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Death of a Kitchen Diva

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Welcome to Bar Harbor, Maine, one of New England's most idyllic coastal towns. But as new food writer Hayley Powell is about to find out, the occasional murder can take a bite out of seaside bliss. . . Single mom Hayley Powell is barely keeping her leaking roof over her head when her boss at the Island Times gives her a new assignment--taking over the paper's food column. H Welcome to Bar Harbor, Maine, one of New England's most idyllic coastal towns. But as new food writer Hayley Powell is about to find out, the occasional murder can take a bite out of seaside bliss. . . Single mom Hayley Powell is barely keeping her leaking roof over her head when her boss at the Island Times gives her a new assignment--taking over the paper's food column. Hayley's not sure she has the chops--she's an office manager, not a writer, even if her friends clamor for her mouth-watering potluck dishes. But the extra income is tempting, and Hayley's chatty first column is suddenly on everyone's menu--with one exception. When rival food writer Karen Appelbaum is found face-down dead in a bowl of Hayley's creamy clam chowder, all signs point to Hayley. To clear her name, she'll have to enlist some help, including her BFFs, a perpetually pregnant lobster woman, and a glamorous real estate agent. As she whips up a list of suspects, Hayley discovers a juicy secret about the victim--and finds herself in a dangerous mix with a cold-blooded killer. Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley's kitchen! "What a delicious debut mystery!" -Laura Levine "A delicious read that I ate up in one sitting." -Isis Crawford More Mouth-Watering Praise For Lee Hollis And Hayley Powell! "Sleuth Hayley Powell slides down as easily as one of her Lemon Drop Martinis (recipe included) and readers will be calling for a second round from author Lee Hollis." --Leslie Meier, author of Chocolate Covered Murder "Delicious and satisfying. Another course, please." -Carolyn Hart More Mouth-Watering Praise For Lee Hollis And Hayley Powell! "Sleuth Hayley Powell slides down as easily as one of her Lemon Drop Martinis (recipe included) and readers will be calling for a second round from author Lee Hollis." --Leslie Meier, author of Chocolate Covered Murder


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Welcome to Bar Harbor, Maine, one of New England's most idyllic coastal towns. But as new food writer Hayley Powell is about to find out, the occasional murder can take a bite out of seaside bliss. . . Single mom Hayley Powell is barely keeping her leaking roof over her head when her boss at the Island Times gives her a new assignment--taking over the paper's food column. H Welcome to Bar Harbor, Maine, one of New England's most idyllic coastal towns. But as new food writer Hayley Powell is about to find out, the occasional murder can take a bite out of seaside bliss. . . Single mom Hayley Powell is barely keeping her leaking roof over her head when her boss at the Island Times gives her a new assignment--taking over the paper's food column. Hayley's not sure she has the chops--she's an office manager, not a writer, even if her friends clamor for her mouth-watering potluck dishes. But the extra income is tempting, and Hayley's chatty first column is suddenly on everyone's menu--with one exception. When rival food writer Karen Appelbaum is found face-down dead in a bowl of Hayley's creamy clam chowder, all signs point to Hayley. To clear her name, she'll have to enlist some help, including her BFFs, a perpetually pregnant lobster woman, and a glamorous real estate agent. As she whips up a list of suspects, Hayley discovers a juicy secret about the victim--and finds herself in a dangerous mix with a cold-blooded killer. Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley's kitchen! "What a delicious debut mystery!" -Laura Levine "A delicious read that I ate up in one sitting." -Isis Crawford More Mouth-Watering Praise For Lee Hollis And Hayley Powell! "Sleuth Hayley Powell slides down as easily as one of her Lemon Drop Martinis (recipe included) and readers will be calling for a second round from author Lee Hollis." --Leslie Meier, author of Chocolate Covered Murder "Delicious and satisfying. Another course, please." -Carolyn Hart More Mouth-Watering Praise For Lee Hollis And Hayley Powell! "Sleuth Hayley Powell slides down as easily as one of her Lemon Drop Martinis (recipe included) and readers will be calling for a second round from author Lee Hollis." --Leslie Meier, author of Chocolate Covered Murder

30 review for Death of a Kitchen Diva

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melodie

    Some not bad sounding recipes, but other than that pretty ho-hum. Didn't care for the writing style at all. Some not bad sounding recipes, but other than that pretty ho-hum. Didn't care for the writing style at all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    ZERO stars This cozy mystery is the first in the Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails Mystery series. Hayley is a single mother of two teenagers in Bar Harbor, Maine. She works at the Island Times newspaper as the office manager, but when the much-loved food columnist finally retires, Hayley steps in to that role. Unfortunately, she immediately runs afoul of the rival newspaper’s kitchen diva, and everyone in town is soon aware of the bad blood between Hayley and Karen Appelbaum. So when Karen is foun ZERO stars This cozy mystery is the first in the Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails Mystery series. Hayley is a single mother of two teenagers in Bar Harbor, Maine. She works at the Island Times newspaper as the office manager, but when the much-loved food columnist finally retires, Hayley steps in to that role. Unfortunately, she immediately runs afoul of the rival newspaper’s kitchen diva, and everyone in town is soon aware of the bad blood between Hayley and Karen Appelbaum. So when Karen is found poisoned, suspicion is immediately focused on Hayley. Okay, there’s a decent idea for a cozy here. But the execution (and I use that word purposely) is terrible. The characters are cardboard cutouts, the plot (thin as it is) is completely ridiculous, and the dialogue is tortured. None of the characters – victim, suspects, Hayley, her friends, her brother, the police chief, her fellow reporters, etc – has an ounce of sense. They are simply too stupid to live. The author pads the book with nonsense – colorful descriptions of the dog, or the librarian, or the hunky groundskeeper – that does little or nothing to advance the plot or explain the characters’ motivations. I kept reading only because fulfilled several challenges. At least it was a fast read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elle's Book Blog

    Release Date: March 1, 2012 Actual Rating: 5 stars Cozy Mystery | Culinary | Humor OMG I absolutely LOVED this book! I read it in one sitting while lounging in my pool and couldn’t get enough of it. It’s charming, hilarious, and has a wonderful mystery that keeps you guessing until the bitter end! I actually loved it so much that I went ahead and ordered the next 4 books in the series because I know it’s going to be a top favorite of mine. That my friends, is a winner! I usually wait to read Release Date: March 1, 2012 Actual Rating: 5 stars Cozy Mystery | Culinary | Humor OMG I absolutely LOVED this book! I read it in one sitting while lounging in my pool and couldn’t get enough of it. It’s charming, hilarious, and has a wonderful mystery that keeps you guessing until the bitter end! I actually loved it so much that I went ahead and ordered the next 4 books in the series because I know it’s going to be a top favorite of mine. That my friends, is a winner! I usually wait to read a few books before purchasing the authors backlist, but I can’t stop, and I need these books! I think this makes it pretty clear that I highly recommend this one. I don’t need to rehash the entire plot in my review because if you’re a cozy mystery reader like me you know how these types of stories go. However, what makes this one stand apart from many of the other cozies I’ve read is the characters. Hayley is a single mom who works as a columnist at a local paper who writes recipes for the readers. She’s new to the job and makes a rival out of someone else who does it for another paper (who also happens to be the victim of the crime) but takes the heat in stride. She’s funny, sassy, and smart! Her two goofball friends also make this story glow and I laughed at their antics the whole way through. The possibility of a romance starts to bloom in this series starter, and I look forward to watching Hayley grow and find love (hopefully). I’m so excited to see what she gets up to next! If you’re a cozy mystery lover (especially if you love culinary cozies with delicious recipes included) then this series is a must have for you! I can’t recommend it enough. It belongs on the list of my top favorite cozy series which include the following: 1. The Hannah Swensen Mystery series: find it here 2. The Scrumble River Mystery series: find it here 3. The Lucy Stone Mystery series: find it here

  4. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    After reading one of the latest books in this series and falling in love with it, I decided that I just had to return to beginning where it all began. DEATH OF A KITCHEN DIVA is the first book in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktail Mystery series. This series is unique because it employs a few different techniques. For example, a lot of Cozy Mysteries have recipes included inside but in this series, the recipes act as part of the story. Hayley is a Food and Cocktail columnist and in this bo After reading one of the latest books in this series and falling in love with it, I decided that I just had to return to beginning where it all began. DEATH OF A KITCHEN DIVA is the first book in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktail Mystery series. This series is unique because it employs a few different techniques. For example, a lot of Cozy Mysteries have recipes included inside but in this series, the recipes act as part of the story. Hayley is a Food and Cocktail columnist and in this book we discover how that all came to be. As she writes personal articles about herself and her life, you definitely learn more about her. I used to wonder about this technique because sometimes I do feel like it can disrupt the flow of the mystery, especially when things start to get intense. However, now I have really come to appreciate it. In this way we are really able to connect with Hayley’s character and get inside of her head. So actually, her recipes become that much more personal, as if it’s a friend who is giving you a homemade family recipe. One other thing I really enjoyed about this book is the humor. I read a lot of books and sometimes the author tries really hard to create that upbeat atmosphere. A lot of the time it can be forced, but Hollis does a really good job of finding that balance. Not only are the jokes actually hilarious, but they aren’t so abundant that they detract from the mystery. I’ve really fallen in love with this series and I’m looking forward to reading more from Lee Hollis.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Death of a Kitchen Diva by Lee Hollis is the first book in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery series. Hayley takes over writing the Bar Harbor Island Times food column and becomes an instant hit. When rival food writer Karen Appelbaum is found murdered after a public altercation with Hayley, Hayley is accused of the crime and sets off to clear her name. I enjoyed this book very much. I liked the quirky characters, and there were plenty of fun and crazy moments. My main complaint is sta Death of a Kitchen Diva by Lee Hollis is the first book in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery series. Hayley takes over writing the Bar Harbor Island Times food column and becomes an instant hit. When rival food writer Karen Appelbaum is found murdered after a public altercation with Hayley, Hayley is accused of the crime and sets off to clear her name. I enjoyed this book very much. I liked the quirky characters, and there were plenty of fun and crazy moments. My main complaint is starting the book with Hayleys arrest before we know anything that has happened. I feel it would have been better if the story was kept in sequence rather than going backwards. The 'if only she had known' comments were also a bit repetitive. I loved Hayley's food column and recipes. A typical cozy mystery with humour and plenty of silly moments.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    Adding some thoughts to this older review now: I enjoyed this book just as much the second time around, because (big surprise) I didn't remember whodunit! I fell for most of the red herrings, then finally put things together around the time that Hayley was doing the same. I loved Mona's part in the showdown and could picture this happening on TV. I wanted to give this a reread, because I had been planning to read the next book, which I'm actually going to do next. Original review from 2017: Could b Adding some thoughts to this older review now: I enjoyed this book just as much the second time around, because (big surprise) I didn't remember whodunit! I fell for most of the red herrings, then finally put things together around the time that Hayley was doing the same. I loved Mona's part in the showdown and could picture this happening on TV. I wanted to give this a reread, because I had been planning to read the next book, which I'm actually going to do next. Original review from 2017: Could barely put it down This was a really awesome series start and I definitely look forward to continuing this series. Hayley's two friends Mona and Liddy cracked me up and so did her kids. I loved her love of NCIS and especially its handsome star, totally agree with that! I enjoyed the story itself very much and never guessed the perp until it was revealed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Camille

    Quick synopsis: Hayley, divorced single mother of two, works at a local newspaper writing a food column when she is wrongly accused of murdering her competitor, a food column writer at the other newspaper in town. With the help of her friends and family, she goes on a mission to discover the identity of the real killer to clear her name. My review: This book was a silly, quick read. I'm a fan of the cozy mystery genre, but this one was a little bit lackluster. It did, however, have all the major Quick synopsis: Hayley, divorced single mother of two, works at a local newspaper writing a food column when she is wrongly accused of murdering her competitor, a food column writer at the other newspaper in town. With the help of her friends and family, she goes on a mission to discover the identity of the real killer to clear her name. My review: This book was a silly, quick read. I'm a fan of the cozy mystery genre, but this one was a little bit lackluster. It did, however, have all the major components that one looks for in a cozy: middle aged heroine with a pet, a murder that the police seem either inept or uninterested in solving, a love interest who is mysterious and handsome and completely enamored with the heroine, and lots of recipes throughout. I found that many of the characters actions were unbelievable, especially the main character Hailey. Some of the things she did seemed out of character and completely "over the top". Also, the book often veered off track into back-stories and side-notes in a way that took you out of the moment, and weren't necessary to the plot. The recipes were fun to read, and there are quite a few of them for those who love to have recipes with their cozies, but the "food columns" that went with the recipes seemed rather unprofessional for a newspaper, they felt more like blog entries rather than something you'd see in a real newspaper. Overall I wouldn't recommend this book, except to avid cozy readers. Especially if you enjoy a side of guffaw and a few eye-rolls with your cozy. :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    What I Liked: The pacing was really good, which is a major point for me. The writing was good, but there was a lot of errors. Not enough to hinder the reading, but they were noticeable. I loved the mystery, and I didn't even figure out the 'Whodunit' until Haley did. Major props for that because I was so surprised! What I Didn't Like: Mainly I had issues with the characters. I just couldn't connect with them. They were a bit petty and childish. Personally, most of the drama felt like something yo What I Liked: The pacing was really good, which is a major point for me. The writing was good, but there was a lot of errors. Not enough to hinder the reading, but they were noticeable. I loved the mystery, and I didn't even figure out the 'Whodunit' until Haley did. Major props for that because I was so surprised! What I Didn't Like: Mainly I had issues with the characters. I just couldn't connect with them. They were a bit petty and childish. Personally, most of the drama felt like something you'd witness in the hallways of public high schools… I also didn't like the "articles" Hayley wrote. Though the recipes were okay. Overall Impression: Once I let go and just read the book, it was moderately enjoyable. It was recommended to me by my mother based on it being funny (which I did not think it was), so I felt obligated to read it all. But it came very close several times to being a DNF, the pacing saved it in the long run though. Even though it was somewhat enjoyable, it doesn't warrant a re-read, and I doubt I'll read the other installments in the series. I would recommend it to fans of cozies that like cooking though. There were a couple recipes in there that I plan to try!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Really 4.5 stars, but I rounded up. When I sat down and started reading this I never expected it to be as good as it was. This book was engrossing, engaging, and simply fun! Hayley was wonderful; she was extremely realistic. She really didn't pay too much attention to her children, which I thought was strange, but she was running off her feet during the book, so it was easily overlooked. The rest of the characters were also well written and I really want to know more about Lex and Bruce. The settin Really 4.5 stars, but I rounded up. When I sat down and started reading this I never expected it to be as good as it was. This book was engrossing, engaging, and simply fun! Hayley was wonderful; she was extremely realistic. She really didn't pay too much attention to her children, which I thought was strange, but she was running off her feet during the book, so it was easily overlooked. The rest of the characters were also well written and I really want to know more about Lex and Bruce. The setting was wonderful; I seriously think that Maine is the most used setting for cozies. The mystery was very good. Unfortunately, however, I guessed the culprit about ten pages before the reveal. One word to describe this book would be wonderful. I had so many laugh-out-loud moments and I absolutely couldn't put it down. A definite beach read. Highly recommend!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Linda Parker

    Of course I like it - my ice cream shop serves as a setting for one of the scenes!

  11. 4 out of 5

    T K Nelson

    Made it to chapter seven. Maybe that's not long enough to get a feel for where the book was going but so many things about the characters were off-putting. I believe the dialog was supposed to be snappy and humorous but it was mostly insulting and/or immature. I've had this book on my to-be-read shelf since it first came out. Twelve years of taking up space is long enough. After multiple times starting it, this time I surrender and in the recycle bag it goes. Made it to chapter seven. Maybe that's not long enough to get a feel for where the book was going but so many things about the characters were off-putting. I believe the dialog was supposed to be snappy and humorous but it was mostly insulting and/or immature. I've had this book on my to-be-read shelf since it first came out. Twelve years of taking up space is long enough. After multiple times starting it, this time I surrender and in the recycle bag it goes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ronna

    Small town newspaper office manager, Hayley Powell, finds a little extra income by taking over her newspaper's food recipe column. She's in competition with the town's larger newspaper's foodie columnist. When they both come out with the same recipe for clam chowder tongues wag. Worse still, when Hayley goes to confront her competitor, she finds her dead on the floor with her spilled chowder. Being the main murder suspect sends Hayley on a dangerous path to prove her innocence. This start to a ne Small town newspaper office manager, Hayley Powell, finds a little extra income by taking over her newspaper's food recipe column. She's in competition with the town's larger newspaper's foodie columnist. When they both come out with the same recipe for clam chowder tongues wag. Worse still, when Hayley goes to confront her competitor, she finds her dead on the floor with her spilled chowder. Being the main murder suspect sends Hayley on a dangerous path to prove her innocence. This start to a new cozy series has potential, but needs to improve to win me over. Hayley's parenting skills have a lot to be desired. Though my biggest issue was that the murderer really wasn't discussed enough in the book to give the reader a chance to discover who they were. The recipe columns were perhaps the best part of the book. Will give the next in the series a try before deciding to continue with this series or not.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Under the Covers Book Blog

    After reading one of the latest books in this series and falling in love with it, I decided that I just had to return to beginning where it all began. DEATH OF A KITCHEN DIVA is the first book in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktail Mystery series. This series is unique because it employs a few different techniques. For example, a lot of Cozy Mysteries have recipes included inside but in this series, the recipes act as part of the story. Hayley is a Food and Cocktail columnist and in this boo After reading one of the latest books in this series and falling in love with it, I decided that I just had to return to beginning where it all began. DEATH OF A KITCHEN DIVA is the first book in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktail Mystery series. This series is unique because it employs a few different techniques. For example, a lot of Cozy Mysteries have recipes included inside but in this series, the recipes act as part of the story. Hayley is a Food and Cocktail columnist and in this book we discover how that all came to be. As she writes personal articles about herself and her life, you definitely learn more about her. I used to wonder about this technique because sometimes I do feel like it can disrupt the flow of the mystery, especially when things start to get intense. However, now I have really come to appreciate it. In this way we are really able to connect with Hayley’s character and get inside of her head. So actually, her recipes become that much more personal, as if it’s a friend who is giving you a homemade family recipe. One other thing I really enjoyed about this book is the humor. I read a lot of books and sometimes the author tries really hard to create that upbeat atmosphere. A lot of the time it can be forced, but Hollis does a really good job of finding that balance. Not only are the jokes actually hilarious, but they aren’t so abundant that they detract from the mystery. I’ve really fallen in love with this series and I’m looking forward to reading more from Lee Hollis. *Reviewed by Annie❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤

  14. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    Hayley Powell is the office manager at the Island Times and when the paper’s food columnist decides to retire Hayley is given a new assignment as the new food writer. Being a single mom of two teenagers turning down an extra fifty or so a week isn’t going to happen. Hayley isn’t a writer, so she goes at it her own way! The day’s events and what her doggie, Leroy is up to make her column. It is met with much success. We meet Hayley’s two best friends and her brother who happens to own the local b Hayley Powell is the office manager at the Island Times and when the paper’s food columnist decides to retire Hayley is given a new assignment as the new food writer. Being a single mom of two teenagers turning down an extra fifty or so a week isn’t going to happen. Hayley isn’t a writer, so she goes at it her own way! The day’s events and what her doggie, Leroy is up to make her column. It is met with much success. We meet Hayley’s two best friends and her brother who happens to own the local bar. The relationship of these characters is odd. I never felt warmth or cared for them. They are petty and written to extremes. When rival food writer Karen suddenly turns nasty and starts framing Hayley for little things it is no wonder she is the number one suspect in Karen’s eventual murder. There are a few situations in this book that were just so unbelievable and badly meshed. They characters were also slightly unbelievable. I really wouldn’t recommend this one to my friends. There is enough humor and pace to keep it entertaining so I gave it 3.5 instead of 3 stars. It isn’t a bad story, just not a great one.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    The mystery was done fairly well, though such a short rivalry seems like a silly thing to get so out of hand, but I wasn’t a big fan of the writing style or characters. The “articles” Hayley wrote could barely pass as blog posts and the recipes were uninspired. The fat jokes and sexism were a bit much and none of the characters were very believable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Prockish

    I loved it! So good! I can't believe I didn't know about this series before now. I loved it! So good! I can't believe I didn't know about this series before now.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs... For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Martha Leblanc

    This one has it all. !!!!!!! Throughly enjoyed this delightfully funny , suspense filled book. Can't wait for the next one. Really relatable single Mom with the angst of teenagers. This one has it all. !!!!!!! Throughly enjoyed this delightfully funny , suspense filled book. Can't wait for the next one. Really relatable single Mom with the angst of teenagers.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ronda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book has quite a bit of humor to it. Stealing jewelry off of a corpse, chasing chickens along with loads of alcohol.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    I think I randomly picked this up one day at Target. It looked light and fluffy. It was. The "heroine" is one of those annoying females seen so often in cozy mysteries that bumbles her way into dangerous situations without a moment's thought to her safety or anyone else's. She annoyed the hell outta me. She was, at best, a neglectful mother. At one point, her daughter actually argues that it's actually good that they're having pizza for dinner again because if her mom cooked for them every night I think I randomly picked this up one day at Target. It looked light and fluffy. It was. The "heroine" is one of those annoying females seen so often in cozy mysteries that bumbles her way into dangerous situations without a moment's thought to her safety or anyone else's. She annoyed the hell outta me. She was, at best, a neglectful mother. At one point, her daughter actually argues that it's actually good that they're having pizza for dinner again because if her mom cooked for them every night then she'd be a statistic in the childhood obesity epidemic. The mom agreed. Um, huh? Still, overall, it wasn't a bad one. The Who in Whodunit wasn't apparent from the beginning, though mostly because the information came in drips and drabs, so you wouldn't be able to see it. I doubt I'd read any more unless I stumble across them at the used book store or something, but it wasn't bad.

  21. 4 out of 5

    BJ

    This book was just okay. Maybe it's me, but I keep trying cozy mysteries and I just don't get why someone who really knows nothing about investigation or police procedure, keeps getting involved in murder investigations. This is about a newspaper secretary/office manager, who takes on writing the Food and Wine column in the local paper and inadvertently gets involved in an adversarial competition with the Food columnist who writes for the town's competing newspaper. The competition gets killed a This book was just okay. Maybe it's me, but I keep trying cozy mysteries and I just don't get why someone who really knows nothing about investigation or police procedure, keeps getting involved in murder investigations. This is about a newspaper secretary/office manager, who takes on writing the Food and Wine column in the local paper and inadvertently gets involved in an adversarial competition with the Food columnist who writes for the town's competing newspaper. The competition gets killed and the main character gets arrested for her murder, then takes it upon herself to "investigate." She's not incredibly good at it. I'm not sure if I'll read the next one in this series, which comes out next month.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    This is a very enjoyable cozy mystery series, with some fantastic characters. I read books 6 in the series, for some reason, and then decided to start at the beginning. It was fun to get a little more of Haley's backstory, as well as the backstory to her friends and family. The Mistry it was pretty typical of a cozy Mistry, but I still didn't know who the guilty party was. It is always funny with this type of book, they usually take place in a small town, a small town with a lot of murder! I wil This is a very enjoyable cozy mystery series, with some fantastic characters. I read books 6 in the series, for some reason, and then decided to start at the beginning. It was fun to get a little more of Haley's backstory, as well as the backstory to her friends and family. The Mistry it was pretty typical of a cozy Mistry, but I still didn't know who the guilty party was. It is always funny with this type of book, they usually take place in a small town, a small town with a lot of murder! I will definitely be reading more in the series, and they all have food on the cover! ;-)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heidi McCarthy

    Fun, cozy mystery! Quick read! I'll read more by her. Fun, cozy mystery! Quick read! I'll read more by her.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Fun start to the series! I enjoyed this first entry in the series. Hayley is like able and I enjoyed her columns throughout the book. The supporting characters were fun and the mystery kept me guessing. #readforkimberly

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Hayley is a single mom that is raising two teenagers on a shoe string - her ex-husband not being too serious about paying child support - the deadbeat. In an effort to raise her pay, Hayley takes over the food and drink column that retiring 90 year old foodie has done for extra cash. What does Hayley know about food though? Apparently, quite a lot and she adds in her own angle by adding in her kids, her dog and her life. The column is a great success making the other town paper's food columnist Hayley is a single mom that is raising two teenagers on a shoe string - her ex-husband not being too serious about paying child support - the deadbeat. In an effort to raise her pay, Hayley takes over the food and drink column that retiring 90 year old foodie has done for extra cash. What does Hayley know about food though? Apparently, quite a lot and she adds in her own angle by adding in her kids, her dog and her life. The column is a great success making the other town paper's food columnist very angry. The two women get into a food fight at the local library's backed good sale and Hayley tells her rival to back off or else. The 'or else' happens and Hayley is the number one suspect. She must find the real killer or take the rap herself. I found Hayley's columns very amusing as the single mother of children. I also found the turn of phrase well done and the mystery pretty good although a complete surprise to me. With the two kids interactions and Hayley's brother and his mate being great characters as well as Hayley's two friends - I would definitely read more of the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I wasn't sure I was going to like this book because there were children involved and I don't care for my main character to have children. But this book changed my mind. I loved Hayley's two children. They had personalities of their own just like their mom. Hayley works for the local newspaper as the office manager until her boss gives her the food column assignment. It's extra money that she needs and she actually is pretty good at it until the rival food writer Karen Appelbaum dies from poisoni I wasn't sure I was going to like this book because there were children involved and I don't care for my main character to have children. But this book changed my mind. I loved Hayley's two children. They had personalities of their own just like their mom. Hayley works for the local newspaper as the office manager until her boss gives her the food column assignment. It's extra money that she needs and she actually is pretty good at it until the rival food writer Karen Appelbaum dies from poisoning and Hayley finds her body. And to make matters worse Hayley's brother's boyfriend is the chief of police so when he has Hayley arrested for murder things go from bad to worse. In order to clear herself Hayley decides she needs to find the killer and with the help of her two best friends Mona and Liddy she starts investigating. This book is full of great characters and suspects and everyone needs a Mona and Liddy in their lives. Great description of Bar Harbor, Maine and the mystery kept me on my feet with a very surprising ending. Might just have to look at the next book in the series. Enjoy!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Hart

    Hayley Powell is working as a food writer at a local newspaper when she’s accused of killing her competitor, the food writer for the rival newspaper in town. She’s the only suspect, and all signs really point to her, so she sets off to find the real killer and prove her innocence. What I liked about this book: obviously a lot since I gave it five stars. This is the first book I’ve read in a long time that I couldn’t put down to go to sleep! It’s funny enough that I laughed out loud a few times, Hayley Powell is working as a food writer at a local newspaper when she’s accused of killing her competitor, the food writer for the rival newspaper in town. She’s the only suspect, and all signs really point to her, so she sets off to find the real killer and prove her innocence. What I liked about this book: obviously a lot since I gave it five stars. This is the first book I’ve read in a long time that I couldn’t put down to go to sleep! It’s funny enough that I laughed out loud a few times, the story is well written, and it has some great recipes! I look forward to reading the rest of the series! What was weird: I finished reading An Appetite for Murder by Lucy Burdette right before I started this, and there were so many random similarities that I just have to wonder at all of them. •First of all, the main character in both books is named Hayley, and they’re both spelled the same. •One Hayley is a food critic. The other is a food writer. •Both Hayleys are accused of killing someone by putting poison in their most recently written about dish. •One lives on an island in Florida. One lives on an island in Maine. •The authors both make a point to randomly mention people in Red Sox caps. •Both mention that real foodies would never have a cat in the kitchen. •Both even label a cheating ex as a “Jewish Tiger Woods!” 🤔🤔🤔

  28. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not that interesting. Kind of childish dialogue among some of the characters. There were moments of that ‘cozy mystery’ feel, e.g., the main character, Hayley, at home with her children and at work at the local newspaper. Solving the murder did keep me somewhat entertained, although the way Hayley interacted with the local police wasn’t realistic, even though it was a very small town and small police force. The person who committed the murder was mentioned maybe once or twice prior to Hayley sol Not that interesting. Kind of childish dialogue among some of the characters. There were moments of that ‘cozy mystery’ feel, e.g., the main character, Hayley, at home with her children and at work at the local newspaper. Solving the murder did keep me somewhat entertained, although the way Hayley interacted with the local police wasn’t realistic, even though it was a very small town and small police force. The person who committed the murder was mentioned maybe once or twice prior to Hayley solving the murder. There were also some plots that seemed forced - the guy Hayley was interested in dating and all of a sudden they find out he has a criminal record but at the end, it comes off as it all was nothing, the silly banter between Hayley’s brother and her, and the brother and his gay lover, who happens to be the police chief. All just silly!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I'd previously read a couple of anthologies with this series featured and also the newest release, but wanted to go back and start from the beginning - I really enjoyed it, and will now continue on with book 2! Many likable, and some questionably likable - lol, characters included, in the perfectly cozy setting of Bar Harbor, Maine. Yummy recipes included and always a plus! I'd previously read a couple of anthologies with this series featured and also the newest release, but wanted to go back and start from the beginning - I really enjoyed it, and will now continue on with book 2! Many likable, and some questionably likable - lol, characters included, in the perfectly cozy setting of Bar Harbor, Maine. Yummy recipes included and always a plus!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    So far, I have liked the three books I have read in this series (but read out of order). A fun cozy mystery with food and spirit recipes (it goes along with the column Haley writes for the newspaper she works for). Haley and her crew are fun to ride along with. This is a fun first book to start the series.

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