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Cooking Up Murder

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On the first night of Annie and Eve's cooking class, they dish up a murder. Now the friends feel bound to uncover whatever secrets a classmate is hiding before someone else's goose gets cooked. Original. On the first night of Annie and Eve's cooking class, they dish up a murder. Now the friends feel bound to uncover whatever secrets a classmate is hiding before someone else's goose gets cooked. Original.


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On the first night of Annie and Eve's cooking class, they dish up a murder. Now the friends feel bound to uncover whatever secrets a classmate is hiding before someone else's goose gets cooked. Original. On the first night of Annie and Eve's cooking class, they dish up a murder. Now the friends feel bound to uncover whatever secrets a classmate is hiding before someone else's goose gets cooked. Original.

30 review for Cooking Up Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    I enjoy genuinely funny cozy mysteries, and this one does meet that mark. The MC Annie was a fun and quirky character who, as a refreshing change, isn't naturally good at everything. Her southern belle best friend drags her along to a cooking course to get her mind off relationship woes, and of course the two stumble upon a murderous story line while trying not to burn the food. Somehow Annie even manages to ruin the art of boiling. The mystery is a fun one because they do sleuthing, breaking and I enjoy genuinely funny cozy mysteries, and this one does meet that mark. The MC Annie was a fun and quirky character who, as a refreshing change, isn't naturally good at everything. Her southern belle best friend drags her along to a cooking course to get her mind off relationship woes, and of course the two stumble upon a murderous story line while trying not to burn the food. Somehow Annie even manages to ruin the art of boiling. The mystery is a fun one because they do sleuthing, breaking and entering, sabotaging, interviewing, and misleads. It's not one of those lazy mysteries where everything just falls on their laps. They have a strong enough reason to solve the crime. Unfortunately the threads of the story became unraveled a little too much toward the end, and I started feeling a little impatient with it. The romance was a little forced and out of left field, but it works for this type of genre so that can be overlooked. For fans of fun, light cozies with a sense of humor, this is one that delivers. It also has a generous portion of recipes in the back - more than most books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Spuddie

    Trying to find a lighter, cozier series to read at bedtime so thought I would give this, the first "Cooking Class Mystery" a try. *sigh* Like so many cozy series, it ended up being mostly a romance with the main female character doing lots of fantasizing and drooling over the main male character. Very stereotypical characters--Annie (main character) has less-than-perfect looks and low self-esteem due to cheating hubby and recent divorce. Her best friend Eve is a vivacious drop dead gorgeous blon Trying to find a lighter, cozier series to read at bedtime so thought I would give this, the first "Cooking Class Mystery" a try. *sigh* Like so many cozy series, it ended up being mostly a romance with the main female character doing lots of fantasizing and drooling over the main male character. Very stereotypical characters--Annie (main character) has less-than-perfect looks and low self-esteem due to cheating hubby and recent divorce. Her best friend Eve is a vivacious drop dead gorgeous blonde, and the cooking instructor is a hot guy complete with a sexy Scottish accent. (Can you hear my eyes rolling? LOL) The plot and story just didn't have much depth, a cookie-cutter mystery, just boring and predictable...I didn't hate it or the main character, she was so devoid of character that I just didn't care one way or another what happened. I finished it, but I won't be continuing on in the series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Drebbles

    To help her best friend Annie Capshaw recover from her recent divorce (her husband ran off with the dry cleaner) Eve DeCateur signs them up for a ten day cooking class. Annie is skeptical, she can't heat water without burning it, but when she gets a look at hunky cooking instructor Jim MacDonald, she decides to stick around, even though she is convinced he only has eyes for the beautiful Eve. On the first night of classes, Annie and Eve see a classmate arguing with a man and threatening to kill To help her best friend Annie Capshaw recover from her recent divorce (her husband ran off with the dry cleaner) Eve DeCateur signs them up for a ten day cooking class. Annie is skeptical, she can't heat water without burning it, but when she gets a look at hunky cooking instructor Jim MacDonald, she decides to stick around, even though she is convinced he only has eyes for the beautiful Eve. On the first night of classes, Annie and Eve see a classmate arguing with a man and threatening to kill him and later that night they stumble across the dying man. Initially they think he had a heart attack, but when they find out he was poisoned, they suspect their classmate Beyla, who denies knowing the man. Eve and Annie try to convince Tyler Cooper, a policeman who just happens to be Eve's ex-fiancé, that Beyla is the murderer, but he thinks Eve is trying to mess up his case and doesn't believe them, so they decide to investigate the murder themselves. They have plenty to investigate besides the murder: why did Beyla's classmate John lie about being with her the night of the murder? What was Monsieur Lavoie tossing into the dumpster? Why did Beyla's stove blow up during class and who left the note saying "you are next"? Who is the mysterious Alba Stru? What's in the computer disc Beyla is searching for? Will Annie ever learn to cook? "Cooking Up Murder" by Miranda Bliss is the delightful first entry in what looks like it will be a fun cozy mystery series. Annie is a well-written heroine - insecure about herself after her husband left her and insecure about her looks compared to Eve - she is stuck in a rut. Eve is also well written. Although she easily could have been an unlikable caricature - blonde, beautiful with a surgically enhanced figure who has been engaged six times - but Bliss makes her a likable, sympathetic character who is deeper than she initially appears. I could picture Jim as I was reading the book - I'd take a cooking class too if all the instructors were that yummy! There's a nice sense of humor throughout the book and Bliss has a nice way with words that is evident in sentences such as "I chewed over the thought and I have to admit, I didn't like the way it tasted." Much of the humor comes from Annie and Eve who will remind readers of Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz as they blunder into situations. They are far too trusting and tell strangers far too much information, which is part of the fun since they really are complete amateurs. The mystery itself is well plotted and even though there aren't many suspects, there are a couple of unexpected twists at the end of the book that made the mystery even better. Like many other culinary mysteries, there are recipes at the end of the book - make sure you read the last one! "Cooking up Murder" is a nice cozy mystery.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erynn

    I had a hard time deciding between two and three stars, so I rounded up, so to speak. I liked the cozy mystery, I liked that Annie gets something good at the end and can, hopefully, find happiness after being hung up on her ex-husband for over a year. Some of the cons? I hated Eve. Someone made a review likening her to a teenaged high school girl and I couldn't agree more. For someone who is supposed to be 35, she sure needs a swift kick in the ass by reality. (view spoiler)[Her actions got her d I had a hard time deciding between two and three stars, so I rounded up, so to speak. I liked the cozy mystery, I liked that Annie gets something good at the end and can, hopefully, find happiness after being hung up on her ex-husband for over a year. Some of the cons? I hated Eve. Someone made a review likening her to a teenaged high school girl and I couldn't agree more. For someone who is supposed to be 35, she sure needs a swift kick in the ass by reality. (view spoiler)[Her actions got her drugged and nearly killed, put Annie's life in danger, and put other characters' lives in danger. She was so caught up in her anger at being told she wasn't smart enough that she jumped forward into a murder investigation without even thinking. Rather than letting her friend heal on her own time, she kept dropping incredibly not-so-subtle hints that Annie needed to basically throw herself at all the cute guys they kept seeing. (hide spoiler)] I wasn't too pleased with Annie, either. I lost a lot of sympathy for her when Eve was confronted with an ex that clearly affected her. Rather than let Eve spend the time to get it out of her system and vent and all that, she got annoyed that Eve was so hung up on him. Um, excuse me? You've spent the last year eating ramen and soup because your husband divorced you. Try to have a little sympathy for your supposed best friend even if she is annoying as all get out.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Annie is the worst cook in the world. She is a bank teller whose husband left her for the dry cleaning lady about a year ago. Her best friend Eve, feeling that Annie has wallowed around long enough, buys cooking classes for Annie and herself. The first night of cooking class, they find a man they have seen arguing with multiple people, dead in the parking lot. Annie knows who it is and sets out to prove it. Add in a hot Scottish chef teaching the classes and you have a good mix of people for thi Annie is the worst cook in the world. She is a bank teller whose husband left her for the dry cleaning lady about a year ago. Her best friend Eve, feeling that Annie has wallowed around long enough, buys cooking classes for Annie and herself. The first night of cooking class, they find a man they have seen arguing with multiple people, dead in the parking lot. Annie knows who it is and sets out to prove it. Add in a hot Scottish chef teaching the classes and you have a good mix of people for this mystery. I rated this 3.5 because the characters were a bit undeveloped but the story was a nice plot and the cooking lessons amusing. Good start to a series. We will see where it takes us...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Samuelson

    First time reading this book/series by Miranda Bliss!! At first I was a lil iffy on this til it picked up and I ended up enjoying it very much. Suspense, Comedy and Mystery made this book so much fun to read. Can't wait to read Book 2 in this series!! First time reading this book/series by Miranda Bliss!! At first I was a lil iffy on this til it picked up and I ended up enjoying it very much. Suspense, Comedy and Mystery made this book so much fun to read. Can't wait to read Book 2 in this series!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Di

    Read for #Book1CoziesClub This was entertaining, but I wouldn't say I'm invested in these characters after this first installment. While I did enjoy watching Annie evolve into an amateur detective, I disliked Eve. I did find it interesting that Eve was the catalyst to investigate this case, however the reason she wanted to start to investigate made me shake my head. I also disliked that this book heavily mentions the two main character's exes. Would I read the next installment? Sure. Would I feel Read for #Book1CoziesClub This was entertaining, but I wouldn't say I'm invested in these characters after this first installment. While I did enjoy watching Annie evolve into an amateur detective, I disliked Eve. I did find it interesting that Eve was the catalyst to investigate this case, however the reason she wanted to start to investigate made me shake my head. I also disliked that this book heavily mentions the two main character's exes. Would I read the next installment? Sure. Would I feel like I'm missing out on something if I didn't read the next installment? I wouldn't.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

    I found this book a light, fun read, a bit more reminscent of chick lit with some of the characters feeling a bit shallow. I didn't expect it to be a serious read though. I enjoyed it enough to continue reading this series. Annie Capshaw is thirty-five, divorced, and has sworn off men. In an effort to get Annie's mind off her ex, Annie's best friend, Eve, signs both of them up for a cooking course at Tres Bonne Cuisine. Eve has pre-paid the course, so Annie feels obliged to humor her and go to th I found this book a light, fun read, a bit more reminscent of chick lit with some of the characters feeling a bit shallow. I didn't expect it to be a serious read though. I enjoyed it enough to continue reading this series. Annie Capshaw is thirty-five, divorced, and has sworn off men. In an effort to get Annie's mind off her ex, Annie's best friend, Eve, signs both of them up for a cooking course at Tres Bonne Cuisine. Eve has pre-paid the course, so Annie feels obliged to humor her and go to the cooking classes. There's only one problem...Annie is the world's worst cook. She doubts even hunky instructor Jim can work miracles with her cooking. Outside of the cooking school, Annie and Eve witness a fellow student, Beyla, arguing with a man--who later dies right in front of them. Police investigation determines the man was poisoned with foxglove, and Eve is instantly suspicious of Beyla and decides to investigate. Annie always has been the boring one--not a bombshell like Eve, a bank teller and has always been the sensible one. But even she is beginning to find her life boring, and she joins Eve in investigating Drago's murder. The pair follow clues to an art gallery, a psychic, and a Romanian restaurant. Annie finds the investigation invigorating--especially when Jim jumps in and seems to have eyes only for Annie. A close call with an exploding stove in cooking class leaves Annie shaken. Can she get through her cooking course without killing herself and catch Drago's killer? Or will Annie be next on the menu.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leeankh

    Overall, I really liked this book. I liked Annie and Eve quite a bit. After reading a review or two, I noticed Eve wasn't as popular as Annie. Personally, I know people like Eve in real life, so she seemed very real to me. Additionally, I just like the idea of 2 friends working together to solve a mystery. I've always thought that if I were to become an amateur detective in real life, that I'd have to work with a friend. I would need that other person to bounce ideas off, if nothing else. Plus, Overall, I really liked this book. I liked Annie and Eve quite a bit. After reading a review or two, I noticed Eve wasn't as popular as Annie. Personally, I know people like Eve in real life, so she seemed very real to me. Additionally, I just like the idea of 2 friends working together to solve a mystery. I've always thought that if I were to become an amateur detective in real life, that I'd have to work with a friend. I would need that other person to bounce ideas off, if nothing else. Plus, I would feel safer if I had a friend with me when dealing with possibly dangerous situations. :) Now, my biggest problem with the book was the ending. It wasn't as strong as I would have liked, but it wasn't bad. I think the author was a touch lazy about some of the finer points when it comes to believability, but it wasn't so unrealistic that I felt dissatisfied by it. A big plus, though, is that one of the recipes supplied at the end of the book sounds really good and I think I'm actually going to try it. (It's bacon pinwheels... Honestly, the name alone sounds great to me!) I look forward to reading more in this series and I have a feeling they will get better with each installment. :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)

    The first in this series and we see the newly divorced Annie Capshaw (by her own admission the worst cook in the world, at the beginning of the book she manages to burn water!) going to a cookery class along with her best friend Eve (who arranged this to get Annie to do more than go to work and skulk around her apartment), when they arrive the first night (of ten, spread over two weeks), they see the owner of the shop arguing with a man, later they see the same man arguing with one of their fell The first in this series and we see the newly divorced Annie Capshaw (by her own admission the worst cook in the world, at the beginning of the book she manages to burn water!) going to a cookery class along with her best friend Eve (who arranged this to get Annie to do more than go to work and skulk around her apartment), when they arrive the first night (of ten, spread over two weeks), they see the owner of the shop arguing with a man, later they see the same man arguing with one of their fellow cookery school members. Later that night they see the same man again, dying! Just when they think things can settle down one of Eve's exes (the only one to dump her - not the other way around), arrives to interview everyone, murder abounds!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    Read~November 8, 2010 4 Stars WHAT a fun book!! A really great addition to my "cozies"!! Annie and Eve are the perfect foil for each other and ALL the scrapes they get into are VERY believable (at least they are to me. I can see this stuff happening to me should I decide to start snooping into other people's lives). Lots of fun to read, lost of neat recipes and a "lovely" murder to solve. Perfect read for that rainy day in!! ** YAY for reading a book I LOVED on a milestone (BOOK 100 of 2010)!!!!!! Read~November 8, 2010 4 Stars WHAT a fun book!! A really great addition to my "cozies"!! Annie and Eve are the perfect foil for each other and ALL the scrapes they get into are VERY believable (at least they are to me. I can see this stuff happening to me should I decide to start snooping into other people's lives). Lots of fun to read, lost of neat recipes and a "lovely" murder to solve. Perfect read for that rainy day in!! ** YAY for reading a book I LOVED on a milestone (BOOK 100 of 2010)!!!!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liana

    I only read this because a couchsurfer brought it to me as a gift and I felt obligated. Not my typical fare, and gave two stars (instead of one) because I actually finished it. I can't fully explain the stupidity exhibited by the characters in this book, the trite dialogue, the obsession with fashion and handbags, interrogations by the police where no one says "I want an attorney"... I only read this because a couchsurfer brought it to me as a gift and I felt obligated. Not my typical fare, and gave two stars (instead of one) because I actually finished it. I can't fully explain the stupidity exhibited by the characters in this book, the trite dialogue, the obsession with fashion and handbags, interrogations by the police where no one says "I want an attorney"...

  13. 5 out of 5

    meg

    Very slow. I could not finish it and ended up just flipping to the back to see who did it. Not sure if I will read any others in the series or not.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    First in a series, this was hard to get through. I found myself skipping paragraphs and skimming pages just to get to the end. I just could not stand the characters. Eve added nothing to this book but aggravation. She was just so shallow and man crazy, she reminded me of a teenager, not a grown women. Annie was always so negative, no self-esteem, which I get after being married for 8 years to have husband leave for another women, that would take a toll. Always comparing herself to Eve and findin First in a series, this was hard to get through. I found myself skipping paragraphs and skimming pages just to get to the end. I just could not stand the characters. Eve added nothing to this book but aggravation. She was just so shallow and man crazy, she reminded me of a teenager, not a grown women. Annie was always so negative, no self-esteem, which I get after being married for 8 years to have husband leave for another women, that would take a toll. Always comparing herself to Eve and finding herself lacking. Her character grew during the book which was nice. Annie and Eve have been friends since they were kids? With all of Annie's negative thoughts towards Eve, it just didn't seem possible. I don't believe I will be wasting any more time with this series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    At times this had the hilarity of a Lucy/Ethel scheme. Gotta love these two crazy friends who somehow got mixed up in murder and something illegal going on at an art gallery. Annie and Eve were wacky and spontaneous when it came to their amateur sleuthing, which they admitted wasn't that good. But somehow they managed to break a case wide open. Who knew that cooking could be that dangerous? A fun older series whose author is another pen name for Kylie Logan, one of my fave authors. I hope I have At times this had the hilarity of a Lucy/Ethel scheme. Gotta love these two crazy friends who somehow got mixed up in murder and something illegal going on at an art gallery. Annie and Eve were wacky and spontaneous when it came to their amateur sleuthing, which they admitted wasn't that good. But somehow they managed to break a case wide open. Who knew that cooking could be that dangerous? A fun older series whose author is another pen name for Kylie Logan, one of my fave authors. I hope I have this second book hanging around somewhere! I like where Annie and Jim's new relationship was going.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eva Larsson

    Honestly When I found out I had herpes virous , I was completely lost because I didn't know what to do and I worried about how the incident would affect my relationship. I couldn't go about it but positive thinking and a healthy approach keeps me going. I tried finding help in all possible area but my efforts were to no avail. But with the help of Dr Tumba , I discussed the issue with him and I was treated so after some times I went back for another test which came out NEGATIVE and I was totally Honestly When I found out I had herpes virous , I was completely lost because I didn't know what to do and I worried about how the incident would affect my relationship. I couldn't go about it but positive thinking and a healthy approach keeps me going. I tried finding help in all possible area but my efforts were to no avail. But with the help of Dr Tumba , I discussed the issue with him and I was treated so after some times I went back for another test which came out NEGATIVE and I was totally healed. And you can reach out to Dr Tumba on this website https://curecentre.weebly.com and you will be the next to testify of his great work.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Baumgartner

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The characters are relatable and fun. The possible romance was slightly overboard, but it's fine, it's a fun book, not reality. I enjoyed the fact that as the two main characters go about solving the murders, they bumbled several times. Let's face it, they aren't experts, so it's highly believable. I look forward to reading the rest of this series. My only heartbreak is that the author stopped at only 5 books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The characters are relatable and fun. The possible romance was slightly overboard, but it's fine, it's a fun book, not reality. I enjoyed the fact that as the two main characters go about solving the murders, they bumbled several times. Let's face it, they aren't experts, so it's highly believable. I look forward to reading the rest of this series. My only heartbreak is that the author stopped at only 5 books.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book that I started thinking it was a bit of fluff to pass the time turned out better than I expected. It's still fluffy, but the main character was someone I could relate to. She wasn't extremely beautiful or intelligent, but she felt like a realistic person. The mystery was a classic whodunnit, nothing earth shattering. I'll continue to read the series when I'm between other books. This book that I started thinking it was a bit of fluff to pass the time turned out better than I expected. It's still fluffy, but the main character was someone I could relate to. She wasn't extremely beautiful or intelligent, but she felt like a realistic person. The mystery was a classic whodunnit, nothing earth shattering. I'll continue to read the series when I'm between other books.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christine (KizzieReads)

    2.75 really but I rounded up. The characters were annoying. Most of the things they did weren't bad, but some of them were off the charts unlawful and very stupid. Eve annoyed me everytime she opened her mouth. The constant flirting and taking credit for stuff she had nothing to do with was just irritating. The constant mooning over their exes was a tad over the top as well. 2.75 really but I rounded up. The characters were annoying. Most of the things they did weren't bad, but some of them were off the charts unlawful and very stupid. Eve annoyed me everytime she opened her mouth. The constant flirting and taking credit for stuff she had nothing to do with was just irritating. The constant mooning over their exes was a tad over the top as well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Okay, but nothing more than that. I prefer the Pepper Martin series. I liked the POV character, but her best friend just annoyed me, and there are enough other cozy series out there that I'm not going to bother with this one any further. Okay, but nothing more than that. I prefer the Pepper Martin series. I liked the POV character, but her best friend just annoyed me, and there are enough other cozy series out there that I'm not going to bother with this one any further.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris Johnson

    I liked it. Quirky and well-motivated.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Hated Eve. She's so stupid. Hated Eve. She's so stupid.

  23. 5 out of 5

    BCat

    Didn't finish, which is really unusual for me. It just was kind of boring, not cozy, annoying, & some of the scenes & dialogue felt very contrived. Bummer :( Didn't finish, which is really unusual for me. It just was kind of boring, not cozy, annoying, & some of the scenes & dialogue felt very contrived. Bummer :(

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Sanchez

    fun cozy. really like Annie Capshaw.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    This was fluff piece - not that great, but an ok summer read

  26. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Two best friends attempt to beat the local police at solving a murder. Just because one of the girls had dated the cop in charge of the investigation. He thought she was stupid.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    No one reads cozies for believable plots or characters, but this one was a mess.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lyn Sweetapple

    A little choppy (oh dear, that was not meant as a bad pun), but the concept was cute. the recipes are good.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chaitra

    Why do I keep reading these things? I must be a sucker for punishment. And this was. A short one, mercifully, but torture for however long it lasted. Annie and Eve are best friends and do cooking class together. Annie is our main girl by the way, who's less than perfect, has problems with the way she looks, the kind guys say is cute but that isn't enough for her. She's also been dumped by her darling husband for some random female. After reading the whole book, and getting to know her charming p Why do I keep reading these things? I must be a sucker for punishment. And this was. A short one, mercifully, but torture for however long it lasted. Annie and Eve are best friends and do cooking class together. Annie is our main girl by the way, who's less than perfect, has problems with the way she looks, the kind guys say is cute but that isn't enough for her. She's also been dumped by her darling husband for some random female. After reading the whole book, and getting to know her charming personality, I don't blame the guy for getting clear away. But anyway, there's handsome hunk straight from the Scottish highlander romances waiting for her in her cooking class. Who does he have eyes for except Annie? Eve? Huh, too flashy. He's luckily not Eve's type either. How lucky! And oh, he can cook to boot! She doesn't have to do a single thing in her relationship. Isn't that just perfect? Yeah, I know. There was a half baked murder mystery, just about as bad as the idiot's cooking skills. She spends the entire book chasing the wrong person and then when she finally has her light bulb moment when the killer's been doing everything short of going around with a board saying "I'm the killer" from the moment we've met them, does he laugh at her face? I would have, had I been the killer. Nope. She gets a pat on the back and the killer saying, "You're just as smart as I thought!" Unless he meant it ironically. He must have, right? No one could call her smart unless they're a few cents short of a dollar. Except, everyone does. Even the FBI - "You've conducted a hell of an investigation!" Oh God, when are cozy authors going to admit that this is silly? That people do not go around asking people if they're the murderer and actually live without a hair on their head harmed? That making wild accusations without any proof and hoping something sticks, smacks of stupidity rather than an ounce of intelligence? Miss Marple is intelligent. Heck, 10 year old Flavia de Luce is intelligent. They piece things together, disbelieve everything until all the pieces fit together. They're definitely arrogant, but that's after they've solved the mystery. Not before. Not when you dont't know someone from Adam and say they're the killer. To their face. I wish someone would put a harassment case against these cozy detectives. Or get out a restraining order. Beyla in this book had enough cause for it. Pity everything's forgotten the minute bitchy bitch (someone's really jealous of her best friend, Eve better watch her back) happens to be there when the killer says I'm the killer.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Annie Capshaw is a disaster in the kitchen and had an equally disastrous marriage, so her best friend Eve dragged her to a cooking class for a change of pace, and to improve herself. But they get caught up in a murder, so Annie had to use her logic and reluctantly become an amateur sleuth in order to rein in the overenthusiastic Eve, who had valid reasons for butting in an official investigation. Poor Annie. Though somewhat exaggerated, I can relate to her insecurity about her physical features, Annie Capshaw is a disaster in the kitchen and had an equally disastrous marriage, so her best friend Eve dragged her to a cooking class for a change of pace, and to improve herself. But they get caught up in a murder, so Annie had to use her logic and reluctantly become an amateur sleuth in order to rein in the overenthusiastic Eve, who had valid reasons for butting in an official investigation. Poor Annie. Though somewhat exaggerated, I can relate to her insecurity about her physical features, but she’s described as “cute”, so it’s not the end of the world. (I mentioned that the issue of her looks is “somewhat exaggerated”, so there.) She thinks otherwise, because she kept comparing herself to her beauty queen best friend, who always gets the men, and it doesn’t help. So I really don’t blame her when she got cheated on, and her having gloomy disposition afterwards. And she’s a terrible cook; she would burn water if she could. But she makes up for everything with her intelligence matched with caution, which makes her the perfect amateur sleuth (unlike Eve, who is influenced easily and jumps to conclusions immediately). And Annie’s so matter-of-fact and pessimistic in a funny way, you won’t be annoyed with her. Jim is so perfect for Annie. He’s handsome and charming, but he is very much attracted to her and really likes her, despite what she thinks of him (or makes herself believe). He’s not arrogant or overbearing, and he respects her. And does it hurt if he’s excellent in the culinary arts? She doesn’t need to lift a finger to cook; he covers that department very well. Speaking of Eve, she’s very supportive and caring of her best friend, and she’s loyal, although I’m a little irked by her being the generic good-looking character. It’s interesting that the main character, who is supposed to be ecstatic with a mystery to solve, would rather want to stay away, and she only investigates because she has to look after her nosy friend. My concern that at times, the story can be dragging and I got lost with the many details and subplots presented in the book. And there were not much red herrings and throwing off the scent so the big reveal would be the big reveal, because the murderer was kind of obvious, and the motive is a little generic, for a cozy mystery. But this is the first book, so I hope once the whole thing is established, there would be more, because I love Annie, and there should be more Annie and Jim. (Yes, I’m well aware I left out Eve.)

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