Author: Jenny Kales
Series: A Callie's Kitchen Mystery #3
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: October 9, 2017
Description: Summertime in Crystal Bay means tourist season for Calliope “Callie” Costas, owner of Callie’s Kitchen, a Greek-meets-Midwest from-scratch eatery. Business is booming but so is the stress. Callie can barely keep up with the demand for her famous summer fruit pies and savory Greek delicacies, plus she’s agreed to bake dozens of “pitas” for the annual Greek Fest.
When Callie is asked to deliver cast party treats for a Murder Mystery Night at the historic Harris House, it seems like a welcome break from her hot stove. That is, until she finds herself an unwilling player in yet another suspicious death. Worse yet, the victim is a family friend and graduate student working on a project involving Crystal Bay’s colorful past.
Before long, a motley crew of suspects makes things as juicy as the succulent berries strewn around Callie’s Kitchen. And that’s not all Callie’s got on her plate. Add family obligations, a deepening romance with a local detective and unexpected personnel problems to the mix.
One thing’s for sure: Callie’s got the recipe for a long, hot summer!
This is the third book in a very entertaining cozy mystery series. Set in the Midwest, this series centers around Callie Costas, the owner of Callie's Kitchen in Crystal Bay Wisconsin. I love the combination of the focus on family and food. Like the Greeks, family and food is a common thread for Italians so there is a sense of familiarity when I read these stories.
Callie is one of those main characters that readers can't help but like and be drawn to. She has a wonderful Midwest sensibility which is part of what draws me in and keeps me coming back. She is fun, loyal and loving but has a penchant for finding dead bodies. The secondary cast is terrific as well. Callie's father George is larger than life and s a wonderfully supportive father. Callie's daughter, grandmother, staff and boyfriend/detective round out the cast nicely. I like the pace of the relationship between Callie and Sands. It makes it feel authentic and not rushed.
The mystery in this third book was terrific. There was a bit of history involving the old homes in Crystal Bay that plays a large part. There were plenty of suspects for the reader to choose from and quite frankly I was completely surprised by the identity of the killer. The author did a wonderful job of providing twists and turns to distract the reader (which generally works on me) so that when the killer was revealed in a dramatic fashion I didn't see it coming.
This is a terrific series that is filled with wonderful characters and has a great sense of family and food. The setting is charming and adds to the atmosphere of story. The mystery is well plotted with plenty of distractions, clues, twist and turns to keep the reader engaged and guessing. I will definitely be back to Crystal Bay for Callie's next adventure.
I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by the author.