About the Book: A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents’ diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town.
When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother’s diner, she doesn’t even consider saying no. After all–her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs.
Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie’s ideas–leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case.
With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it’s too late.
Charlie Cooke has returned to her hometown of Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mom’s diner. They are famous for their Bear Claws, so when she wants to add chocolate the recipe that they have used for the last twenty years, the chef blows up and stomps out. When he does not show up for his next shift, she just assumes he is still upset with her. Unfortunately, that is not the case and he is found dead a few hours later, murdered. After contacting her mother, who is on a cruise, she and Chris, a local reporter, begin an investigation with the approval of the local Trooper. As they begin to ask questions and interview people, they uncover secrets that are shocking to everyone.
This is the first book in a new series and I am looking forward to more. I loved the setting of rural, wintry Alaska as well as the diner. Being in a small town often gives us the opportunity to get to know not only the main protagonist, but others in the town, including some quirky characters. Charlie, is easy to like and someone I would love to have as a friend. She’s witty, hardworking, family-oriented, smart, loyal and a great boss. I really liked the chemistry between her and Chris and thought they made a great team. I would love to see their relationship develop into something more. The secondary characters were also wonderful and added much to the story. Of course the star of the story is Eggs Benedict aka. Benny, Charlie’s cat. I had figured out the culprit, but was not sure of the motive. The dialogue was great, especially between Charlie and Chris. The story was well-plotted and developed. The take-down was wonderful and I loved the part Benny played in it. Overall, this was a fun, interesting cozy mystery that started this series off with a bang. I definitely recommend this one to cozy mystery lovers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Camille Minichino is turning every aspect of her life into a mystery series. A retired physicist, she’s the author of 28 mystery novels in 5 series, with different pen names. Her next book is “Mousse and Murder,” May 2020, by Elizabeth Logan. She’s also written many short stories and articles. She teaches science at Golden Gate U. in San Francisco and writing workshops around the SF Bay Area. Details are at www.minichino.com.