Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am delighted to feature
Ill-Fated Fortune: A Magical Fortune Cookie Novel
by Jennifer J. Chow today!
About Ill-Fated Fortune
Ill-Fated Fortune: A Magical Fortune Cookie
1st in Series
Setting – California
Minotaur Books (February 20, 2024)
Mass Market Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250323037
ISBN-13 : 978-1250323033
Digital ASIN : B0C1X7YG71
Felicity Jin grew up literally hanging onto Mom’s apron strings in their magical bakery in the quaint town of Pixie, California. Her mother’s enchanted baked goods, including puffy pineapple buns and creamy egg tarts, bring instant joy to all who consume them. Felicity has always been hesitant in the kitchen herself after many failed attempts, but a takeout meal gone wrong inspires her to craft some handmade fortune cookies.
They become so popular that Felicity runs out of generic fortunes and starts making her own personalized predictions. When one customer’s ill-fated fortune results in his murder, Felicity’s suspiciously specific fortune has the police focusing on her as the main culprit. Now Felicity must find a way to turn her luck around and get cleared from suspicion.
Felicity Jin’s mother sells pineapple buns and egg tarts filled with joy and love at her magical Gold Bakery. Felicity thought the family’s magical baking talents had passed her by until she was inspired to create her own handmade fortune cookies. Even before she learned she could make personalized predictions, they were a huge success. But when a customer’s ill-fated fortune leads to his murder and she is the prime suspect. She is going to need some good fortune herself. Can she prove her innocence and find the real killer? Or will her fortunes spell the end of her family’s legacy?
In this first Magical Fortune Cookie Mystery, we meet Felicity “Lissa” Jin and her mom. Her mom has continued the magical family’s legacy wrapping joy and sunshine into her pastries. Lissa needed to find the right recipe to ignite her magic and until now helped her mom at the bakery by working at the cash register. She is very excited to have found her perfect recipe, fortune cookies. Felicity and her mother are very close and their life revolves around their bakery. Ms. Jin struggles at one point. It made her character more true to life and I was strongly drawn into her part of the story.
We also meet Lissa’s “bestie” Kelvin. He owns Love Blooms right next door to the bakery. He makes beautiful arrangements and enjoys creating just what his customers want. Alma Paz is Felecity’s godmother and owns Paz Illuminations on the other side of the bakery. Alma is in her 60s or 70s and shares her wisdom along with the “latest on-trend candles” in-store and on Etsy. Ms. Chow does an excellent job introducing these core characters while leaving room for them to develop as the series continues.
The murder victim, found in the dumpster behind the bakery was Charles Gong, the Fortune Cookie King. He had cornered the Fresno fortune cookie market and he had heard about Lissa’s cookies and just tried to try one. Knowing she had nothing to do with his death she and Kelvin set out to find out who did. She quickly found several people with the motive to crumble the Cookie King. Lissa was a determined sleuth going back again and again trying to get people to tell her what they knew. That determination led her right into the clutches of the killer. What a showdown!
I enjoyed all the magical aspects of the story but the one that stole my heart was on the night of the full moon when a special guest arrived at the Jin’s front door. A guest that quickly makes themself right at home and never leaves.
Ill-Fated Fortune is more than a cozy mystery. It is a story of Lissa finding her place in her family. Something she had wanted so much because she thought she was the one daughter in the Jin line who had been skipped over and didn’t have the magical gift. She now knows that isn’t true but she still has much to learn about her power.
Ms. Chow has given this series a firm foundation with Ill-Fated Fortune. I want to see what she has planned for these characters in the future and where the magic will take them.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About Jennifer J. Chow
Jennifer J. Chow writes cozies filled with hope and heritage. She is an Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty Award-nominated author. Her newest series is the Magical Fortune Cookie mysteries; the first book is Ill-Fated Fortune. Jennifer’s previous series is the L.A. Night Market Mysteries. Death by Bubble Tea was reviewed by the New York Times, featured in Woman’s World, and hit the SoCal Indie Bestseller List. Jennifer currently serves as Immediate Past President on the board of Sisters in Crime and blogs at chicksonthecase.com. She is an active member of Crime Writers of Color and Mystery Writers of America. Connect with her online and sign up for her newsletter at JenniferJChow.com.
Also written by Jennifer J. Chow
Great Escapes Praise for Ill-Fated Fortune: A Magical Fortune Cookie Novel
by Jennifer J. Chow
With a great cast of diverse characters and a sprinkling of magick ILL-FATED FORTUNE is a great new twist on a culinary mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
Ill-Fated Fortune by Jennifer J. Chow is a delightful blend of magical realism and cozy mystery with engaging (and diverse) characters and a layered plot.
~Reading is my Superpower
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