The Big Chili – Julia Buckley

25506043

4/5 Bingo Nights

On The Back:

First in a delicious new mystery series filled with casseroles, confidences, and killers…

Lilah Drake’s Covered Dish business discreetly provides the residents of Pine Haven, Illinois, with delicious, fresh-cooked meals they can claim they cooked themselves. But when one of her clandestine concoctions is used to poison a local woman, Lilah finds herself in a pot-load of trouble…

After dreaming for years of owning her own catering company, Lilah has made a start into the food world through her Covered Dish business, covertly cooking for her neighbors who don’t have the time or skill to do so themselves, and allowing them to claim her culinary creations as their own. While her clientele is strong, their continued happiness depends on no one finding out who’s really behind the apron.

So when someone drops dead at a church Bingo night moments after eating chili that Lilah made for a client, the anonymous chef finds herself getting stirred into a cauldron of secrets, lies, and murder—and going toe to toe with a very determined and very attractive detective. To keep her clients coming back and her business under wraps, Lilah will have to chop down the list of suspects fast, because this spicy killer has acquired a taste for homicide…

My Thoughts:

Filled with an absolutely amazing premise, a cast of diverse characters, and an intricate murder mystery; this was a very well written first in a series book!

The main character was absolutely a hoot! The fact that she always has a song in her head is a trait that I found absolutely hilarious. Lilah’s business was also amazing, I would absolutely love to have a “undercover dish” business in my hometown and I know of quite a few people who’d use it.

The mystery was wonderfully put together; I would’ve guessed a ton of people before guessing the actual killer. The town was also appropriately cozy-ish.

My main problem with this book was the romance angle. The author builds it up for so long that you expect a huge something at the end, and you get that. But then the romance absolutely gets kicked under the rug. It was a huge letdown and I felt that it made many previous parts of the book unnecessary.

I really liked this book and will be reading the next one when it comes in September!  Recommend.

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