BY COOK OR BY CROOK: Five-Ingredient Mystery #1
Mystery books are about solving personal mysteries, not just figuring out who the murderer is.
Haunted by the car accident that ended her career as a cookbook publicist, Val Deniston has left Manhattan for a quieter life near the Chesapeake Bay. Now living with her grandfather in the tourist town of Bayport, she enjoys running the Cool Down Café at the sports club. After a club member is murdered, Val cooks up a scheme to find the killer who framed her cousin for the murder. Meanwhile Granddad creates havoc in the kitchen, the least of Val's problems with a murderer after her.
While trying the solve the murder, Val 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.