Review: Books, Cooks and Crooks by Lucy Arlington

book cook crook feb 2014
Books, Cooks, and Crooks
(A Novel Idea Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Art by Julia Green
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252246
E-Book File Size: 1619 KB


The national bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries are back, as Lila Wilkins—literary agent and sleuth—is setting up a delicious cookbook fair. But the tension in the kitchen is about to boil over…

The Taste of Town Festival has Inspiration Valley, North Carolina overflowing with people. The Novel Idea Literary Agency has its own event featuring Celebrity Chefs and their books. There are cooking demonstrations, cookbook giveaways, and even a culinary writing contest.

What happens what you get a group of Celebrity Chefs together? You find out they really don’t like each other very much but is one of them a murderer? We find out as an explosion rocks the demo kitchen and kills one of the chefs.  Lila quickly finds herself in the middle of the investigation that has way too many suspects. Is one of her clients really a killer?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Let’s face it, I want to be Lila, even with exploding kitchens and dead bodies! 🙂

This writing team continues to amaze me. Their characters jump off the pages. Even the new ones, these chefs, their families and their assistants are so credible and real. Some real crazy but still real.

There is a bit of romance for Lila’s friend Makayla, she has a secret admirer. Sean and Lila romance is heating up too in more ways than one. Lila’s son Trey comes home from college after hearing of all the trouble in Inspiration Valley. What a wonderful young man. I also appreciate the relationship Lila has with her mother.

Of course the mystery itself is complex and I completely devoured it. With the foodie theme came terrific description of several tasty treats too.  This story keeps the reader fully engaged from the first word until the last. I was following the clues right along with Lila and we both had that “aha moment” together.

Inspiration Valley is a town everyone would love to visit, from Walden Woods Circle  to the Expresso Yourself Coffee Shop to the Magnolia B & B and everywhere in between. Lucy Arlington has created the perfect setting for this cozy series. I look forward to returning soon.

*There is also a peek at Ellery Adams new cozy series. The first chapter of Murder in the Mystery Suite (A Book Retreat Mystery) has me very intrigued.


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About The Author

Lucy Arlington is the nom de plume for the writing team of Ellery Adams and Sylvia May, two friends who collaborated on an idea that became A Novel Idea Mystery Series. Both are authors in their own right; Ellery writes cozy mysteries and Sylvia women’s fiction.

Ellery Adams currently writes the Books by the Bay Mysteries and the Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries. To learn more about Ellery and her books, visit her website at

Sylvia May’s first novel, The Unraveling of Abby Settel, received an Honorable Mention in the 2011 Reader Views Literary Awards. To learn more about Sylvia and her novel, visit her website at

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.”

5 thoughts on “Review: Books, Cooks and Crooks by Lucy Arlington

  1. Had to choose unfortunately so I preordered Murder in the Mystery Suite. Probably should have done it the other way since a long time before that one comes out, oh well have plenty to read.

  2. Loved the first two in the series! This one is close to the top of my TBR list! Thanks for the review!

  3. TBR’d on GoodReads. And to think I had never heard the term “cozy mystery” until I signed up for that reading challenge! *lol*

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