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I am happy to share my thoughts about
Eat, Drink and Drop Dead by Toni LoTempio today!
Eat, Drink and Drop Dead (A Tiffany Austin Food Blogger Mystery)
by Toni LoTempio
About Eat, Drink and Drop Dead
Eat, Drink and Drop Dead (A Tiffany Austin Food Blogger Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Severn House; Main edition (April 4, 2023)
Hardcover : 256 pages
ISBN-10 : 1448310024
ISBN-13 : 978-1448310029
Digital ASIN : B0BKLFX3V5
A former chef gets mixed up in murder when she moves back to her Southern home town in the first Tiffany Austin food blogger mystery – a culinary cozy that will make your brain work and your stomach rumble!
Food critic and blogger Tiffany Austin has the best job in the world: she gets to eat for a living. At least, she hopes she has a job. Her trial period at Southern Style magazine is up – and rumors are swirling that management are making a choice between Tiffany and a rival columnist: the ambitious Jenny Lee Plumm.
Former chef Tiffany knows she has a battle on her hands . . . but she didn’t realize it was to the death! When her rival’s body is discovered after the two have a very public argument, Tiffany finds herself the prime suspect in a murder investigation. The lead detective might be very hot – but Tiffany’s definitely not ready to go down for a crime she didn’t commit.
Ably assisted by Hilary, her best friend and partner in (non) crime, and bolstered by the unconditional love of her Siamese cat Lily and King Charles Cavalier puppy Cooper, Tiffany plunges into an investigation of her own. After all, she has a degree from the CIA – the Culinary Institute of America – and she’s not afraid to use it. But can she find the real killer before she’s served up to the cops on a silver platter?
Welcome to Branson, Georgia. Hometown of chef turned food blogger and critic Tiffany Austin. She left a big job in the city and has been working on a trial basis for Southern Style magazine for the past 6 months and her efforts have been well received. With her trial period coming to an end she hopes she will be hired on as a regular employee but she has heard that the powers that be are deciding between her column or another penned by Jenny Lee Plumm.
When the decision is made, Tiffany is in and Jenny is out and she isn’t going quietly. She stops by Tiffany’s office for a very loud verbal communication with some choice words thrown around by both columnists before Jenny storms out of the building still voicing her threats and opinions. But the last thing Tiffany expected was having the police at her door questioning her about the untimely death of Jenny Lee Plumm.
In an effort to clear her name, she enlists the help of gal pal Hilary to uncover any clues to find out who could have killed the Society N Style maven. Who knew there could be so many suspects? Many have means and motives so she needs to pare them down and strain out who had the opportunity to take the woman out and tried to frame her for the crime.
Oh, these new characters are fun! Tiffany knows her stuff but was done wrong. Strong woman that she is she didn’t let it get her down. She came home and found a job that still allowed her to eat for a living and she is darn good at it. She is creative with great ideas and she has talents that also come in handy for sleuthing. Two being organization and curiosity. Best friend Hilary Hanson also works at the magazine and helped Tiffany get the job. Friends since the 5th grade she has Tiffany’s back but she also gives Tiff a push whenever needed and sometimes when she doesn’t. LOL She also reunites with former classmate Dale Swenson who is now the editor of Southern Style. The friendships feel genuine and their dialogues are true to life especially the final one Tiff had with Jenny. Seriously, we have all been there.
Ms. LoTempio has put forth a very well-plotted mystery with an abundance of suspects. The victim was a real piece of work so Tiffany has a huge task ahead of her and she wasn’t backing down no matter how many warnings she received from the cops to butt out. I appreciated her zeal but worried about some of her actions. I was able to focus on the right suspect early but kept second-guessing myself. Actually, I was pretty surprised when everything came to a head. The ending was very exciting.
I love the food blogger theme and the fact that readers tag along with Tiffany as she tries everything from empanadas, to tacos, tartlets, and cheesecakes. My stomach was growling just reading the words and descriptions. I also enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at the magazine industry today, both print and digital. It takes creative ideas like Tiffany comes up with to keep readers engaged. That is so important even for me and my blog and at times it is really a struggle. While I don’t critique food I may pick up a few tips from Tiffany.
Eat, Drink and Drop Dead is a marvelous debut for this series. I really enjoyed the way Ms. LoTempio told this story. She gave us interesting characters and mixed them up in an entertaining mystery. I hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next Tiffany Austin Food Blogger Mystery. I am excited to visit these characters again.
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About T.C. Lotempio
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series originally from Berkley Prime Crime and now with Beyond the Page Publishing. They also write the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane and the Pet Shop series, originally published by Midnight Ink and rebranded last year as “Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries.” Book six in the Nick and Nora mysteries, A PURR BEFORE DYING, is released this February from Beyond the Page. There is also a new series, Tiffany Austin Food Blogger, coming out in April.
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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.”