 1/4 cup pineapple juice (depending on taste) for part of the water.
Coat a heavy bottom skillet with oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, pineapple and sugar and stir. Add cold rice, break up, squirt with the juice of one lime and stir until heated and blended.
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deb's Book Review, April 14
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Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 15
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 15
Locks, Hooks and Books, April 16
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 17
Godly Book Reviews, April 17
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 18
CarpeDiem, April 19
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 20
April Hayman, Author, April 20
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 21
Simple Harvest Reads, April 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 22
Labor Not in Vain, April 22
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)