A Whipped and Sipped Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting - Chicago, Illinois
Publisher: DX Varos Publishing
Publication Date: February 21, 2023
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1955065675 / ISBN-13: 978-1955065672
Digital ASIN: B0BLMFHSQX
Page count: 254 pages
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Alene Baron is dealing with frustrated employees, closed schools, and a homeless man who harasses customers outside the door of her café. Then, two dead bodies turn up in the burned remains of buildings owned by the husband of Alene’s best friend and pastry chef, Ruthie. Both bodies are wearing jackets that once belonged to Ruthie and crumbled in the pockets are the café’s distinctive wrappers. At the same time, Alene's uncle, a convicted felon, has resurfaced after disappearing for 22 years. It's all too much for the owner of the Whipped and Sipped Café.
With a murder investigation edging close to home and all
the balls Alene is juggling at once, CHARRED was an absolute page-turner.
Charred is the third book in author G.P. Gottlieb’s’
culinary-themed cozy mystery series, Whipped and Sipped Mysteries. With a plethora of
engaging characters, enticing vegan dishes and desserts, and its replay of that
iconic spring of fear, protests, and confusion, this latest story was
unputdownable and sent me back in time as I tried to determine who the killer
Alene is the owner of the successful restaurant and manages a
large and varied staff of part-timers with a firm hand in a velvet glove. She
must deal with so many personalities as she keeps everyone focused on their
mutual goals. Ruthie is the yin to her yang, and together they are a great
Besides the murder victims found on Ruthie’s husband’s
projects, Alene struggles with withholding knowledge of the first crime scene,
via the early morning foray with Kofi and Kasey, from her beau, Detective Frank
Shaw. She finds herself in quite a dilemma, having promised Kasey and Kofi to
stay mum while knowing from her own experiences with her ex-husband, Neal, that
keeping secrets is hazardous to building and maintaining a trusting, loving
Additionally, Alene’s Uncle Finn has contacted her father
after an absence of over 22 years. Finn, a convicted bank robber, had spent his
time in prison, returned home to his wife and child, and then mysteriously went
missing. Alene’s father, Cal, his younger brother, is understandably conflicted
over his actions and subsequent abandonment, so Finn has appealed to Alene to
arrange their reconciliation.
With a murder investigation edging closer and closer to home
and all the balls Alene is juggling at once, the story was an absolute page-turner.
The author also includes several great recipes at the end of the book for some
of the dishes mentioned in the story. I recommend CHARRED to cozy mystery
readers who enjoy culinary-themed stories, a Chicago setting, or a trip back to
the summer of 2020.
About G.P. Gottlieb
Known for her imaginative baking and fabulous dinners, G.P. Gottlieb was always an avid reader. She enjoyed several careers, but after recovering from cancer, turned to writing in earnest, melding two passions: nourishment for mind and body, and recipe-laced murder mysteries. She is also the host for New Books in Literature, a podcast of the New Books Network.
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Thanks, Guatemala Paula, for this sparkling review!
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