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    Hayley is in for an explosive weekend!

    Death of a Cookbook Author by Lee Hollis is the tenth book in A Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails Mystery series (that’s a mouthful). Hayley Powell is shocked when Penelope Janice, cookbook author and television personality, is a fan of her column. Penelope invites Hayley to participate in her Third Annual Fourth of July Celebrity Potluck Celebration at her estate in Seal Harbor, Maine. The competition along with the other festivities for the weekend will be filmed for Penelope’s show. Hayley is thrilled to be invited and hopes that her cooking will measure up. The first night they have steamed mussels for dinner which Hayley devours. She soon regrets her over indulgence when she wakes up with food poisoning in the middle of the night and is unable to find a bathroom. She overhears two people plotting a murder, but Penelope just laughs off Hayley’s concerns. The following day Hayley is awakened to screams. Conrad Janice has been found at the bottom of the cliff. The victim had been extremely drunk the night before and Chief of Police Sergio Alvares rules it an accident. Hayley believes foul play is involved, but she will need to find hard evidence to prove it. Penelope is not about to let the death of her husband stop the weekend, so the festivities proceed (gives Hayley time to snoop). Hayley is unprepared for an unexpected dip into the ocean, a boyfriend for the weekend, or a second body. It is going to be a wild Fourth of July weekend in Death of a Cookbook Author. Death of a Cookbook Author is nicely written and has a steady pace. While this is the tenth installment in the series, it can be read alone. The necessary background details are provided for new readers. I thought the mystery was well-crafted and clever (I never thought to use an automated cat feeder in that way). There are several suspects and good misdirection. I have to admit that I enjoyed the dig at a certain politician who loves Twitter. All the loose ends are wrapped up at the end of the book. There are some great laugh out loud moments and Hayley’s columns were entertaining. It will be interesting to see how Hayley’s new romance progresses in future books. I did not think Hayley would ever admit her feeling for this man. I would like to see Hayley mature in future books as she does not always act her age (she comes across as immature at times). There are recipes included in the book. Death of a Cookbook Author is my favorite book so far in this series.

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