Review of Death Of A Kitchen Diva


Death Of a Kitchen Diva

Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery, Book #1

Lee Hollis

5 Stars


Welcome to Bar Harbor, Maine, one of New England’s most idyllic coastal towns. But as new food writer Hayley Powell is about to find out, the occasional murder can take a bite out of seaside bliss. . .

Single mom Hayley Powell is barely keeping her leaking roof over her head when her boss at the Island Times gives her a new assignment–taking over the paper’s food column. Hayley’s not sure she has the chops–she’s an office manager, not a writer, even if her friends clamor for her mouth-watering potluck dishes. But the extra income is tempting, and Hayley’s chatty first column is suddenly on everyone’s menu–with one exception.

When rival food writer Karen Appelbaum is found face-down dead in a bowl of Hayley’s creamy clam chowder, all signs point to Hayley. To clear her name, she’ll have to enlist some help, including her BFFs, a perpetually pregnant lobster woman, and a glamorous real estate agent. As she whips up a list of suspects, Hayley discovers a juicy secret about the victim–and finds herself in a dangerous mix with a cold-blooded killer.

Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley’s kitchen!  (Goodreads)


Haley is a spunky, funny hard working mother who enjoys her job at the newspaper.  She reluctantly agrees to take over the food and spirits section of the paper when her boss asks her to.  Little does she know that she would become the main feature of the paper after she is accused of murdering a rival food columnist.  Can she find the real killer before she is put behind bars permanently?   

I really enjoyed the columns that she wrote for the newspaper.  I thought that was a clever way to incorporate the recipes in the book.  And the columns were funny and entertaining.

The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional.  I enjoyed getting to know Haley, her children and her two best friends.  Sometimes they acted like they were still in high school and I enjoyed that.  They are people I would like to hang out with and call my own friends.  

The authors are very talented in their descriptive writing and through much of the book, I felt like I was right there watching all the action taking place and eavesdropping in on conversations.   They are also very talented in suspense writing and I thought the mystery was well plotted and carried on well throughout the entire book.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  This book had all of the elements that I look for when I read a cozy: great characters, setting, humor and mystery.  This is the first book in the series and I am looking forward to reading all the rest in the series.