A Slice of Murder by Chris Cavender is the first book in the new “Pizza” cozy mystery series.  Publisher: Kensington, August 2009

Not too much happens in the sleepy little town of Timber Ridge, North Carolina–which is fine with pizza-purveyor extraordinaire Eleanor Swift. The spunky owner of A Slice of Delight is trying to mend her broken heart and could use a little quiet time. But when a late night delivery customer turns up dead, she’s in for just the opposite in this delicious mystery series debut, featuring pizza as the prima character.

Eleanor figures somebody must have been really mad at Richard Olsen to bury that kitchen knife in his chest. But when Kevin Hurley–her ex-boyfriend and Timber Ridge’s police chief–starts eyeing her as a prime suspect, Eleanor knows she better get to the bottom of things before the gossipy townspeople decide to stop ordering her specialty pies.

With her sassy and occasionally married sister Maddy by her side, Eleanor finds the list of suspects begins to outnumber the ingredients on the Slice’s famed Smorgasbord Special pizza. Like Richard’s eccentric sister, who appears out of nowhere to learn she’s the heir to $100 grand…in what looks like dirty money. Richard worked for a shredding business–and it seems he read before he shred, and very well could’ve been a blackmailer. What about Richard’s boss, who now stands to lose his shredding company? And then there’s that steamy scented letter from none other than the mayor’s wife.

But when someone takes a shot at Eleanor on a late-night delivery run, she and Maddy know time is running out. To find the killer–and keep the pizzas rolling out of A Slice of Delight’s ovens–she’ll need to put it all on the line and hope that her search for the truth doesn’t end in an unmarked grave.

This was an okay read.  I enjoyed meeting Eleanor and Maddie and love their sibling quips while they try to solve the murder and get caught in the killer’s eyes.  What I would like to see more of in the next book is a little romance between the lead characters. My rating: 3 stars

*new-to-me author

Chris Cavender is the pseudonym of Tim Myers

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