Happy Sunday! I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. An Amish Mother's Secret Past by Jo Ann Brown will be out on June 16 along with The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper and Running Out of Time by Cindi Myers. Summer is the perfect time to stay inside in the nice cool air conditioning and read since it is too hot to go outside (it has been in the low 90s in my area). I am returning to my normal Sunday activity of featuring a book that I was unable to when it was released. The Diva Spices It Up by Krista Davis is one I wish I had read sooner.
The Diva Spices It Up by Krista Davis has Sophie Winston looking forward to relaxing after four weeks of catering back to back conventions. Then Mars Winston, Sophie’s ex-husband, asks if she would be willing to be a ghostwriter for a cookbook. Tilly Stratford, wife of Congressman Wesley Winthrope, lost her last ghostwriter suddenly and the gig pays well. Sophie agrees to the job after her shower begins falling apart while she is in it. Sophie is going through the stack of recipes for the cookbook and finds some odd notations made by Abby Bergeron, Tilly’s former ghostwriter. Sophie decides to visit Abby’s house with her best friend, Nina to ask her about the notes. She also wants to check up on her since no one has seen or heard from Abby since the previous Friday. The back door is open, and a body is discovered stuffed into the basement freezer. Abby’s neighbor, Eunice Crenshaw asks Sophie to investigate (like she would not on her own). It turns out that Abby is not the only woman to have gone missing recently and she also had a connection to Tilly. Something sinister is happening in Old Town Alexandria and Sophie intends to get to the bottom of it.
The Diva Spices It Up by Krista Davis is an engaging cozy with mystery, mayhem, and murder. It is the 13th A Domestic Diva Mystery and I believe that it can be read as a standalone. I have only read one book many years ago, and I had no trouble following along. Krista Davis never disappoints with her developed characters and wonderful settings. Sophie Winston is a freelance event planner who is wore out after handling four conventions in four weeks. She is looking forward to some downtime with her cat, Mochie and dog, Daisy. Unfortunately, Mars Winston needs Sophie to do him a favor. His client’s wife, Tilly Stratford’s cookbook ghostwriter quit without notice and the cookbook is due to the publisher in just a few weeks. Sophie’s bathroom needs a remodel (tiles fall off while she is in the shower), so the generous salary would come in handy. Sophie did not count on getting drawn into a mystery. There is quite a bit happening in this twisty whodunit. A welfare check finds a body in the freezer of the ghostwriter’s home, a suitcase pulled out of the river by a fisherman, two missing women, mysterious code, and another lady is beaten badly. There are subplots going on at the same time. Sophie spies a man doing some odd things about town. She wonders what he is up to and is it related to the main case. Tilly’s husband, Congressman Wesley WInthrope has had his email hacked and the contents are being bandied about social media causing an uproar. The mysterious code was intriguing (what mystery reader does not love a cipher). I had just watched a movie that helped me figure out that part. The author did a wonderful job plotting out this knotty mystery. I like how everything came together at the end. I had a good time following the clues and arriving at a solution. I could not wait to see if I had landed on the correct resolution. There are delectable items cooked up in between sleuthing sessions. Sophie is a whiz in the kitchen (she should be on television, not Natasha). There are recipes at the end including one for macaroni and cheese. I like how well Mars and Sophie get along even though they are divorced. I enjoyed the secondary characters like Eunice, Frannie and Nina along with the cute animals. The Diva Spices It Up is a pleasing and puzzling cozy mystery with a missing mother, curious code, located luggage, a confusing cat collar, a stiff in the freezer, and a horrible hacker.
The Diva Spices It Up is available from Amazon* along with other major booksellers (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, etc.). You can find the other novels in A Domestic Diva Mystery series here. Krista Davis also writes A Pen & Ink Mystery series as well as A Paws & Claws Mystery series (I love visiting Wagtail). The author's next A Pen & Ink Mystery is Murder Outside the Lines which is out (sigh) on October 26, 2021. The next A Paws & Claws Mystery is Big Little Spies and it will release on February 23, 2021. Thank you for visiting today. I will return tomorrow with The Way of Love by Tracie Peterson. It is the 2nd novel in the Willamette Brides series. I hope you have a spirited day. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
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