Cheddar Off Dead
Undercover Dish Mystery #2
By Julia Buckley
Author website: http://www.juliabuckley.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
Caterer and cook Lilah Drake is up to her elbows in deadly trouble in the latest mystery from the author of The Big Chili.
The Christmas holidays are one of Lilah’s favorite times of the year, filled with friends, family, and, of course, tons of food orders for her Covered Dish clients. But Lilah’s Yuletide cheer ends when she sees a most Grinch-like crime: the murder of a Santa in a school parking lot.
It turns out the deceased Kris Kringle was a complicated tangle of naughty and nice, with a long list of people who might have wanted him dead. And whoever did the deed wants to make sure that Lilah keeps quiet. Now, Lilah will have to team up with her former fling, Detective Jay Parker, to unwrap the mysteries of a deadly Christmas killer and stay alive long enough to ring in the New Year.
I really enjoy a good story told through engaging dialogue and wonderful characters. Once again author Julia Buckley has done just that in the second installment of her “Undercover Dish Mystery” series. Cheddar Off Dead is set during Christmas time and is a true present to this reader. Lilah Drake is a fabulous main character that I would love to be friends with, especially since I could have her make delicious meals for me and take the credit. Yes, Lilah does just that along with working at her catering job. She makes meals for her friends and customers and they take the credit and praise. So this holiday season is very busy for her. Pine Haven, Illinois is lucky to have her even if she has been put in the line of another murder.
As Lilah is parked at the local elementary school delivering another covert dish to her friend Jenny. She unwittingly witnessed the murder of Santa, well Brad Whitefield dressed up as Santa. She does not really see a lot, but the killer does not know that. Not only is she unlucky enough to see the demise of Santa, but who shows up as the detective, none other than her romantic interest Jay Parker. Well, he was her love interest when they hit it off in the last book, however he dropped her like a hot potato when he found out she lied about her undercover cooking. Since then she has been doing everything to avoid him. Looks like murder had another idea.
Because Lilah may be in danger, she is under police protection and has to stay with her brother. Of course her wonderful dog Mick has to come along. Lilah and her family decide to do a bit of detecting on their own and find out that Santa was not a jolly old soul at all. He had plenty of enemies. Things get dangerous when the killer seems to be out to get Lilah and her family. That does not stop them from searching for answers and maybe Lilah getting a bit closer to Jay again.
Cheddar Off Dead sure was a delight to read especially in the last days of summer. Perfect for any season, this Christmas gift filled me with joy. I love the characters and their relationships. Lilah is fabulous and her family is wonderful. Mick of course is super!! I really enjoyed the flow of the story line, the well written mystery, the intrigue, the food. Everything in this cozy makes me happy. You do not have to have read the first (and fabulous) book in this series to love this one. A truly satisfying and captivating feast that beguiled me from start to finish.