The Proof Is In the Pudding by Melinda Wells is the third book in the “Della Cooks” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), February 2010

Meet Della Carmichael, owner of a cooking school in Santa Monica, California, and star of a new cable cooking show. She’s one of three judges for an A-list cook-off—but it’s the celebrities who are getting cooked off.

Della’s agreed to be on the pane for the Celebrity Cook-Off Charity Gala. The spotlights are fixed on twenty celebrities, amateur cooks for the night, preparing their favorite dishes in a hotel ballroom. But before the judges have a chance to sample the delights, food columnist and gold-digging playboy Keith Ingram is found dead.

And one of Della’s closest friends, LAPD Lieutenant John O’Hara, is the prime suspect. His supposed motive? Protecting the heart of his little girl, whom Ingram had recently dumped. Now Della needs to serve the real killer justice—not an easy order to fill when the key ingredient lies within one man’s sordid love life.

This is the best book yet in this series. When Della’s “daughter” confess to an affair and the guy is found dead, her father, John, becomes the prime suspect. Della, her best-friend Liddy, Nicholas and friends investigate to clear her John’s name. Again, I really enjoyed this book. My rating: 4.5 stars

Melinda Wells is the pseudonym of Linda Palmer

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