This is the first in the Callie’s Kitchen series by Jenny Kales. It takes place in fictional Crystal Bay, Wisconsin in the fall and the town is getting ready to award the Taste of Crystal Bay prize to a deserving restaurant owner. I’ve been wanting to start this series and am glad I finally did!
My Goodreads review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was such a well-written and thought out mystery! I definitely didn’t guess who the killer was and there were plenty of suspects to pick from, some good twists and some little side mysteries as well.
Callie Costas is a divorced mom of a 10 year old girl who is trying to build her dream, Callie’s Kitchen, which is a Greek inspired restaurant. Everything seems to be going well until Callie finds her boyfriend, Drew, stabbed to death in his home the night they were supposed to have dinner there together. With Callie being first on the scene and also a contender for a local restaurant contest, it’s not looking very good for her since Detective Sands has her in his radar as #1 suspect. Of course Callie isn’t going to listen to him or her friend/lawyer, Samantha, so she proceeds to look into the case on her own to clear her name.
I just loved all these characters and their strong family ties. George, Callie’s dad was everything you’d expect in a protective papa bear type figure. He loved Callie so much especially since he and her Grandma Viv had raised her since she was little. Grandma Viv was such a cool character too. She even insisted on a ride along when Callie need to go do some snooping. Sam was definitely someone I would want as a friend and lawyer, very faithful but definitely earning her fees as Callie sometimes forgot to tell her things about the case.
I liked that Callie wasn’t bitter and hateful of her ex husband Hugh and his new wife Raine for her daughter Olivia’s sake. Raine wasn’t even the usual hateful new wife, she was almost like a puppy dog that wanted to please. I think she felt like she and Callie could be BFFs, lol and she was very good to Livvie (who called her Raine the Pain) It was more realistic because families do have to adjust to situations like this and try to get along with one another.
Max was another fun character. It’ll be fun getting to know him and the rest of the characters in the next books which I’m very anxious to read. I’m also anxious to see how things progress between Callie and her detective friend. There are some really yummy sounding recipes in the back of the book. Those creme brulee cupcakes sound amazing!