Aug 272014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am super excited to welcome Penny Pike!

Her new Food Festival Mystery debuted this month with Death of a Crabby Cook.

Photograph (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

Photograph (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

DEATH OF A CRABBY COOK
by Penny Pike Warner

Do you munch while you read mysteries? How could you not, when reading one of the many wonderful food-related series on the market today, everything from cupcakes and pies to bacon and fries. I think the reason these culinary mysteries are so popular is simple: they make you hungry, you eat while you read, and they come with recipes.

I got the idea for writing a food truck mystery a couple of years ago before the “meals on wheels” phenomenon swept the country. I was in Napa, CA, doing research for another book (AKA drinking a lot of wine), and spotted a circle of colorful trucks offering intriguing specialties. I decided to try some plein air dining and ordered a little of everything from trucks Kung Fu Tacos, Happy Dumplings, The Boneyard, Fins on the Hoof, Me So Hungry, and Naked Chorizo. Yum. I was hooked.

crabbycookREVISECombining my love of both food and fiction, I began writing the first book in the food truck/food festival series, Death of a Crabby Cook. I created Darcy Burnett, a total foodie who loves to eat, but barely knows how to heat a frozen dinner in the microwave. To complicate things, I made her a restaurant reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle, suddenly downsized, and desperately in need of a job. While eating a therapeutic Caramel Espresso Cream Puff whipped up by Jake Miller from the Dream Puff Truck—and recognizing a hot food trend when she sees one—she’s inspired to write a cookbook full of food truck recipes.

Her first source is the upcoming San Francisco Seafood Festival. Darcy plans to use her journalistic skills to gather recipes for everything from Crab Mac and Cheese from her aunt’s Big Yellow School Bus food truck, to Hangtown Oyster Omelets from the Bacon is the New Black truck.

But her plans are interrupted by a loud commotion in the Ft. Mason food truck area. Chef Oliver Jameson is arguing with a petite woman wielding a large knife. The woman happens to be Darcy’s sixty-something Aunt Abby, a former school cafeteria cook who now owns her own tricked-out school bus and serves comfort food to hungry diners. Abby accuses Jameson of harassing the food truckers in the area—competition for his brick-and-mortar Bones ‘n’ Brew restaurant—which he denies. Did he really plant a rat in her bus to get her in trouble with the Health Department?

When the chef is suddenly poisoned by his own crab bisque—and Aunt Abby becomes a suspect—Darcy smells a rat. Together with Aunt Abby’s hacker son Dillon and dream puff Jake Miller, she discovers something rotten in the food truck world. But it’s not the recipes…they’re to die for!

I just finished DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, and I have to admit, the research was more fun than the writing. I think I’ll include a warning label inside the book: Read with chocolate. And there will be plenty of recipes to help.

~Penny

About Penny Warner/Penny Pike

Penny Warner has published over 60 books for both adults and children. Her first mystery series, beginning with DEAD BODY LANGUAGE, features Connor Westphal, a deaf reporter living in the California Gold Country. The book won a Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, and was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award.

Her second mystery series, beginning with How to Host a Killer Party, features event planner, Presley Parker, and is set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presley solves mysteries on Alcatraz, at the de Young Museum, at the Winchester Mystery House, in Colma, the City of Souls, and in the Napa wine country.

Her newest series, Death of a Crabby Cook, features Darcy Burnett, a former restaurant critic who now works in her Aunt Abby’s food truck and lives in an Airstream RV. The book is set among food trucks and food festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Seafood Festival. DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, set at the Chocolate Festival, will be out next year, followed by DEATH OF AN APPLE FEST PEST.

Her middle-grade mystery series, The Code Busters Club, won the Agatha Award for Best Children’s Mystery, and has been nominated for the World Mystery Anthony Award for Best Children’s Mystery. The series features four kids who solve mysteries by cracking codes in each chapter. The books are set in Berkeley, on Alcatraz, at the Carmel Mission, at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, and the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. Her non-fiction book, The Official Nancy Drew Handbook,was nominated for an Agatha Award.

She writes a column for the local newspaper on family life in the Valley, creates fund-raising murder mystery events for libraries across the country, and teaches child development at Diablo Valley College. She can be reached at http://www.pennywarner.com or pennywarnerink@yahoo.com.

crabbycookREVISEDeath of a Crabby Cook:
A Food Festival Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (August 5, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451467812
E-Book File Size: 1307 KB
ASIN: B00HZ1E3OQ
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

At the San Francisco Seafood Festival, someone is steamed enough to kill a cook….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I absolutely loved Penny’s Party Planning Mysteries so I am so glad she has returned with this Death of a Crabby Cook: – A Food Festival Mystery Series.

We meet Darcy Burnett who wrote restaurant reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, I use the past tense because she was laid off as the story began. She quickly starts helping her Aunt Abby with her food truck with hopes of writing a cookbook based on recipes from food fests in the Bay Area.

Penny Pike has written quite a mystery and for most of the book I thought I knew whodunit and happily was so wrong. She had twisted me into quite a pretzel. No pretzel food truck in the story though but there is The Coffee Witch, Dream Puffs, The Yankee Doodle Noodle Truck, Road Grill, The Big Yellow School Bus and more.

Darcy’s aunt worked in a school cafeteria until she retired and opened The Big Yellow School Bus where she serves comfort food like Crabby Cheerleader Mac and Cheese and Science Experiment Spaghetti.

There is a local chef, Oliver Jameson, who owns a restaurant adjacent to where the food trucks park daily and he is sure they are the reason his restaurant is going broke.  He has had very public arguments with most of the food truck owners but he had a huge one today with Aunt Abby. So when his dead body is found she is the number one suspect.

Darcy knows her aunt would never hurt a soul, she may yell at someone but kill them, no way!! All the clues keep pointing to Abby so Darcy knows she is being framed. With a little help from her techie cousin Dillon, Darcy is going to catch the killer one way or another.

All these mobile restaurant owners are truly unique and most have some kind of secret. I was really surprised at how much we found out about these characters in this first book. My mother ran a restaurant/cafe for years in our small town. Aunt Abby reminds me a lot of my mom. She cooked comfort food too. She was also very independent just like Aunt Abby. Darcy is a little like I was back then, I couldn’t cook worth a darn and sometimes was a little too nosy for my own good. Thankfully my life was never in danger.

This story is a lot like the food Aunt Abby served, comfortable with a few surprises to keep those pages turning at a pretty speedy pace.  My only problem with the story is that it didn’t come with food samples. I know there are recipes included but I sure could go for a Dreamy Cream Puff or 2 or 3, any flavor drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar right now and the whole time I was reading this story!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Penny for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 10, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  34 Responses to “Cozy Wednesday with Penny Pike – Author of Death of a Crabby Cook – Giveaway too!”

  1. I live in the Bay area and love to try all the food trucks. Sounds like a fun series.

  2. I’m so glad to see you loved this book, too. I can not wait for the sequel!

  3. This sounds like a good book. I like the food truck idea.

  4. I love the party planner books so I am sure this will be great!

  5. Between the write – up and the review by Dollycas, I’m starving. This sounds like another great series.

  6. I love cozies with a food theme , can’t wait !

  7. I think I need to do some research about food trucks before I read this book. How many pounds do you think I will put on doing that? I’m anxious to read your book.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  8. looks like a fun read, thank you 🙂

  9. This sounds deliciously fun. LOL Makes me think of Death on Eat Street which I enjoyed. The cover is fun and the title is quirky and I’m looking forward to getting to know Darcy.

  10. Sounds like a fun read….

  11. I’m looking forward to starting this series. It sounds like a good one.

  12. Love the food truck mystery concept!

  13. Sounds like a fun read. I think I’ll love it.

  14. A delightful book which I would enjoy greatly. best wishes.

  15. Looking forward to reading this first in a new series

  16. I am so glad you’re on here today. I keep seeing your book and saying it sounds great. When I lived in NYC for a year the food truck were a real highlight at lunchtime. I worked in Rockefeller Center and I think the best ones were right outside of there. Well, I’m hungry now. Thanks for what I think will be a book I truly enjoy

  17. Food trucks are such a rage these days. I remember when they were called garbage trucks way back when. I’d love to read some stories about them.

  18. This book sounds GREAT !! I cant wait to read it !!! Thanks for the opportunity to win it !!

  19. This sounds like a great book! =) Thanks for the chance to win!

  20. Thank you Lori for the review…well done! Food trucks aka Roach Coaches (giggle)…what a unique topic to write about. Thanks for the chance to win.

  21. I bought an e-book copy of Death of a Crabby Cook and I loved it! I look forward to the next book in the series. Mmm, cream puffs!

  22. Think the idea of writing about the food trucks is spectacular. I wonder if they will stay around or rather they are a fleeting fad. Sure should be a fun read!!

  23. Thanks for all the comments and kind words! It took me a while to figure out how to comment! Hope you all win a copy!
    Next book in the series is called DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER and features the San Francisco Chocolate Festival. Research is awesome!
    -Penny

  24. Congrats to Penny on the new debut! I think the food festival idea is great and love that she’s a Nancy Drew fan too!

  25. Death of a Crabby Cook sounds terrific to this foodie!

  26. Eager to read Death of a Crabby Cook.

  27. Sounds like a great read, would love to win a copy!!!

  28. I’m anxious to start reading this new series—love the food truck angle.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  29. sounds like a good fun read

  30. This series sounds like a hoot, thank you for sharing it with us. Stocking up on chocolate here 😀

  31. This sounds like an awesome series – food trucks sound fun. That’s an awesome cover!

  32. I love food in my books, and food trucks… We had this cool chowdown a couple years back where all the food trucks came to one location for a day… so fun.

  33. Sounds like an interesting book! Thanks for the chance to win it!!

  34. I didn’t know that you’d written so many books! I’ve heard of the party planner series. I haven’t really visited any food trucks, only the ones at festivals.

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