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Death of a Kitchen Diva

Narrated by: Tara Ochs
Series: Food and Cocktails, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins

Non-member price: $28.94

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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to Bar Harbor, Maine, one of New England's most idyllic coastal towns. But as new food writer Hayley Powell is about to find out, the occasional murder can take a bite out of seaside bliss....

Single mom Hayley Powell is barely keeping her leaking roof over her head when her boss at the Island Times gives her a new assignment - taking over the paper's food column. Hayley's not sure she has the chops - she's an office manager, not a writer, even if her friends clamor for her mouth-watering potluck dishes. But the extra income is tempting, and Hayley's chatty first column is suddenly on everyone's menu - with one exception.

When rival food writer Karen Appelbaum is found face-down dead in a bowl of Hayley's creamy clam chowder, all signs point to Hayley. To clear her name, she'll have to enlist some help, including her BFFs, a perpetually pregnant lobster woman, and a glamorous real estate agent. As she whips up a list of suspects, Hayley discovers a juicy secret about the victim - and finds herself in a dangerous mix with a cold-blooded killer.

©2012 Rick Copp and Holly Simason (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • karen
  • 04-07-2016

Very uneven....

Parts of it -- especially the first part -- were wonderful, everything a "cozy" should be. But then the story would lapse into so much silliness it was enough to make your teeth hurt.

For whatever reason, I bought three of these books by Lee Hollis on some special offer, and this one was the second I listened to. The first was "Country Fried Redneck", which was book #2 in the series, and that one was worse than this in terms of silliness, so maybe the third will be worse yet.

It wasn't altogether bad, but really: can you imagine a grown woman trying to remove a broach pinned to a dead body, lying in a casket, in front of the whole congregation? Maybe Lucille Ball could get away with something as bonkers as that, but Hayley Powell, you're not Lucy. Stick to more prosaic -- which means believable -- situations, and this could be a good series. I did like the recipes, and the columns -- if they weren't just so silly (in parts) I'd like the books for that reason alone.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Byron
  • 03-07-2014

Newspaper recipe writer cozy mystery

Small town newspaper office manager, Hayley Powell, finds a little extra income by taking over her newspaper's food recipe column. She's in competition with the town's larger newspaper's foodie columnist. When they both come out with the same recipe for clam chowder tongues wag. Worse still, when Hayley goes to confront her competitor, she finds her dead on the floor with her spilled chowder. Being the main murder suspect sends Hayley on a dangerous path to prove her innocence.

This start to a new cozy series has potential, but needs to improve to win me over. Hayley's parenting skills have a lot to be desired. Though my biggest issue was that the murderer really wasn't discussed enough in the book to give the reader a chance to discover who they were. The recipe columns were perhaps the best part of the book. Will give the next in the series a try before deciding to continue with this series or not.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • ELEANOR FOWSER
  • 27-05-2015

Light, fluffy, and fun

Sometimes I don't want to have to concentrate too hard to stay up with the story. This is perfect for those times. The characters are pleasant, but not too complex. There's a mystery that was easily solved long before the main character had a clue. My major complaint was that the main character kept going off alone to investigate something, getting into trouble for doing so, deciding not to do that again, then going off by herself to investigate something else. But on the whole, it was enjoyable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Farrell
  • 03-08-2015

A solid 3.5

Nice little cozy. Decent characters. The narrator brought it down a little but was acceptable. On to the next.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amy M Collins
  • 17-06-2015

Charming murder mystery

The writing is humorous and the characters charming. This is light, escapist fiction. The reader has to be willing to suspend any disbelief in a big way when it comes to believable police work and the tolerance of an amateur sleuth.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-08-2016

Lesson learned: listen to my books sooner

What would have made Death of a Kitchen Diva better?

I didn't like this book at all and now it's too late to return it. I also ordered 2 more of her books at the same time. It was very hard to follow. I always listen to a book all the way through but I just couldn't finish this one.

Would you ever listen to anything by Lee Hollis again?

No, although, just to get my money out of them I may have to.

Did Tara Ochs do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

She did a fairly nice job differentiating male and female roles.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Too much a formula book. I usually like mixed up housewife mysteries.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Melanie
  • 06-08-2014

Good listening and story!

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Narrator used Spanish accent instead of Portuguese for one of the main characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 28-04-2014

A light but good read

What made the experience of listening to Death of a Kitchen Diva the most enjoyable?

After reading hardcore gory murder mysteries some times you just need a little light reading. But readers beware they are out of order in how they are listed in audible. So I had read the last book of the series first. This book is the first in the series and needs to be numbered as such. However I enjoy the characters and the narration.

Would you recommend Death of a Kitchen Diva to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend the books especially if you like the genre of books that give you recipies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Judy
  • 15-06-2019

I couldn't even bring myself to finish this!

The plot of this story relies on many people doing many stupid things and the belief that all women are really basically stupid anyway. The main character is particularly stupid. Her parenting skills are seriously lacking and I didn't even care enough about who killed her rival to be bothered listening to the end. The wooden performance by the narrator didn't help. Clearly, I have a different set of requirements for listening to most of your reviewers, since this averages a 3.8 star rating, but I wouldn't recommend it at all.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa
  • 04-01-2019

I can relate

This first book is a great start to a fun cozy mystery that is easy to read or listen. Much like Hayley, I too am a single mom of teens who drives a white Subaru and lives in a tourist town. I also have a couple of best friends that share a few traits with Mona and Liddy. These commonalities made it easy to relate to Hayley's internal dialogue, and probably made me more vested in the story. I love the narrator's performance. She really gave the characters personality. The attached pdfs are great, I've enjoyed trying the food and drink recipes. These are great stories to sit and read or listen to while sipping a cocktail and making dinner!