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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
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  • Third book in series!

    Pudding Up with Murder by Julia Buckley is the third cozy mystery in An Undercover Dish Mystery series. Lilah Drake works as a secret chef in her spare time (when not working at Pine Haven Caterer’s). Lilah along with her dog, Mick are attending the birthday party of Marcus Cantwell. She prepared a rice pudding for her client, Ellie Parker to take to the event. After speaking with Marcus, Lilah is given a tour and the dish on the family by Cash Cantwell. When Lilah goes back to the kitchen, people are enjoying the rice pudding. Marcus enters the kitchen with an empty bowl of rice pudding and collapses. Thankfully, Detective Maria Grimaldi was on hand to secure the scene and quickly gather evidence. Who disliked Marcus enough to murder him? When Cash ends up being a prime suspect, Lilah starts looking at the extended family to find the real killer. I found Pudding Up with Murder to be easy to read and it had a decent pace. The mystery was straightforward and one detail gives away the identity of the murderer. I could pinpoint the killer early in the story. I felt the romance dominated the book (I like a little romance, but I this was over-the-top). I quickly tired of Lilah mooning over Jay and Jay’s jealousy over Angelo Cardelini (it was ridiculous). I wanted more investigation and less day-to-day activities. There is cooking, walking the dog, dates, friends, and work. These elements make up a significant portion of the book. My rating for Pudding Up with Murder is 3 out of 5 stars. I do not quite buy into concept of a secret chef. Why would anyone be ashamed about not cooking or not wanting to cook? What am I missing? I was not enthralled with Lilah, but I did enjoy Mick, the dog (a cutie). Pudding Up with Murder can be a standalone. For cozy mystery readers who prefer the emphasis on cozy, then you will appreciate Pudding Up with Murder.

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  • I loved it!

    This series grabbed me in book one and has not let me go. This latest book (# 3) is the best in the series! I strongly recommend you read the books in order to be able to appreciate the characters development. I appreciate that Lilah is a strong female character. I also appreciate the realistic evolution of the relationship between her and Jay Parker. The honest and realistic emotions and reactions of the characters is a real plus to me. The whodunit included family secrets and the family dynamic felt real. The well crafted story was paced perfectly. The recipes included are a real bonus. I really hope this series continues as it is a real gem!

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