REVIEW NOW ADDED
Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
by Mary Lee Ashford
About Quiche of Death
Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – Iowa
Publisher: Lyrical Press (July 21, 2020)
Print Length: ~254 pages
When editor Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer went into business creating cookbooks, they found a sideline as amateur sleuths. Now a bitter family grudge could leave a fatal aftertaste…
At Sugar & Spice Community Cookbooks, the friends and business partners have secured a tasty new commission: producing a cookbook for the Arbor family. The Arbors have made their fortune in quiches, and Sugar and Spice have been invited to a weekend gathering where all the siblings, along with crusty matriarch Marta, will be in attendance. But it’s soon clear that this trip will come with a hefty slice of drama.
Theo, the only grandson, arrives with his flaky fiancée, Collette, who quickly stirs up trouble . . . and is found dead the next day. As the investigation unfolds, secrets—and recipes—are shared, and Sugar and Spice realize just how messy and murderous the situation may be. As another family member falls ill, can they solve the case without getting egg on their faces . . .and a target on their backs?
* Includes delicious recipes! *
“Quiche me, you fool.”
The demand was followed by hoots of laughter as the sister—Jezzie, I think her name was—leaned into her spouse for a smooch. He hesitated but obliged.
I smiled at the boisterous group who clearly shared some inside joke about quiche and kissing. The warmth of the table and the sibling love melted my heart like butter on a biscuit. Taking a sip of water, I glanced over at Dixie, who sat across from me at the huge oak table.
She rolled her eyes.
“What?” I mouthed.
Dixie shrugged. Jezzie had perhaps a teensy bit too much wine, but still: When did my best friend and business partner get so darn stuffy? Maybe it was the inside-joke part that she found off-putting.
But we did know quiche was the family’s stock-in-trade, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch to figure out the expression had something to do with the Arbor family’s food business. After all, that was why we were here.
Sugar and Spice Publishing usually compiles fundraiser cookbooks but when the well to do Arbor family, who made their money with their quiche recipe, ask them to create a family cookbook they just can’t refuse. The family is all getting together for the weekend and has invited Sugar and Dixie to join them to meet the family, go over recipes and get some background stories to use alongside the recipes in the cookbook.
Instead, they see the family is pretty high maintenance and that was before the grandson arrives with his new fiancée. A fiancée who is killed her first night with the family. Accident or murder?? Amateur sleuths Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer can’t help themselves; they start doing their own investigation which could end up being a recipe for disaster.
Again, we are introduced to a large cast of characters, the Arbor family. The author does a great job of giving the reader time to learn the family dynamics before we got too deep into the mystery while leaving much to be revealed over the course of the story.
The core characters continue to grow. Sugar is obsessed with getting in her steps every day and enjoying her new relationship with photographer Max. Dixie is still baking up a storm and a certain sheriff stops by often to do a little tasting.
The mystery is well done with Sugar taking the lead trying to get information out of the family. Everyone seems to have a secret but she is a smart woman and even when things get dicey she doesn’t give up. I was totally caught up in the story and pegged almost every family member to be the guilty party at one time or another. After more than a few twists and a fair share of humor, I was pleased with the way things wrapped up.
As someone who has taken part in making fundraising cookbooks in the past, this theme always brings back memories, some good, some frustrating. I would have loved working Sugar and Dixie to keep our committees on track and make key decisions. I have always wanted to make a family cookbook too, so I found the Arbor family ideas pretty appealing, sans all the drama and dead body.
Of course, the food descriptions had my mouth drooling. The Arbor family did have quite a few delectable recipes and some are included in the back of the book.
Quiche of Death is an entertaining addition to this series. I am looking forward to their next cookbook adventure.
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About Mary Lee Ashford
Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries.
In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.
Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.
She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a past board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter for writers’ groups.
Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university-level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.
She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and cat, Zoey. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.
For more information, visit her website at www.MaryLeeAshford.com
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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.”