Death of a Cookbook Author

Death of a Cookbook Author - Lee Hollis I received and ARC of this book from Netgalley and Kensington Publishing for my honest review.

Hayley Powell is a food columnist for The Island Times in Bar Harbor, Maine. While at a book signing by Penelope Janice, one of the top stars for the Flavor Network for her latest cookbooks. Penelope asks Hayley to participate in a celebrity potluck contest as a last minute fill in for a no show guest at her estate over the Fourth of July weekend to be filmed for her cooking show. Hayley gets food poisoning from some bad mussels the first night, then she overhears a man, who she believes to be Penelope's husband Conrad, and a woman plotting a murder of who she thinks is Penelope. When Hayley tells Penelope what she'd overheard, Penelope doesn't believe her. Things get even more complicated when Conrad is found dead at the bottom of a cliff after a night of heavy drinking. Hayley now has to find out if Conrad's death was an accident as everyone believes it to be, or if it was murder like Hayley suspects. Hayley call Bruce, the crime reporter for the paper after an attempt is made on her life, the two team up to work on figuring out the mystery.

With a house full of suspects it's hard to narrow down who killed Conrad until the surprising reveal. We don't have the usual characters in this book as Hayley's children have both left home and her two best friends only make the briefest of appearances so we are introduced to some new colorful characters. It was nice to see Hayley's and Bruce's relationship take a turn towards them being a couple after being coworkers and friends since book 1. The author does a nice job of drawing you into the story with her characters, well plotted mystery, and her well paced story line.