Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Bayou Book Thief. This is the first book in her new series, A Vintage Cookbook Mystery. Scroll down for my review, and a chance to win a print copy of the book (US only) It is available now!

Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery) by Ellen Byron
Cozy Mystery, Setting – New Orleans Louisiana
Published June 7, 2022 by Berkley
Mass Market Paperback ‏: ‎304 pages

About the Book: A fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Ellen Byron.

Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital.

Ricki’s dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet, the city’s legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation – collecting vintage cookbooks – into a vocation by launching the museum’s gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.

The skills Ricki has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki’s past as curator of a billionaire’s first edition collection comes back to haunt her.

Will Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success … or a recipe for disaster?


5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I loved Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country Mystery series and was sad when it ended, but I am sad no more. Bayou Book Thief is the first book in the Vintage Cookbook Mystery series set in New Orleans and it is a wonderful start to this series. Ricki James, recently widowed, leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital. Ricki gets a job at the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, where she operates the gift shop. She is about to turn her hobby of collecting vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchenwares into a vocation, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief. Will this shut down the museum? Is her new friend going to be arrested? Ricki uses her skills of tracking down historic manuscripts to do some sleuthing of her own.

I love Ricki’s character (Miracle Fleur di Lis James-Diaz). She is a wonderful character, loyal, friendly, smart and tenacious, but also insecure and with an imagination that takes her down some interesting avenues. She is trying to make a new life for herself, in the town where she was born and has a good start on it. The various employees at Bon Vee Culinary House Museum were a fun group. There were some quirky ones, some straight laced and some scammers. I loved almost all of them. Often in cozy mysteries, the police are inept and bumbling, but that is not the case her, the detectives were on the case, investigating and were a great part of the story. There were a few storylines involving HVAC, sketchy landlords, a mystery author and a tiny bit of romance, that were all woven together to make a great story. So, who killed Franklin? There were so many suspects it made it hard to figure out. Ricki chased down a lot of red herrings and was on the right track, but I didn’t guess the culprit at all. I really liked this story and definitely recommend it to cozy mystery lovers, those who enjoy culinary stories and those who want to to some armchair travel to New Orleans. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKoboGoogle BooksAlibrisIndieBoundPenguinRandomHouse


GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a Print Copy of Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery) by Ellen Byron (U.S. Only)


About the Author: Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty Awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Bayou Book Thief will be the first book in her new Vintage Cookbook Mysteries. She also writes the Catering Hall Mystery series under the name Maria DiRico.

Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. An alum of New Orleans’ Tulane University, she blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster. Please visit her at https://www.ellenbyron.com/

Author Links: NewsletterFacebook InstagramBookbub (Ellen) Bookbub (Maria)Goodreads (Ellen)Goodreads (Maria)


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