Review of Toasting Up Trouble



A delicious new cozy mystery series featuring the Culinary Capers Dinner Club—who are fearless when it comes to cooking up new dishes and putting the lid on crime…

Event planner Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner has a full plate, but that’s the way she likes it. First, it’s her turn to choose the recipe for the next meeting of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club, a gathering of foodie friends who experiment with entrées for their creative and gastronomical pleasure. Second, she’s organizing an Italian princess party for the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a high-tech millionaire.
 But one thing J.J. didn’t plan on is that the caterer for the event—hotshot chef Antonio Marcotti—would end up murdered the night of the party. Or that she’d end up being a prime suspect after having had a heated argument with the unscrupulous chef. Now it’s up to J.J.—with help from her fellow Club members and a handsome if mysterious private eye—to turn the tables on the real killer… (Goodreads)


J.J. is an event planner and she is keeping very busy.  She is planning a twenty-first birthday party and she wants the event to go flawlessly because she knows it will bring in a lot more business.  She has been meeting with all the vendors, and things seem to be going well.  Until she meets with the caterer, Antonio Marcotti, a famous chef.  She argues with him, telling him that the party budget cannot include funghi, an expensive dish that he insists that the party needs. She is sure that he understands and even has the contract to prove that she did not want that dish.  So, when she sees the dish at the party, she is livid.  She has words with the chef when the party is over, and she is still fuming when she gets home.  The next day when she goes back to the party to supervise the clean-up, she is shocked to learn that the chef had been murdered.  And since she was the last person to see him alive, except for the murderer, she is high on the list of murder suspects.  She knows that she will have to solve the mystery herself to keep out of jail.

The characters were well rounded and well developed.  I am not sure why but I did not connect with J. J. as much as I would have liked.  Some of her actions did not make sense to me.  If I did not like to cook, I would not join a dinner club, but J. J. did. She joined the Culinary Capers Dinner Club, where she has to plan and host a dinner party every so often.  I would definitely not do that.  And she was dating someone who she knew she had no sparks with, which seems like a waste of time to me.  This is only my opinion and other readers may really like her.  I did like Ness Harper, a neighbor of J. J.  Even though he is not a man of many words, he was someone she could always count on.  I also enjoyed getting to know Rocco Gates.  I did like the potential new love interest for J. J. and look forward to seeing where that goes in the coming books.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  At times I felt like it was a little slow moving and there was some repetition that added to this slowness.The mystery was carried on well through the book and there were enough twists and turns to keep this reader guessing.  I was sure I had the mystery figured out and then the author would throw in a red herring and I had to rethink my choice.  I like when that happens.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a culinary cozy mystery.  There are a few recipes at the back of the book that readers can try their hand at.  I did like this book and I will read the next book in the series, I am curious to see which direction J. J.’s romance will take.  

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review this book.


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