After all, questioning and sifting through suspects in a murder couldn’t be much different from figuring out ingredients in a new recipe. Could it?
Published: November 26, 2019
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Pages: 312 (Mass Market Paperback)
Series: Courtney Archer Mystery #1
By putting myself in the middle of this situation, I’d put myself in danger.
Out of the frying pan, into the fire . . .
Courtney Archer is known for hosting the show Cooking with the Farmer’s Daughter . . . despite the fact that she’s actually a pediatrician’s daughter. Now she’s signed on for a role on The American Baking Battle. On this reality show, she can start developing a more authentic image for herself—and as a bonus, the usual backstabbing and manufactured drama isn’t part of the Baking Battle script. But genuine drama is heating up behind the scenes . . .
During a film shoot in the scenic Pocono Mountains, Courtney has to juggle career commitments like pots on a six-burner stove. Adding to the stress is Mick, a contestant who finds out about her fake farm-girl story. Determined to succeed at her new gig, she whips up a cherry cobbler in a cast-iron fry pan one evening and leaves it out to cool. But the next morning, it’s Mick’s body that’s cooling—right next to Courtney’s pan, now classified as a murder weapon . . .
First and foremost I need to thank my friends over at Kensington Publishing for sending this my way! I’ve talked about it before but cozy mysteries are one of those genres that I just adore to read because they’re total escape reads for me. I love having a mystery to concentrate on while also getting to spend time in some quaint little town. Cozy mysteries are always a fun read, and Cobblered to Death was no different!
This novel takes place on a cooking/baking competition filmed at a beautiful resort in the Poconos Mountains. Right away we’re introduced to a full cast of characters and while it is a bit confusing and what I would describe as character overload, it gets easier to remember people/names as we read further. It was an initial complaint that resolved itself as the book went on. I wouldn’t have been mad if the author gave us a character index though… Courtney, our main protagonist in this mystery, has her own cooking show and a big secret. So we really have two plot lines running here between Courtney’s secret and her hunt for a killer. Oh, and her budding romance with two possible suitors. I loved Courtney and thought she was someone we’d be able to relate to easily, and she was the perfect amount of quirky and serious. While we did have a large group of side characters I thought they were all well written and some even had quite the arc. The author utilized the side characters here as opposed to simply having them there as fillers, and I appreciated that.
The plot itself left me guessing until the very end! With the wide cast of characters and all the tension the author set up in the beginning of the book I literally had three or four suspects that I felt were serious contenders for the title of ‘murderer’. There are so many things Courtney uncovers along the way that you’re not sure how they all fit together but it was a really well crafted and intricate mystery. I think a lot of people don’t see cozy mysteries as big players in the genre of mystery/thriller, but that is not the case, especially here.
The cozy setting, budding romance with two prospective partners, and the murder are what I consider the essential triad for cozy mystery novels. These are all the things I look for and look forward to when I pick up a cozy, and this novel delivered on all three in a really well done way. The author crafted both a very intricate mystery and the perfect cozy setting. I think this series has some great potential and I can’t wait to see where Rosemarie Ross takes Courtney Archer! So far no word on a sequel, but follow me on Instagram for updates!