Toasting Up Trouble

A Dinner Club Mystery, #1

“Toasting Up Trouble” is the debut novel in the “Dinner Club Mystery” series. This first installment sets a positive tone for the series, getting it off to a terrific start.

J.J. Tanner is an event planner and culinary enthusiast, living in Vermont. As the story begins, J.J. is planning a birthday party for the daughter of a multi-millionaire.

We also discover that J.J. is the member of a dinner club named the “Culinary Capers Dinner Club”.

This group of friends enjoys experimenting with recipes and creating delicious dishes drawn from their favorite cookbooks.

However, a huge problem develops between J.J. and her caterer Antonio Marcotti. He is a difficult man who insists on adding items to the party menu that would go over J.J’s budget.

When Marcotti refuses to comply with J.J.'s menu, going against her wishes, the two argue. This is understandable. But when the temperamental chef is found dead, J.J. becomes a suspect. She is not the only one, not by a long shot.

With her freedom on the line, J.J. is determined to discover who the real murderer is. With a little help from her culinary caper group and a stubborn, egocentric detective named Ty Devine they will find out who did it.

Often times I struggle with the first book in a new series due to the frenetic pacing. The author introduces an entirely new cast of characters and tries to give readers a general lay of the land. While at the same time trying to present a plausible and interesting murder mystery, which can make the story too busy and hard to keep up with.

However, with “Toasting Up Trouble” I fell right into step with J.J. and her culinary friends, as though I had known them for years. This helped me concentrate on the mystery, which was very absorbing.

I really enjoyed the culinary delights described and how the group took turns trying out new recipes and sharing them with friends. What fun!

The colorful cast of characters are zany, interesting, and at times very mysterious. I loved the banter between J.J and Ty, as they start off on the wrong foot with each other, but wind up making a pretty good team.

There is a secondary thread running through the book as well. J.J. discovers someone is stealing her event planning ideas, which added a little more depth to the story, without taking too much away from the main mystery.

I think J.J. is going to be a terrific amateur sleuth and I can’t wait to see what mystery she will help solve next and how things will progress with Ty.

The book also has a couple of yummy recipes included!

Foodies and cozy mystery lovers will definitely want to give this book a try!

Book Blurb for Toasting Up Trouble

A delicious new cozy mystery series featuring the Culinary Capers Dinner Club—who are fearless when it comes to cooking up new dishes and putting the lid on crime...

Event planner Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner has a full plate, but that’s the way she likes it. First, it’s her turn to choose the recipe for the next meeting of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club, a gathering of foodie friends who experiment with entrées for their creative and gastronomical pleasure. Second, she’s organizing an Italian princess party for the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a high-tech millionaire.

But one thing J.J. didn’t plan on is that the caterer for the event—hotshot chef Antonio Marcotti—would end up murdered the night of the party. Or that she’d end up being a prime suspect after having had a heated argument with the unscrupulous chef. Now it’s up to J.J.—with help from her fellow Club members and a handsome if mysterious private eye—to turn the tables on the real killer...

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2016 4.00