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Toasting Up Trouble
Dinner Club #1
Linda Wiken

July 5, 2016/ ISBN 9780425278215
Mystery/Cozy/Amateur Sleuths/Cooking

Reviewed by Katrina Wiese


Toasting Up Trouble by Linda Wiken is the first book in a new series! At the onset of this book we are immediately introduced to J.J. Tanner, our protagonist of the series, as well as Skye Drake, owner of Make It Happen, an event and party planning business that J.J. works at with her long-timed friend. J.J is in the middle of planning a rather large event for an Italian princess multi-millionaire, while trying to decide on what to prepare for her own Culinary Capers hosted dinner, when her caterer cancels. Desperate and running out of time, she turns to Chef Antonio Marcotti. But after serving a high-priced item the night of the event that had already been vetoed by J.J., and J.J. calling him out on it, rather loudly and in front of staff, she returns the next morning to find that Antonio Marcotti is not only dead, but murdered. And it looks like J.J. may be the one on the chopping block.

Once again, I was pulled into this book because of the cover, which is beautiful. But upon reading the description, I was sucked into the potential of this book. I myself am a bit of a cookbook-aholic, so I immediately felt J.J and I were kindred spirits, collecting our cookbooks for the pictures. I loved the thought of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club and that they took turns purchasing a different cook book and hosting a dinner based around said cookbook. It is also fun that the author used real cookbooks, and I admit I may have added them to my Amazon cart.

The characters in this story were fun and well written. I really enjoyed meeting them and taking this journey with them and I can't wait to get to know them better in future books. I also liked the hint of romance to come and that it didn't feel rushed or forced, but genuine and sweet. I know with this group of characters I wish I could be lucky enough to get an invitation to one of their monthly Culinary Capers dinners!

I have to admit I didn't peg the "whodunit" of this book, which is quite impressive, as I usually do. The ending caught me by surprise and I didn't see it coming at all! I really enjoyed the mysteries in this book and, even though there was quite a bit going on in the storyline, I never felt lost or frustrated. Linda did a fabulous job of layering it all together in a nice, delicious little package. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Don't forget to check the back of the book for some delicious recipes to try your hand at! Overall, Toasting Up Trouble is a fun cozy mystery and I can't wait to see what is next for J.J. and her band of Culinary Capers!

Reviewer Notes: Ashton Corners Book Club series written as Erika Chase

Reviewed 2016