Title: The Diva Cooks Up a Storm
Series: A Domestic Diva Mystery
By: Krista Davis
ISBN: 1496714695 (isbn13: 9781496714695)
Author’s Website: http://www.kristadavis.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Domestic diva Sophie Winston can whip up an elaborate event in her sleep, but as the hippest hostess she rarely gets to enjoy the full guest treatment. Which is why her best friend Nina Reid Norwood loops her in to the latest culinary craze: a pop-up gourmet dinner party. The celebrity chef, the epicurean menu, and the high-profile attendees are all a surprise, turning the decadent dining experience into the hottest ticket in Old Town. But Sophie’s just pleased as punch that she finally has an opportunity to join her fellow foodies in some fun.
The posh party proves to be a recipe for disaster when Hollis Haberman sours spirits by bringing his own hot new dish–his young trophy wife. With Hollis’s son and ex-wife in attendance, there may be more heat at the table than in the kitchen. But by aperitifs, Sophie discovers Hollis swallowing his last bits of air, and she must scramble to stop a killer before the swanky supper becomes anyone else’s last meal. (Goodreads)
The eleventh installment in the A Domestic Diva Mystery series, The Diva Cooks Up a Storm, is a delightful cozy mystery. Sophie Winston is preparing for a mini vacation with her bestie Nina Reid Norwood….but then an impending hurricane changes all that! So to have some fun – they attend a pop-up dinner party. What fun….until it wasn’t – at least for Hollis Haberman (criminal attorney in his mid fifties) who has now had his last supper. But “the last supper” bit is not evident until the next day when Hollis collapses in front of his house. Hollis is taken to the hospital but sadly does not survive. We quickly learn that Hollis is not the most loved man in Old Town…having a teenage angst ridden son (Gavin) and ex-wife (a wee bit bitter I might add) as well as a young new wife.
So what is an amateur sleuth to do…but solve the mystery, especially when the first to be accused is a friend whom Sophie swears “could not have done it”. Prior to his demise – Hollis had asked Sophie “if there was a way to test food at home to be sure nobody poisoned it.” So this begs the question – who wanted Hollis dead? Let me tell you…no end of potential suspects. The path Sophie takes to eliminate each suspect in determining who the killer is is a rocky road filled with pitfalls and misdirection along the way. These twists and turns kept me guessing until the end….just the way I like my cozy mysteries.
The descriptions of food certainly had me chomping at the bit – especially when Nina was preparing for the trip that was not to be with Sophie:
“She opened the box and arranged the contents on a poppy-colored platter. Chocolate croissants, ham croissants, cherry Danish, cinnamon rolls with vanilla icing, and bear claws….”
I got a real chuckle out of a conversation between Gavin and Sophie:
“Gavin!” I playfully pushed his thin upper arm. “Don’t do anything stupid.”
He laughed at me. A truly lovely genuine laugh, like the one I’d heard often when he was a kid. “I’m a teenager, Mrs. Winston. I do stupid stuff all the time.”
I really enjoyed the “Dear Sophie’s” at the beginning of each chapter. I did fret about starting a series at book 11, but not to worry, there was enough introduction to the characters that I quickly became familiar with the inhabitants of Old Town. So this book can easily be read as a stand-alone.
I will most undoubtedly continue my stay in Old Town by picking up another book in this series…with the intent of beginning at book 1 of the “A Domestic Diva Mystery” series – The Diva Runs Out of Thyme.