On The Chopping Block
A Callie’s Kitchen Mystery, Book #1
Building a small business has been murder, but Callie Costas didn’t expect to be confronted with an actual body. The 36-year-old Greek-American proprietor of “Callie’s Kitchen,” a meals-from-scratch business in an idyllic small town, has been busy creating a post-divorce life for herself, her young daughter and her Yorkie, Koukla. After a lot of hard work (including staving off her father’s continual advice), she’s got the locals and tourists clamoring for her delicious Mediterranean dishes and Midwest comfort food classics. Recently, she’s started a budding romance with a fellow foodie, the wealthy owner and chef of Crystal Bay’s most popular bistro.
However, success is as fleeting as one of Wisconsin’s glorious autumn days. As local businesses begin to shut down due to a slow economy, Callie is struggling not to become another statistic. A contest with a hefty cash prize seems like the perfect chance to fix her financial woes, until a shocking murder threatens not only her livelihood – but her life.
When she’s targeted as a prime suspect by an attractive expat British detective, Callie’s situation becomes more delicate than her Greek egg-lemon soup. She’s got to find the killer and fast if she wants to protect her daughter, save her business and stay alive. (Goodreads)
Callie Costas has finally achieved her dream of owning her own restaurant. After divorcing her husband she knows that she has to make a new life for her and her daughter and she takes a chance when she opens Callie’s Kitchen. But so far the chance has paid off and the restaurant is doing good, She has even found a new love interest and things are looking up. That is until she finds the body of her boyfriend dead on his kitchen floor. When she finds herself being the main person of interest, she knows she has to take things into her own hands. She has to find the killer herself so that her daughter does not lose her mother to a jail call.
The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional. Callie is a hard worker and is not afraid of very much. Except her father!! She does not want to share her personal life with him and she does not tell her father about her new boyfriend. She does not want to get lectured by him. She has already defied him once when she open Callie’s Kitchen. She does not want to do anything else to upset him. I thought it was amusing she was scared of her father’s wrath. But you can tell they have a special relationship and that they love each other a lot.
I found it refreshing that Callie was older and had a child. In many of the cozies I read, the protagonist is younger with a core group of friends. In this book, Callie is more mature at the age of thirty six and does not take unnecessary chances with her safety.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an fast easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and while reading the book I felt like I was right there in the middle of the action. The mystery is carried on well throughout the entire book. There were enough suspects and twists and turns that I was kept guessing the whole time I was reading.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy. I really enjoyed this first book in the series and thought it was a great start. I cannot wait to read the next book and see what happens next in Callie’s life.