Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review ~ THE BIG CHILI by Julia Buckley

The Big Chili (Undercover Dish Mystery, #1)
by: Julia Buckley
Series: Undercover Dish Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Source: Penguin Berkley Prime Crime

First in a delicious new mystery series filled with casseroles, confidences, and killers...

Lilah Drake’s Covered Dish business discreetly provides the residents of Pine Haven, Illinois, with delicious, fresh-cooked meals they can claim they cooked themselves. But when one of her clandestine concoctions is used to poison a local woman, Lilah finds herself in a pot-load of trouble…

After dreaming for years of owning her own catering company, Lilah has made a start into the food world through her Covered Dish business, covertly cooking for her neighbors who don’t have the time or skill to do so themselves, and allowing them to claim her culinary creations as their own. While her clientele is strong, their continued happiness depends on no one finding out who’s really behind the apron.

So when someone drops dead at a church Bingo night moments after eating chili that Lilah made for a client, the anonymous chef finds herself getting stirred into a cauldron of secrets, lies, and murder—and going toe to toe with a very determined and very attractive detective. To keep her clients coming back and her business under wraps, Lilah will have to chop down the list of suspects fast, because this spicy killer has acquired a taste for homicide…

Twenty-seven-year-old Lilah Drake is unlucky in love.  Good thing she has a passion for cooking.  Currently, she’s a receptionist for her parents’ real estate company.  But Lilah has dreams to one day open her own catering company.  In order to get her food and cooking skills some exposure, she has started her own underground secretive covered dish business.  The idea of the business is to help the citizens of Pine Haven, Illinois who can’t cook pass off food made by her as their own.

Things are going well until a chili dish she secretly prepared is used to poison and kill a member of St. Bartholomew Church.  While Lilah wasn’t a fan of the dearly departed, she’s surprised to learn about some of the deceased’s past actions and just how difficult she truly was.

Julia Buckley gives readers a wonderful story with The Big Chili.  Though, I have to admit the beginning of the story was slow going.  However, once the investigating and wondering whodunit it started, it got better.  I lost myself to the story and learning more about Lilah and all the interesting characters in the story; from Mick the Chocolate Labrador to the sexy Detective Inspector Jacob Parker of the the Pine Haven PD to the happily single Grandy sisters.

I will also admit to consistently questioning every character Lilah came across.  When Lilah put all the pieces together, I was shocked.  Even after that, things got more interesting and my shock at the turn of events went off the charts.

Told in first person, The Big Chili is the first book in what promises to be a really good cozy mystery series from Julia.  However, the romance lover in me is NOT happy.  I’m looking forward to finding out what else is in store for Lilah and the Pine Haven.

**Received a copy from Berkley in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**

Rating: 4

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  1. I've been seeing reviews for this and can't wait to read it! Curious about how things play out!

    1. I really liked this book! I gave up trying to figure out who the murder was and just enjoyed the book. But I was definitely surprised at the end.


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