Friday, February 17, 2023

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: Wined and Died in New Orleans (Vintage Cookbook Mystery, #2) by Ellen Byron


Wined and Died in New Orleans
Vintage Cookbook Mystery, #2
Ellen Byron

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting - Louisiana
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 7, 2023
Mass Market Paperback
Page count: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0593437632 / ISBN-13: 9780593437636
Digital ASIN: B09TZPW81C



About Wined and Died in New Orleans

The second in a fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Ellen Byron.

It’s hurricane season in New Orleans and vintage cookbook fan Ricki James-Diaz is trying to shelve her weather-related fears and focus on her business, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbook and Kitchenware Shop, housed in the magnificent Bon Vee Culinary House Museum.

Repairs on the property unearth crates of very old, very valuable French wine, buried by the home’s builder, Jean-Louis Charbonnet. Ricki, who’s been struggling to attract more customers to Miss Vee’s, is thrilled when her post about the discovery of this long-buried treasure goes viral. She’s less thrilled when the post brings distant Charbonnet family members out of the woodwork, all clamoring for a cut of the wine’s sale.

When a dead body turns up in Bon Vee’s cheery fall decorations, the NOPD zeroes in on Eugenia Charbonnet Felice as the prime suspect, figuring that as head of the Charbonnet family, she has the most to gain. Ricki is determined to uncover the real culprit, but she can’t help noticing that Eugenia is acting strangely. Ricki wonders what kind of secret her mentor has bottled up, and fears what might happen if she uncorks it.

In the second Vintage Cookbook Mystery, Ricki has to help solve a murder, untangle family secrets, and grow her business, all while living under the threat of a hurricane that could wipe out everything from her home to Bon Vee.


5 stars!

Another fun and delightful cozy mystery from the pen of Ellen Byron/Maria DiRico!

Wined and Died in New Orleans is the second book in Ellen Byron’s Vintage Cookbook Mystery series, and it is a fitting follow-up to the fantastic debut novel, Bayou Book Thief. After only two books, I’ve become an ardent fan of this series and know I will be recommending it to friends and family, while waiting for the next in line to be born.
Ricki James-Diaz is such an engaging and relatable character; you can’t help but like her and become invested in her success, both with her shop, Miss Vee’s, and in her amateur sleuthing. She’s endured some hard knocks in her life, starting with her birth. She consciously must work to overcome her anxiety, using position affirmations, yoga, and calming mantras. I love how she’s loyal and protective of her friends and coworkers, and I enjoy the descriptions of her vintage household business, old cookbooks, and kitchenware of times past. In real life, we would probably be bidding competitively against each other!

The plot is solid, exciting, and flavored by the New Orleans setting, a massive number of recurring and new characters (Don’t worry! The author provides a handy cast list at the beginning of the book), and the unrelenting presence of avarice. Jean-Louis, a newly discovered Charbonnet cousin, is a creepily oily and smarmy antagonist that you won’t mind disliking and makes for a great antagonist in the story. He is not the only one, as there are a couple of new faces that will attract a "Dislike" as well. As the plot progresses, there are several good suspects, each with a motive for killing the victim. There are twists in the story that really make things interesting. Additionally, some of the dialogue was so deliciously good I laughed out loud.

With its iconic Big Easy setting, an engaging amateur sleuth, vintage kitchen tools, and a puzzle of a murder mystery to resolve, I recommend WINED AND DIED IN NEW ORLEANS to cozy mystery readers who would enjoy a culinary-themed story with a vintage flair and those who enjoyed the first book in the series.

About Ellen Byron

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty Awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Bayou Book Thief will be the first book in her new Vintage Cookbook Mysteries. She also writes the Catering Hall Mystery series under the name Maria DiRico.

Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. An alum of New Orleans’ Tulane University, she blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster. Please visit her at 


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1 comment:

Ellen Byron said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful 5-star review!