Kale to the Queen by Nell Hampton is the first book in the NEW “Kensington Palace Chef” mystery series. Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, April 11, 2017

kale-to-the-queenChef Carrie Ann Cole is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime–an assignment as the new Personal Chef to the Royal Family at Kensington Palace. But no sooner has Carrie Ann touched down across the pond and donned her apron than a dead body crops up beneath the royal kale beds.

With one assistant dead and the other soon under suspicion for his murder, Carrie Ann is scrambling to keep her kitchen up and running. Not to mention she gets off to an immediate bad start with the tempestuous Royal Chef Butterbottom, who has a bitter taste in his mouth since the prestigious position in the Royal Family’s kitchen was given to an “over-privileged, under-educated American chef.”

But the Royal Family’s appetites wait for no one, and Carrie Ann must solve the murder and still get supper on the table on time–even with the annoyingly handsome Head of Security Ian Gordon tracking her every move like an MI6 agent. Suspects abound as an American chef adds a bit of spice to the traditional royal household in the first in Nell Hampton’s charming and tasty Kensington Palace Chef Mystery series, Kale to the Queen.

This was an enjoyable read. The mystery was nicely done and kept me glued to all that was happening with Carrie Ann and her friends. A murder takes place and believing in her assistant’s innocence, Carrie Ann sets out to find a killer hiding in plain sight. The multi-plot story immediately became a page turner as I couldn’t put this book down until I knew the outcome of this well-executed whodunit. The mystery was executed with flair that kept me engaged in this fast-paced and action-packed drama. With a slew of suspects, the author did a great job in narrowing down the list with plenty of twists and turns, until there was only one person standing – the killer. Carrie Ann is likable and the supporting cast kept me entertained with their antics, even Chef Butterbottom. This was a fun read and I look forward to more adventures with this group in the next book in this delightfully charming new series.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

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