by Lee Hollis
Published March 29th 2016 by Kensington
Publisher: For food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell, becoming a local culinary celebrity opens lots of doors. Unfortunately, one leads straight to cold-blooded murder…
When Hayley is invited to do a cooking demo on one of daytime’s most popular talk shows, it’s a welcome distraction from her empty nest blues. And the newfound fame certainly has its perks–especially when Olivia Redmond, the posh bacon heiress of Redmond Meats, offers Hayley a writing gig with a juicy paycheck.
But Hayley’s good fortune fizzles fast. The heiress is found dead with her pet pot-bellied pig, Pork Chop, squealing bloody murder beside her body, and clogged arteries aren’t to blame. It turns out Olivia’s inherited a wealth of enemies over the years, and as Hayley trims the fat off a mounting list of suspects, it’s clear that being rich and hot-tempered can be a recipe for disaster…
Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley’s kitchen!
My Review: Death of a Bacon Heiress by Lee Hollis is the seventh book in the Hayley Powell Mystery series. I have not read any of the previous books but I was still able to follow the story and enjoy the book. It took me a couple of chapters to get into the story, but once I did, it was a quick read.
Hayley works at the local newspaper as the office manager and writes a food/drink column on Mount Desert Island. She is invited to appear on a talk show in New York to showcase one of her bacon recipes that the host of the show was familiar with. While on the show, Hayley meets Olivia Redmond, heiress to Redmond Meats, the largest meat supplier in the country. The Redmond family summered on the island for years, so Hayley was familiar with Olivia. When they arrived on the island, Haley accompanies Olivia and her husband Nacho to dinner. They leave the restaurant in a huff after Olivia is disappointed with her meal. The next day, Olivia asks Hayley if she will write a blog twice a week for the Redmond Meats website. Hayley jumps at the opportunity. Meanwhile a fellow reporter that works with Hayley is investigating the disappearance of Dr. Alvin Foley, another island resident.
When Hayley stops by Olivia’s house a couple of days later, she finds Olivia dead in her yard with Olivia’s pot-bellied pig, Pork Chop nearby. The suspect list is long and includes The Chat hostess and best friend, Rhonda Franklin, Olivia’s estranged son, Red, her philandering husband, Nacho or her employee who feels he should be running the company. Olivia begins an investigation with the help of her brother-in-law, the local sheriff.
In the meantime, Hayley has to provide a home for Pork Chop, as Red wants nothing to do with him, and Hayley’s other animals are not happy. She is also dealing with her boyfriend, Dr. Aaron Palmer the local vet. Aaron has been distant lately and is not returning Haley’s phone calls. When she stops by to see him he is too busy to talk. Hayley is worried that he wants to end their relationship while her best friend Liddy is sure he is getting ready to propose.
I love the diverse characters in this story. Hayley’s brother is the local bar owner and is gay, married to the local sheriff. Liddy is divorced and dating a lawyer 15 years her junior. Mona is a married mother of half a dozen kids with a lazy husband. She also supplies most of the island with seafood from her business. She “dates” Rhonda who is a lesbian, but has not intention of leaving her husband, it is just nice to hear nice things for a change. They all play very well off of each other and I enjoyed the interactions.
I did figure out who the murderer was before the end of the story, but that was okay. It was still a fun read that held my interest. I will definitely read the next one in this series and may go back and read them all. I recommend this book to cozy mystery readers, especially those that love getting the recipes that are mentioned in the books, there are some great ones at the end of each chapter.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.