BY COOK OR BY CROOK: A Five-Ingredient Mystery
Mystery books are about solving personal mysteries, not just figuring out who the murderer is.
By Cook or by Crook is a cozy mystery, a whodunit with clues to decipher and no X-rated scenes. The main character, 32-year-old Val, left New York under a cloud and moved to Bayport, a tourist town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She lives with her grandfather in an old Victorian house and manages the Cool Down Café at a racket and fitness club. When a member of the tennis team at the club is murdered with an unusual weapon, Val is determined to find the killer who framed her cousin for the murder.
While trying the solve the murder, she faces the challenge of sharing a house with a man raised fifty years before she was. Her grandfather dispenses advice that Val often resents. When a newcomer to town starts paying attention to her, Granddad reminds her of her rotten taste in men and warns her to stay away from the guy because he looks like a hitman. Of course, she ignores her grandfather’s warning. The mystery of who that guy is and what he wants takes her a while to solve.
Val has other personal mysteries to solve. What caused the accident that destroyed her career? She had a concussion and can’t remember what happened. Could she have done the terrible thing that the only eyewitness accuses her of doing? As she deals with the frightening things that happen because she tries to solve a murder, her memory returns little by little. Realizing the truth about herself helps her in a showdown with the murderer.
There’s also a mystery about why Granddad takes up cooking. Val never solves that one because he’s so wily. In the second book of the series, Scam Chowder, Granddad plays a major role and may just take over the series if Val doesn’t watch out.
Buy from Kensington Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, or a local bookstore. Find a nearby bookstore on Indie Bound.
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