Series: A Vintage Cookbook Mystery, #2
Publication Date: February 7, 2023
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: 3.75 Stars
Synopsis from the Publisher:
The second in a fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Ellen Byron.
It’s hurricane season in New Orleans and vintage cookbook fan Ricki James-Diaz is trying to shelve her weather-related fears and focus on her business, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbook and Kitchenware Shop, housed in the magnificent Bon Vee Culinary House Museum.
Repairs on the property unearth crates of very old, very valuable French wine, buried by the home’s builder, Jean-Louis Charbonnet. Ricki, who’s been struggling to attract more customers to Miss Vee’s, is thrilled when her post about the discovery of this long-buried treasure goes viral. She’s less thrilled when the post brings distant Charbonnet family members out of the woodwork, all clamoring for a cut of the wine’s sale.
When a dead body turns up in Bon Vee’s cheery fall decorations, the NOPD zeroes in on Eugenia Charbonnet Felice as the prime suspect, figuring that as head of the Charbonnet family, she has the most to gain. Ricki is determined to uncover the real culprit, but she can’t help noticing that Eugenia is acting strangely. Ricki wonders what kind of secret her mentor has bottled up, and fears what might happen if she uncorks it.
In the second Vintage Cookbook Mystery, Ricki has to help solve a murder, untangle family secrets, and grow her business, all while living under the threat of a hurricane that could wipe out everything from her home to Bon Vee.
When crates of 19th century French wine are discovered under the Bon Vee Museum, long lost Chardonnet cousins make an unwelcomed visit to New Orleans to stake their claim to the profits. Did greed lead to murder?
• An unexpected culprit.
• Intriguing family secrets!
• New Orleans atmosphere makes a fabulous backdrop for a cozy mystery.
• Many mentions of vintage cookbooks, cookware, and curious recipes, like gelatin and aspic molds.
WINED AND DIED IN NEW ORLEANS is a solid mystery, though Ricki’s main goal was cooking up other suspects for the police to focus on instead of her boss, Eugenia. By not reading the first book, I felt like I was missing some backstory details, but not so much that I was lost. There were quite a few viable suspects, and in the end the killer was someone I had not considered. A large, diverse cast of characters and plenty of humor made this a delightful cozy mystery.
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.