Cooking Up Murder by Miranda Bliss
Annie and Eve are life-long friends who have absolutely nothing in common-except a lack of skill in the kitchen. So when they sign up for a cooking class at the local gourmet shop, they figure the only things at risk are a few innocent fruits and vegetables. But when murder spices up the stew, they find out just how dangerous good food can be...
Cooking and love. Too bad Annie Capshaw stinks at both. Once she almost burnt the house down--boiling a pot of water. And a year ago, her husband ran off with the dry cleaner. Since then, Annie's put love on the back burner and leftover Chinese takeout on the front. Until her bubbly best friend Eve signs them both up for cooking lessons.
On the first night, Annie and Eve see their fellow student Beyla arguing with a man--a man who later turns up dead in the parking lot. Now, with the police bungling the investigation and Beyla acting more suspicious every day, the friends feel bound to uncover whatever secrets she's hiding before someone else's goose, perhaps one of their own, gets cooked.
Sorry there is no clickable link on the author's name. I couldn't find where Bliss has a website, and that almost stopped me from typing up this post. I wonder, why, in this day and age does an author not have a website? It kinda makes me nervous that I've started a new to me series, and maybe, just maybe the author isn't writing anymore? Anyone have any idea? Anyway...
Annie Capshaw has been divorced for a year now, but it's the little things that keep popping up, such as the fact she has no potholders, that keep reminding her of the hurt and betrayal all over again. An organized and logical bank teller, Annie just can't quite figure out how her ex-husband Peter could have been so cruel in leaving her. When her best friend Eve comes over one night and smells something metallic in the air only to discover that Annie has once again burned boiling water, Eve announces that she has enrolled them in a ten day cooking class. Eve figures it's time for Annie to get back out there and try new things and this class seems just the way to do it.
Although Annie has no desire to take the class, she nevertheless shops for the supplies and heads to class with Eve. But when they get there and are almost ran over by a rather large and angry man and the owner of the store the class is being held at is nervous Annie's nerves aren't so much about cooking as they are so much about the weird behavior of those involved. When Eve forgets her watch, a gift from a current boyfriend who she has a lunch date with the next day, the women head back to the school to retrieve it. In the parking lot, they overhear Beyla, an exotic beauty from class arguing and threatening the same large man that had rushed out the door nearly knocking them over before class. When they come back form retrieving the watch and find the man dying in the parking lot.
At first, the death seems to be nothing more than a heart attack. Unfortunately, the police woman that shows up is now the significant other of Tyler, the only man that ever broke Eve's heart, the ladies fudge the truth of the encounter and the few words spoken with the now dead man. When Tyler shows up at cooking class the next day, and informs the class that the man did not simply die of a heart attack but was murdered, then proceeds to tell Eve and Annie they are now lying to him just so Eve can make Tyler look like a fool, the ladies set out to prove, once and for all that they are not liars and they are every bit, if no so much more, smarter than the man that broke Eve's heart.
But being an amateur detective isn't nearly as easy as they first thought, and soon the women find themselves in way over their heads. Exploding stoves, poisoned tomato sauce, and threatening letters soon have the women rushing against the clock to find the killer and save their own hides.
With an extremely good looking cooking instructor making Annie feel something she hasn't felt in a long time and an ever growing list of questions, Annie and Eve have their work cut out for them, in this wonderful first book of the Cooking Class Mystery series.
In my search for more cozy mysteries to read, I came across this series during a B&N search. I loved the cover, it's something about these cartoon covers that I just can't resist, and decided I must give it a go. I am ever so glad I did, and the next book, Murder on the Menu is already in my shopping cart waiting for the next order to go in. Bliss has a way of writing quirky and lovable characters, fast paced dialogue and a mystery with twists and turns that has the reader guessing from start to finish. Cooking is a great addition to any cozy mystery fans library and may even cause a few new readers to the cozy mystery to be hooked as well.