On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Another book that was waiting on my Kindle.
Spiced and Iced (A Callie’s Kitchen Cozy Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Self Published (December 5, 2016)
Paperback: 237 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01N8UXIWC
The holidays can be murder! Greek-American restaurateur Callie Costas finds herself on thin ice when a colleague is killed. Recipes included!
The season is bright when Calliope “Callie” Costas agrees to contribute her Greek snowball cookies to a December bridal shower at The English Country Inn in the scenic waterfront town of Crystal Bay, WI. But when Callie finds a colleague dead, she’s sucked into another murder investigation — all while juggling her growing business and staggering holiday workload.
As she reluctantly agrees to help the Inn’s owner track the killer, Callie is soon up to her spiced Greek biscotti in difficulties. For one thing, the hotel staff is freezing her out as she tries to uncover information, helped by her feisty Grandma Viv and her sweet but nosy aunt who’s visiting from Greece. And then there’s her deepening relationship with the suave and mysterious Detective Sands, a British expat now living in Wisconsin, who seems to have a few secrets of his own.
The icing on the cake is a host of simultaneous family mayhem including her father’s surprising fixation on a real estate agent and her ex’s plans to move back to Crystal Bay. As the Inn’s annual Christmas Tea approaches, things are heating up in Callie’s Kitchen, but she’s on thin ice! Will Christmas be a festive celebration this year – or will it be murder?
Turn to the end of the book for six delicious recipes, including Greek cookies and savories, plus traditional Midwestern holiday favorites!
It’s December in Crystal Bay, Wisconsin. The snow if falling, frigid temps are setting in and Callie’s Kitchen is busy baking and making delicious things for the holiday season. She has agreed to provide her Greek snowball cookies for a bridal shower at The English Country Inn but before the shower begins Callie finds the party planner dead in the water. Her relationship with Detective Sands may hit the skids because she just can’t help investigating the death. Her aunt and grandma even get involved. As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, her ex may be moving back to Crystal Bay and her father appears to be dating. Christmas may be drawing near but Callie is determined to ice the killer just like he iced his victim.
I started reading this story and it felt like home. The author really describes everything about Wisconsin perfectly. The weather, the people, the food, the little language quirks, it warmed by heart.
Callie is a lovable character, she has a huge heart and is a hard worker determined to make her business a success. Her friendship with Samantha struggled a bit in this installment and their interactions were spot on. Her relationship with Detective Sands struggles as well but we learn more about this character as they work to turn things around. Max and Callie work together in the kitchen like a well oiled machine and he is a great friend to her. Callie’s aunt, “Sweetie” is visiting from Greece and she teams up with Grandma Viv for some laugh out loud moments. Her father’s life is in a period of change too. Callie is unsure if it is the situation or the woman that he is seeing that gives her concern. All these characters are well crafted, engaging and true to life.
The murder mystery itself was complicated. There were more suspects that I imagined at first and I was totally wrong about the murderer. Things got really exciting as Callie thought she too had it all figured out. We were both surprised, she actually found herself in what could have been a life or death situation. She was livid by the time she was able to literally track the culprit down. Wow Callie! You Go Girl!
I can’t finish this review without talking about the food. Good gracious, I was practically drooling every time Callie or Max were in the kitchen. I could almost smell the food cooking. I can’t wait to try the recipes in the back of the book.
Christmas in Wisconsin is delightful, (sans murders, of course), the temperatures may be dropping and the snow may be falling, but the food and friendships will warm you right up. Thank you Jenny Kales for this wonderful story.
Watch for my review of Secrets and Pies, the 3rd book in this series coming soon!
About the Author
Award-winning writer Jenny Kales is the author of ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK, the first in The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in English and spent several years working as a copywriter and corporate communications marketing writer for many top companies. Her freelance writing about parenting has appeared in many venues including The TODAY Show Parents site. Her award-winning blog, The Nut-Free Mom, has been featured in newspapers and websites around the world.
Fiction writing is her first love and her marriage into a Greek-American Midwestern family inspired The Callie’s Kitchen mysteries, featuring Calliope Costas, food business owner and amateur sleuth. The setting of the story, “Crystal Bay,” is inspired by a favorite family vacation spot – Wisconsin’s beautiful Geneva Lakes.
Jenny is an avid reader, cook and baker and she’s addicted to mystery TV, especially anything on Masterpiece Mystery or BBC America. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier.
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