By Cook or by CrookBy Cook or by Crook by Maya Corrigan is the first book in the new “Five-Ingredient” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, November 2014

Take one burned-out city girl. Add a crusty codger, a pinch of gossip, and a dash of romance. Stir in a generous helping of murder and you’ve got the ingredients for one truly delicious mystery. . .

Haunted by the car accident that ended her career as a cookbook publicist, Val Deniston has traded in the chaos of New York City for a quieter life near the Chesapeake Bay. Living with her curmudgeonly grandfather in the tourist town of Bayport is hardly glamorous, but she enjoys working at the Cool Down Café at the local fitness club, and she finally has time to work on her long-planned cookbook. But when one of the club’s patrons is found dead, she’ll have to cook up a scheme to find the killer. As the number of suspects rises like crabs in a bucket, it’s out of the pan and into the fire for Val. If she can’t find the culprit soon, she might as well be chum in the water. . .

Includes Five Delicious Recipes from Val’s Cookbook!

This was a very enjoyable read that began when Val set out to clear her cousin’s name and reputation and from there came twists and turns amid a cluster of suspects who had a stronger motive. A well-designed plot that kept me glued to the pages was easy to follow and I especially enjoyed the five-ingredient dishes that were part of the scripted dialogue. The cast in this friendly whodunit is likable with a sense of comfort from living in a small town. With new beginnings for the heroine, I look forward to the next book in this pleasantly charming series.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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