Review: Books, Cooks and Crooks by Lucy Arlington

Description (from cover):

‘The national bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries are back, as Lila Wilkins–literary agent and sleuth–is setting up a delicious cookbook fair. But the tension in the kitchen is about to boil over…
Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, is bubbling with excitement for the Taste of the Town festival, and Lila is right in the middle of it all. Along with her coworkers at the Novel Idea Literary Agency, Lila is organizing a grand celebrity chef event, complete with cooking demonstrations, giveaways, and even a culinary writing contest.
But just as the celebration is about to start, the demo kitchen blows up, taking one of the star cooks with it. With all the explosive egos of the cook’s colleagues, it’s hard to find someone who didn’t have a motive to eliminate the competition. Now Lila will have to scramble to figure out which of her clients is a killer–before someone else gets burned.’

My thoughts:

There is something in the cozy mystery writing water here lately as all of the books I have read recently are fantastic. This book was no different. I love the small town of Inspiration Valley set in my home state of North Carolina and the town’s theme of everything bookish. What’s not to love about a town where everything is named after an author, a book or something along those lines? The garden shop is called A Secret Garden, Catcher in the Rye is the local sandwich shop and Voltaire is the upscale French restaurant. It sounds absolutely divine and a town that I would die to live in (no pun intended). Lila Wilkins works at a Novel Idea Literary Agency where she helps discover new authors and help them to reach their publishing goals. She also tends to find herself in the middle of the town’s most mysterious events.
Lila and her coworkers have created a cookbook themed event called Taste of the Town, which features several predominant celebrity chefs and their works. Of course egos are all flared up when these creative people are all in one room and when one of them is suddenly murdered, there is plenty of suspects to keep Lila occupied. She must determined who wanted this chef dead and was it for personal reasons or to eliminate the competition? She uses the help of her family and friends and her police detective boyfriend to discover just who had motive and opportunity. 
It seems everyone has a secret that they don’t want revealed and as the investigation continues on, those secrets come to light. As I was reading this book, I had a feeling that I had pegged the murderer, but I was surprised to learn that I was completely off. I love books that keep me guessing and I cannot wait to see what comes out next in this series. I find this series to be an utter delight to read and simply cannot put these down. I was watching my favorite television show and during the commercials, I had to pick this book up to see how everything ended.

Overall Rating: 5

Title:  Books, Cooks and Crooks
Author:  Lucy Arlington
Series:  Novel Idea Mystery #3
Publisher:  Berkley
Publication Date:  February 4, 2014
Pages:  304
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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