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A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even c A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs. Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie's ideas--leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case. With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it's too late.


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A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even c A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs. Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie's ideas--leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case. With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it's too late.

30 review for Mousse and Murder

  1. 4 out of 5

    Natalia R

    Charlie Cooke has returned to her hometown of Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mom's diner. She wants to make changes to the menu, but her chef is completely against it and two get into a heated argument. When he is found dead a few hours later, she immediately becomes the main suspect. Charlie becomes determined to find the real killer and teams up with local journalist and former classmate, Chris Doucette. Together, they uncover some shocking secrets about the chef Charlie thought she knew. Th Charlie Cooke has returned to her hometown of Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mom's diner. She wants to make changes to the menu, but her chef is completely against it and two get into a heated argument. When he is found dead a few hours later, she immediately becomes the main suspect. Charlie becomes determined to find the real killer and teams up with local journalist and former classmate, Chris Doucette. Together, they uncover some shocking secrets about the chef Charlie thought she knew. This is the first book in Elizabeth Logan's An Alaskan Diner Mystery series. I thought it was a solid start to a new series. I loved the rural, wintry Alaska setting, and the diner atmosphere. Our main character, Charlie, is easy to like. She's witty, hardworking, family-oriented, and a great boss. I really liked the chemistry between her and Chris and thought they made a great sleuthing team. I would love to see their flirty banter develop into something more. I also liked Annie, Tropper, and Charlie's mom. The mystery was interesting and kept me guessing throughout the story. I was unable to figure out the culprit's identity, so the reveal came as a surprise to me. I loved the role Charlie's cat, Eggs Benedict, played in taking down the killer. Overall, this was a light, enjoyable mystery and I look forward to the second book. Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Book of Secrets

    MOUSSE AND MURDER is an enjoyable start to a new cozy mystery series set in Elkview, Alaska. Charlie Cooke runs the Bear Claw Diner in this tiny tourist town. After a spat between Charlie and her chef Oliver, Oliver is found murdered on the outskirts of town. That doesn’t bode well for Charlie, so she and her friends offer to help with the investigation. I was intrigued by the unique Alaskan setting, and the author did a fantastic job describing life in and around Elkview. I felt like I was there MOUSSE AND MURDER is an enjoyable start to a new cozy mystery series set in Elkview, Alaska. Charlie Cooke runs the Bear Claw Diner in this tiny tourist town. After a spat between Charlie and her chef Oliver, Oliver is found murdered on the outskirts of town. That doesn’t bode well for Charlie, so she and her friends offer to help with the investigation. I was intrigued by the unique Alaskan setting, and the author did a fantastic job describing life in and around Elkview. I felt like I was there! The mystery itself was interesting and well-plotted. Several possible suspects came to light as Charlie and friends learned more about Oliver’s secret past. I loved Charlie, Elkview, and its residents, and I’m looking forward to continuing with this series. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    Many thanks to Berkley Publishing Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 3.5 stars! This was a nice lil cozy mystery that is perfect to curl up with on a chilly rainy day. I also loved the recipes at the back. ----------- YAS MORE COZY MYSTERIES | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram Many thanks to Berkley Publishing Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 3.5 stars! This was a nice lil cozy mystery that is perfect to curl up with on a chilly rainy day. I also loved the recipes at the back. ----------- YAS MORE COZY MYSTERIES | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  4. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    An enjoyable first instalment in a new series of culinary cozies set in a little town of Elkview near Anchorage, Alaska. The protagonist of the series Charlotte (Charlie) Cooke grew up in her parents' diner The Bear Claw. Charlie went to a culinary school in San Francisco and worked for one of the best restaurants there. Unfortunately, her love life took a nose dive and Charlie came back to her home town and took over running the Bear Claw. Charlie is smart, friendly, and curious. She gets on we An enjoyable first instalment in a new series of culinary cozies set in a little town of Elkview near Anchorage, Alaska. The protagonist of the series Charlotte (Charlie) Cooke grew up in her parents' diner The Bear Claw. Charlie went to a culinary school in San Francisco and worked for one of the best restaurants there. Unfortunately, her love life took a nose dive and Charlie came back to her home town and took over running the Bear Claw. Charlie is smart, friendly, and curious. She gets on well with everyone, if you don't count an occasional argument with Oliver, the diner chef, who is opposed to any changes and who seems to have a rather short temper. After Charlie decides to add a bit of chocolate to one of the diner's specialities, Oliver storms off.. and is murdered at the same time as Charlie stepped out of the diner for half an hour to go home and feed her cat, Eggs Benedict, AKA Benny. Obviously, Charlie needs to solve the murder mystery. As any good first instalment, Mousse and Murder sets the scene for the series. I love the small-town setting in general (Isn't it ideal for cozies?), and I love reading about Alaska, so this was a match made in heaven for me. We get to know our protagonist, her best friend Annie Jensen who also runs a family business, a small inn which appears to be always full of tourists, Charlie's budding love interest, local journalist Chris Doucette, Charlie's family, and lots of other local people. It is not unusual for the first book to seem a bit overcrowded with characters, even if you take into account the necessity for red herrings. I'm sure some of these characters will become more prominent in future instalments. As far as the mystery itself is concerned, although you might guess the culprit quite early in the book, the reason why Oliver was murdered doesn't become clear until the very end. The pace could have been a bit faster, but I liked Charlie's sense of humour, and the whole atmosphere of the Bear Claw. I don't think I'll be trying to make moose meat loaf in the nearest future, but it is great to know I have a recipe for it, should an opportunity present itself. I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series. Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

  5. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts. North to Elkview, Alaska, and the Bear Claw Diner. Chef Charlie Cooke has left San Fran behind to come home to manage her mother’s restaurant. She has many ideas for updating the menu but her head cook Oliver is not having it. When she proposes a change to their signature Bear Claw, he explodes and walks out. This is not the first time he has done that but it is the first time he doesn’t return. Turns out the man went and got himself murdered and because of the public tantrum Dollycas’s Thoughts. North to Elkview, Alaska, and the Bear Claw Diner. Chef Charlie Cooke has left San Fran behind to come home to manage her mother’s restaurant. She has many ideas for updating the menu but her head cook Oliver is not having it. When she proposes a change to their signature Bear Claw, he explodes and walks out. This is not the first time he has done that but it is the first time he doesn’t return. Turns out the man went and got himself murdered and because of the public tantrum Charlie is the prime suspect. With her entire life on the line, she knows she needs to find the real killer pronto! ______ Growing up in a family diner I was so excited to read this and I am pleased to say Ms. Logan created great characters you could find in diners everywhere. The cooks, waitresses, families and truck drivers that come in to eat, and because this is set in Alaska tour groups that have come to see the sights. The core group of characters is just starting to develop but Charlie and her awesome cat, Eggs Benedict (Benny) are in clear focus. Charlie is smart, hardworking, and dedicated to her new life at the diner. She also is a true cat lover using technology to interact with Benny while she is at work. There also may a romance blooming for Charlie. The author also served readers with a generous supply of humor. The state trooper, Trooper, and Charlie’s best friend Annie have their moments and are two characters I want to get to know better. The mystery grabbed me right away. It did have twists but there was a whiplash twist the really caught me by surprise. I had the culprit in mind pretty early but I really didn’t have a good reason, something just didn’t ring true for me. As the story continued, my choice faltered but was soon clear, and the big reveal was so rewarding. I have to mention the food, it sounds so good! Cherry Cheesecake Mousse may become a family staple in this house. The Alaskan Diner Mystery Series is off to an excellent start. Great cozy characters, a well-plotted mystery set in frozen tundra of Alaska. I can’t wait for November when Fishing for Trouble will be released.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    I am an avid fan of cozy mysteries and this one caught my attention because it was set in Alaska and I haven't noticed too many books in this genre that take place in that setting. I enjoyed the characters of Charlie, Chris, and the rest secondary cast. Charlie is likable and there is a fun bit of flirtation that takes place between her and Chris. That said, I thought there could have been a bit more character development in this first book. For me, I found the pace to be too slow and not enough I am an avid fan of cozy mysteries and this one caught my attention because it was set in Alaska and I haven't noticed too many books in this genre that take place in that setting. I enjoyed the characters of Charlie, Chris, and the rest secondary cast. Charlie is likable and there is a fun bit of flirtation that takes place between her and Chris. That said, I thought there could have been a bit more character development in this first book. For me, I found the pace to be too slow and not enough in the mystery that grabbed me. As a reader, I didn't get a chance to really know Oliver, the victim, so I was not all that invested in the identity of his killer. There were plenty of clues provided throughout the story and a nice twist regarding Oliver's parentage. As for the identity of the killer, it was not all that difficult for me to figure out, I just didn't know the motive. And for those who read my reviews, I am not really all that good at determining whodunit. For me, this had likable characters and a different setting, but the slow pace, lack of character development and ease of solving the mystery was enough that I will probably not be back for more books in the series. I voluntarily read a digital advanced review copy that I download from Edelweiss Books.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Charlie runs the Bear Claw Diner in Elkview, AK, having returned to her hometown after a bad break up. When the head chef, Oliver, is murdered, Charlie and her friends Chris and Annie decide that since law enforcement is stretched so thin in this rural area, they will help with finding the killer. I liked the Alaska setting and the characters in this new cozy mystery series, and would like to read more by this author who includes recipes of some of the Bear Claw Diner favorites. Thanks to the pu Charlie runs the Bear Claw Diner in Elkview, AK, having returned to her hometown after a bad break up. When the head chef, Oliver, is murdered, Charlie and her friends Chris and Annie decide that since law enforcement is stretched so thin in this rural area, they will help with finding the killer. I liked the Alaska setting and the characters in this new cozy mystery series, and would like to read more by this author who includes recipes of some of the Bear Claw Diner favorites. Thanks to the publisher and to Netgalley for this ARC.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    Alaska is near the top of my travel bucket list, so I always love traveling there vicariously on the pages of a good book. There aren’t a ton of books set there, though, so whenever I find one that looks halfway interesting I snatch it up. Mousse and Murder did not disappoint, and I’m looking forward to more books in this series! Along with spotlighting the beauty and quirks of Alaska & its residents, Mousse and Murder introduces an intriguing murder mystery and an equally intriguing cast of char Alaska is near the top of my travel bucket list, so I always love traveling there vicariously on the pages of a good book. There aren’t a ton of books set there, though, so whenever I find one that looks halfway interesting I snatch it up. Mousse and Murder did not disappoint, and I’m looking forward to more books in this series! Along with spotlighting the beauty and quirks of Alaska & its residents, Mousse and Murder introduces an intriguing murder mystery and an equally intriguing cast of characters to match. I really liked Charlotte (“Charlie”) and the narrative from her perspective. Her cat-cam cracked me up, and Benny the cat lived up well to his role as the loyal pet. The romantic potential between Charlotte and Chris-the-reporter was light enough to not annoy readers who don’t want any lovey-dovey stuff in their cozy mysteries but present enough to appease readers like me who think any story is better with a little romance. Trooper steals the show, however, in my opinion. The somewhat-crusty-but-also-wryly-hilarious state police officer is definitely my fave recurring cast member so far. The mystery itself seems to be fairly straightforward at first but in fact has many different layers once all is said and done. The more that Charlie & Chris uncover about Oliver, the more suspects come to light. And while I figured it out before they did, it was still well-plotted and cleverly-crafted. Bottom Line: Cute and well-layered, Mousse and Murder is a great start to a new cozy mystery series! Trooper is hands down my favorite character but all of the main cast members are easily likable. Including Benny the wonder cat! The mystery gets more complicated at every turn, with new dimensions – and new suspects – and the barest hint of potential romance adds other layers too. Engaging & entertaining, Mousse and Murder belongs on every cozy mystery fan’s to read list! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book) first seen at Reading Is My SuperPower

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    My thoughts Would I recommend it? Yes Would I read more of this series ? Yes Would I read more by this author? yes This is the first time I've ever read anything by this author and I don have to say that while I liked it and enjoyed the story it was kind of slow for a cozy mystery. And I tend to read a lot of them , you can say that their one of my go to when I want to just read something and get lost in story and what got me to pick it up in the first place was the title itself. And I even liked th My thoughts Would I recommend it? Yes Would I read more of this series ? Yes Would I read more by this author? yes This is the first time I've ever read anything by this author and I don have to say that while I liked it and enjoyed the story it was kind of slow for a cozy mystery. And I tend to read a lot of them , you can say that their one of my go to when I want to just read something and get lost in story and what got me to pick it up in the first place was the title itself. And I even liked the characters and the Charlie's cat name which I thought was funny, the story does pick up the more that you read it and it also have as feel to that there might be a bit more of a something between Charlie and one of the characters.Over all it had this had likable characters and a different setting, but the slow pace.But I do want to read more of this series to see if it gets better. With that said I want to thank Edelweiss for letting me read and review .

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    In the premiere installment of a new cozy series, Charlie and her cat Benny reside in Alaska where she runs the diner her now-retired parents established. When her chef turns up dead, Trooper deputizes Charlie and a newspaper reporter. Motives for several persons begin to emerge. While some plot elements seem a little far-fetched, I found this a pleasant mystery in an enjoyable setting with local characters I enjoyed. While I did figure it out before the sleuth did, I initially suspected a diffe In the premiere installment of a new cozy series, Charlie and her cat Benny reside in Alaska where she runs the diner her now-retired parents established. When her chef turns up dead, Trooper deputizes Charlie and a newspaper reporter. Motives for several persons begin to emerge. While some plot elements seem a little far-fetched, I found this a pleasant mystery in an enjoyable setting with local characters I enjoyed. While I did figure it out before the sleuth did, I initially suspected a different person. I loved Benny the cat and his role in the mystery! I received an advance electronic copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Not a bad book but it couldn’t hold me and I figured out who did it way too easily

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary Brown

    Synopsis: A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with Synopsis: A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs. Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie's ideas--leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case. With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it's too late. (Goodreads) Review: The characters are well developed and well rounded. Charlie knows that she is in trouble, she got in a fight with her head chef and shortly thereafter, he is dead. She is a prime suspect but she knows that she did not do it. She has to help the troopers figure out the real culprit or she is going away for a long time. I thought the relationship between Charlie and Chris was based on friendship and I am looking forward to seeing if it develops into anything else. The secondary characters added a lot to the story. Benny, Charlie’s cat, stole the show. The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story from the very beginning. The mystery was well plotted and there were enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider. I had a few people I did consider, including the actual culprit, but I was not sure of the why. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    Charlie Cooke has returned to her hometown of Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mom's diner. They are famous for their Bear Claws, so when she wants to add chocolate the recipe that they have used for the last twenty years, the chef blows up and stomps out. When he does not show up for his next shift, she just assumes he is still upset with her. Unfortunately, that is not the case and he is found dead a few hours later, murdered. After contacting her mother, who is on a cruise, she and Chris, a Charlie Cooke has returned to her hometown of Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mom's diner. They are famous for their Bear Claws, so when she wants to add chocolate the recipe that they have used for the last twenty years, the chef blows up and stomps out. When he does not show up for his next shift, she just assumes he is still upset with her. Unfortunately, that is not the case and he is found dead a few hours later, murdered. After contacting her mother, who is on a cruise, she and Chris, a local reporter, begin an investigation with the approval of the local Trooper. As they begin to ask questions and interview people, they uncover secrets that are shocking to everyone. This is the first book in a new series and I am looking forward to more. I loved the setting of rural, wintry Alaska as well as the diner. Being in a small town often gives us the opportunity to get to know not only the main protagonist, but others in the town, including some quirky characters. Charlie, is easy to like and someone I would love to have as a friend. She's witty, hardworking, family-oriented, smart, loyal and a great boss. I really liked the chemistry between her and Chris and thought they made a great team. I would love to see their relationship develop into something more. The secondary characters were also wonderful and added much to the story. Of course the star of the story is Eggs Benedict aka. Benny, Charlie's cat. I had figured out the culprit, but was not sure of the motive. The dialogue was great, especially between Charlie and Chris. The story was well-plotted and developed. The take-down was wonderful and I loved the part Benny played in it. Overall, this was a fun, interesting cozy mystery that started this series off with a bang. I definitely recommend this one to cozy mystery lovers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    I think this is going to be a fun series.  I don't think that I have read a series set in Alaska, so I enjoyed learning a little more about the state and the landscape.  I have visited Alaska but it has been at least a decade.  The rural setting, the diner, and this picturesque town invite the reader and wishing that it was a real place to visit.  I'm sure there are several small towns like this one in Alaska, just not quite. The cast of characters is small but complements the story.  Not all cha I think this is going to be a fun series.  I don't think that I have read a series set in Alaska, so I enjoyed learning a little more about the state and the landscape.  I have visited Alaska but it has been at least a decade.  The rural setting, the diner, and this picturesque town invite the reader and wishing that it was a real place to visit.  I'm sure there are several small towns like this one in Alaska, just not quite. The cast of characters is small but complements the story.  Not all characters are given in depth lives in the story, but there is potential for them to become more a part of the cast in future books.  It is a shame that Oliver is killed right off the bat because I felt like there was more to his life that we could have learned about him and his past to understand why he was killed.  When the truth is revealed at the end about the "why" I felt like there should have been a little bit more.  I did figure out the killer only because almost all of the other characters had been eliminated.  Charlie seems to spend a lot of time away from the diner investigating Oliver's murder, leaving her staff to manage the diner.  I did chuckle at the Trooper swearing in Charlie and friends as deputies.  It didn't mean a hill of beans but, as Graham said, it made you feel better about nosing around in potentially unsafe places. If you like cats then you will like Benny.  I was intrigued by this device that would feed him but also had a camera and other electronic toys for Charlie to play with him from the diner.  It was a good way to keep Benny entertained, and perhaps even Charlie and her co-workers.  Benny also saves the day in the end but you'll have to read the book to find out how. The story is not fast paced but will get you to where you need to go in due time. We enjoyed this book and give it 3 1/2 paws.

  15. 4 out of 5

    The Crime Librarian

    Mousse and Murder is the first installment in the Alaskan Diner mystery series by Elizabeth Logan. It first caught my eye because I'm not sure I've read any cozy mysteries set in our great 49th state. It turns out it was a great first book! Let's start with the setting and characters. The Bear Claw Diner is where much of the action takes place. It's situated in a small Alaskan town about two hours away from Anchorage. It's a traditional style diner with fun food related lingo, a cast of "regulars Mousse and Murder is the first installment in the Alaskan Diner mystery series by Elizabeth Logan. It first caught my eye because I'm not sure I've read any cozy mysteries set in our great 49th state. It turns out it was a great first book! Let's start with the setting and characters. The Bear Claw Diner is where much of the action takes place. It's situated in a small Alaskan town about two hours away from Anchorage. It's a traditional style diner with fun food related lingo, a cast of "regulars", and traditional diner food with a far north twist. Charlie, our main character, has taken over the diner from her mother after her parents retirement. Left alone with the task of settling in while they are gone on a cruise, Charlie inadvertently offends her excellent chef, Oliver. When Oliver is found dead later that day, suspicions mount and look like they're headed in Charlie's direction. We meet, though very second hand at times, the rest of the diner crew. There are several people involved in the running of the diner, but they don't seem to be very unique from each other and therefore none really stood out. I had trouble a few times keeping them straight. I did love the dynamic between Charlie and what I hope is her future love interest, Chris, the local reporter. Their teamwork in sleuthing was great and I hope that continues in later books. Now onto the mystery. The plot surrounding the murder was quite good, and I definitely had trouble figuring out the why if not so much the who. I would have loved to have had a little more of a chance of solving the mystery but any clues related to the person involved was saved for the last couple of chapters of the book. There were plenty of red herrings, though, which is always fun. Overall, a pretty solid start to a series and one I hope the publisher continues with. I look forward to reading more from this author. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book given in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality It is more likely that the Elkview Bugle would win a Pulitzer – after all, the Anchorage Daily News just did – than it is that Charlene Cooke attended her first – and only – year of law school in Anchorage. There are no law schools in Anchorage or anywhere in Alaska. Not that Elkview actually exists, but there are places just like it along the Glenn Highway. And in spite of some small but mostly necessary changes (I’m still niggled about the law school thing Originally published at Reading Reality It is more likely that the Elkview Bugle would win a Pulitzer – after all, the Anchorage Daily News just did – than it is that Charlene Cooke attended her first – and only – year of law school in Anchorage. There are no law schools in Anchorage or anywhere in Alaska. Not that Elkview actually exists, but there are places just like it along the Glenn Highway. And in spite of some small but mostly necessary changes (I’m still niggled about the law school thing), the Alaska of Mousse and Murder reads like the place I lived in – in all of its cold, wintry “glory”. But it was great to be back in the “Great State”, even vicariously, for a few hours, to meet the residents of Elkview and solve a perplexing mystery. The mystery is plenty perplexing, and the red herrings it offers up are as tasty as the offerings at the Bear Claw Diner. Or perhaps that should be the other way around. Our primary amateur detective in this one is chef and diner owner/operator Charlene Cooke. The Bear Claw is the diner that her mother owned and operated while Charlie was growing up. Charlie herself was practically raised at the counter. Now that Charlie is an accredited chef, her mother can leave the diner in Charlie’s capable hands while traveling “Outside” (that’s Alaskan for anyplace away from the state) with Charlie’s dad. Charlie’s hands don’t feel all that capable when she and her head chef have one of their epic arguments in the middle of the diner, resulting in Chef Oliver stomping out in a huff. A fact that Charlie doesn’t reveal to her mother in their daily phone call, as mom is half a world away on a Danube cruise and Charlie doesn’t want to spoil it for her. When Oliver turns up dead, and Charlie is briefly considered a suspect, ruining mom’s vacation is the farthest thing from anyone’s mind. Considering the state of bush policing in Alaska (the statistics Charlie cites are all too real) clearing her name and figuring out exactly who did kill Oliver – and why – shoots right to the top of Charlie’s to do list. Charlie is determined to leave no stone unturned, and with the help of local reporter and fellow informally sworn-in deputy Chris, she uncovers a web of secrets that shows that absolutely no one really knew Oliver in spite of his decades-long tenure at the Bear Claw. And that Oliver’s secretive past – and present – provide plenty of motives for his murder. Escape Rating B+: If you enjoy quirky small-town mysteries, and/or mysteries featuring felines as companion animals, sounding boards and occasional sleuthing assistants, Mousse and Murder is an absolute delight. Oops, I forgot to tell you about Benny. Benny is the feline who holds Charlie’s heart. He’s a big, fluffy orange cat whose full name is Eggs Benedict. He’s smart enough to answer to either name. He is also clearly the light of Charlie’s life, and he’s adorable. The cat he resembles most closely is Diesel in the Cat in the Stacks series, although he’s not nearly as large. Few domestic cats are. But Diesel and Benny are both friends and companions for their humans who are the actual amateur sleuths. They are both intelligent, but on the cat scale of intelligence. (As much as I love Joe Grey, one clowder of speaking cats solving crimes is probably enough.) Part of the delight of this story is the way that Charlie loves and cares for Benny, and how much fun they have together. Benny serves as Charlie’s comforter-in-chief and best sounding board. One of the marvelous things about companion animals is that we can tell them anything and they never judge – while humans, of course, pretty much always do. Mousse and Murder also has shades – or should that be flavors and aromas? – of Diane Mott Davidson and other wonderful culinary mysteries, including a couple of yummy looking recipes tucked into the back. In between investigations, Charlie spends plenty of time at the diner, providing readers with plenty of virtual goodies to salivate over. Remember, there are no calories in the desserts that you only read about – but you’ll be tempted to make some of these! One of the things that is so fascinating about Alaska is that it is one of the few places where a person can still completely hide in plain sight. In our 24/7 connected world there are very few places where a person can still be part of a community AND be relatively isolated at the same time. That Oliver came to Elkview to live and work in a place where he can both be known and keep his secrets is still possible – and would have been even more so when Oliver started working at the Bear Claw when Charlie was a little girl. What makes the story so much fun is the cast of characters who frequent the Bear Claw, both the residents of Elkview and the frequent regulars, like the truckers Manny, Moe and Joe, who stop by so often that they have their own booth. I have a feeling we’ll be meeting more of the regulars as the series continues. Based on the ones we’ve met so far, it’s going to be fun getting to know them. But this first story is all wrapped around Charlie. Hers is the perspective we follow, and she’s an interesting and likeable protagonist, and not just because of Benny. She’s easy to relate to, her fears and insecurities make sense under the circumstances, her mistakes feel real and we want her to succeed. We also want her to succeed in her potential romance with reporter Chris, but not too soon! Mousse and Murder is a fun cozy mystery in an unusual setting with a great cast of characters. I did figure who probably “dunnit” fairly early on, but the why was not remotely apparent until very near the end, so that’s also a win. I’m looking forward to more of Charlie’s adventures, and another visit to Elkview, when Charlie and Benny go Fishing for Trouble later this year.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Garrison

    Great story setting, you really feel like your right there while you were reading. Benny the cat role was every entertaining and I did like the connection between her and Chris. I did find the story a bit slow but being the first book not everything is going to flow the way we like it. I'll be waiting to see what trouble Charlie and he cat can get into next.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Noriko

    A murder in a small Alaskan town. A team of amateur sleuths (aka deputies) on the trail. Mousse and Murder, the first book in the Alaskan Diner Mystery series turned out an entertaining, thrilling, and a glorious read. I really enjoyed this cozy mystery set against the backdrop of an Alaskan diner, BEAR CLAW. First and foremost, the credit goes to the author’s crisp, vivacious writing that exudes the bustling, lively atmosphere in the diner. The settings and backgrounds are meticulously crafted a A murder in a small Alaskan town. A team of amateur sleuths (aka deputies) on the trail. Mousse and Murder, the first book in the Alaskan Diner Mystery series turned out an entertaining, thrilling, and a glorious read. I really enjoyed this cozy mystery set against the backdrop of an Alaskan diner, BEAR CLAW. First and foremost, the credit goes to the author’s crisp, vivacious writing that exudes the bustling, lively atmosphere in the diner. The settings and backgrounds are meticulously crafted and established and the characters - main and secondary alike - are all well-drawn out, their ebullient energy apparent. While I must admit the introductory parts - the first several chapters were a bit of a struggle to glide through with many characters to keep track of and a lot of information to process, it captured the charm of the diner really well and set the perfect tone for the story. The mystery is also nicely plotted and executed. The pacing in the mystery development was rather slow for my liking yet the threads are intricately entangled and breadcrumbs are nicely scattered throughout the book. I particularly liked the way the main character - the one to be our amateur sleuth - teams up with her friend and a local paper journalist, Chris and Alaska State Trooper, Graham to solve a murder case where the chef of her diner was shot to death. As I previously mentioned, the mystery is rather slow-burn. Their investigation quickly hits a snag and hardly progresses due to the lack of concrete leads or sheer labour force. That said though, the undercurrent of suspicion regarding the villain constantly presents itself, casting a shadow on each and every one of the characters. I even caught myself suspecting the least likely character to be the murderer but there was something to this book that made me think it’s not necessarily impossible. This sense of distrust was in fact the thing I liked best about this book and the story progressed nicely and steadily keeping me deeply engaged in the story. Another thing I liked about this book is the characters, in particular, the main character, Charlie. Unlike your typical cozy-mystery protagonists, this Charlie is neither intrusive or nosy. Indeed, she does display her curiosity to a degree but it never reaches the level of annoyance. She is also a character of honesty and integrity, and she is unassuming and cheery. The likability of her character is definitely one of the contributing factors of my attachment to this book. The slow-developing mystery finally picks up the speed in the last part of the book and once the plot thickened, it thickened big time. The lead-up to the culprit reveal was drawn out with mounting tension, it literally kept me on the edge of my seat, flipping through pages to find out what’s about to happen next. My only tiny gripe lies with Charlie’s habit of consulting her issues with her tabby Benny and even after finishing the book, I am still not completely convinced. That being said though, I give you Benny indeed plays an integral role in this story as well as lends an upbeat vibe to the story. More than anything, he is a part of her family. An indispensable character of its own. For that reason, I can turn a blind eye on this one and I am looking forward to seeing what roles he is going to play in the sequel. All in all, Mousse and Murder is a strong introduction to a new series and I am certainly going to follow the series. Delectable 4.5 stars go to this vibrant book and I thank the author and the publisher for generously providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan has Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke running the Bear Claw Diner in Elkview, Alaska after her mother’s retirement. Charlie wants to add a chocolate bear claw to the menu, but it has head chef, Oliver Whitestone up in arms. They have a terrible row in front of customers and then Oliver storms off. Trooper Cory Graham arrives later in the day to question Charlie because Oliver was found dead near his home. Charlie is asked by her mother, Evelyn to work with Trooper Gr Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan has Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke running the Bear Claw Diner in Elkview, Alaska after her mother’s retirement. Charlie wants to add a chocolate bear claw to the menu, but it has head chef, Oliver Whitestone up in arms. They have a terrible row in front of customers and then Oliver storms off. Trooper Cory Graham arrives later in the day to question Charlie because Oliver was found dead near his home. Charlie is asked by her mother, Evelyn to work with Trooper Graham to uncover Oliver’s killer. Mousse and Murder is the debut novel in An Alaskan Diner Mystery series. I thought it was unique to set a cozy mystery in Alaska. I enjoyed the descriptions of Elkview which is a small Alaskan tourist town. I thought the author captured the Alaskan weather and lifestyle including the wildlife ingredients they utilize (like moose meat). Charlie is a warm and likeable main character. She works hard, is a good friend and daughter, and a cat lover. Charlie knows trivia and fun facts about Alaska. It was enjoyable learning more about our fiftieth state. Charlie grew up in the town and is known by the locals. Her best friend, Annie Jensen owns Jensen’s Elkview Inn. I like how Charlie uses technology to interact with her cat, Eggs Benedict aka Benny during the workday. She can talk to Benny, see how the cat is doing, how much he has eaten, and even play with Benny using a laser. It is cute that she confides in Benny. There is a diverse cast of secondary characters from Trooper Graham, Chris Doucette, Annie, diner staff, and diner regulars. Oliver’s murder had a small handful of suspects, good clues and a red herring or two. I would have liked to have gotten to know Oliver before he was murdered. While I was able to identify the killer early in the story, I did not know why. I joined Charlie and her friends as they set out to learn the who and, most importantly, the why. They did uncover some interesting information including something unexpected. I did have a couple of unanswered questions at the end of the book and I wish they had been addressed. Mousse and Murder is a carefree cozy mystery with moose meatloaf, a cavorting cat, suspicious siblings, a cold climate, and pleasing pastries.

  20. 4 out of 5

    K.A. Davis

    MOUSSE AND MURDER, the first book in the brand new Alaskan Diner Mystery series by Elizabeth Logan, introduces the reader to Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke and her posse of friends and employees at her family’s Bear Claw diner in Elkview, Alaska. The setting is unique given the small wilderness town and I enjoyed the bits and pieces of Alaskan history and geographical tidbits the author weaves into the story. Her descriptive voice makes the setting come alive and I could imagine the rugged natural be MOUSSE AND MURDER, the first book in the brand new Alaskan Diner Mystery series by Elizabeth Logan, introduces the reader to Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke and her posse of friends and employees at her family’s Bear Claw diner in Elkview, Alaska. The setting is unique given the small wilderness town and I enjoyed the bits and pieces of Alaskan history and geographical tidbits the author weaves into the story. Her descriptive voice makes the setting come alive and I could imagine the rugged natural beauty the area offers along with the activities that draw tourists to the town. Ms. Logan has created delightful characters and it was easy to admire Charlie. I especially loved her cat, Benny (nicknamed after Eggs Benedict!). Benny is a charming sidekick and the “Bennycam” and cat app games are brilliant additions providing a bit of humor. Charlie’s friendliness contributes to easy going relationships with her friends and employees… that is except for her head chef, Oliver. Theirs is a contentious relationship and when Oliver walks off the job and is found murdered after an argument with her, Charlie can’t help but feel guilty and want to find out what happened to him. A long-time friend of Charlie’s mom and frequent visitor to Bear Claw Diner, the local sheriff exhibits great understanding of Charlie’s need to help find answers. I really like when an amateur sleuth isn’t treated with contempt by law enforcement and instead it’s acknowledged that they might have helpful information. As the group of friends surrounding Charlie grows, so does the sheriff’s need to “deputize” those helpers, which added some cute scenes. The well-plotted mystery provided enough clues yet with some twists thrown in which kept me guessing most of the read. I look forward to the next book and the opportunity to revisit the quaint town of Elkview, Alaska and its delightful residents. I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    Charlie Cooke is thrilled to return to her hometown of Elkview in Alaska where she’ll be running her mother’s diner. Her parents are going on a cruise leaving Charlie to handle everything. Unfortunately, things get off to a rocky start when she has a huge fight with her head cook, Oliver. He storms out of the diner and isn’t heard from again. When he turns up murdered, Charlie is the top suspect. It’s up to Charlie to prove her innocence. The Alaska setting is beautiful and the author did an exce Charlie Cooke is thrilled to return to her hometown of Elkview in Alaska where she’ll be running her mother’s diner. Her parents are going on a cruise leaving Charlie to handle everything. Unfortunately, things get off to a rocky start when she has a huge fight with her head cook, Oliver. He storms out of the diner and isn’t heard from again. When he turns up murdered, Charlie is the top suspect. It’s up to Charlie to prove her innocence. The Alaska setting is beautiful and the author did an excellent job of transporting me there. Her descriptive writing put me right there. She painted a vivid portrait of Alaska life. I enjoyed meeting Charlie and her friends. It took me some time to warm up to them and I’m looking forward to learning more about them in future books. The one character who truly stood out for me is Eggs Benedict “Benny”. Benny is Charlie’s cat. Charlie confides in Benny all the time and he unknowingly helps her investigate. Charlie watches Benny throughout the day remotely using a “Benny Cam”. She even plays with him via the Benny Cam. Very cute. Just as a side note, the cat doesn't possess any paranormal traits and doesn't talk. He's just a sweet cat who loves Charles and she loves him :) I would have liked to meet the victim and witness Charlie’s fight with him. It would have helped feel a sense of urgency in finding his killer. Instead, we hear about it after the fact. Some parts were a bit slow, but then the plot took off and had me turning the pages quickly. I had to know who the culprit was! I honestly hadn’t figured out who the killer was until a few pages before Charlie did. Then, it all fell into place. I learned the truth right along with Charlie. The book is the first of a new series. It is filled with charm, quirky characters and witty dialogue. I look forward to the next episode in this cute cozy mystery series and a chance for another visit to Elkview. FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 Stars This is the first book in the Alaskan Diner series by Elizabeth Logan. Basic premise: Gal takes over the running of her family’s diner. She and the “chef” have not seen eye to eye with the menu and then the dude ends up dead. Now Charlie must find out who killed her chef, find a new cook for the diner. But when she starts to look into Oliver’s background, she finds a ton of skeletons in his closet which proves the axiom that you don’t really know your friends very well. I liked following 4.5 Stars This is the first book in the Alaskan Diner series by Elizabeth Logan. Basic premise: Gal takes over the running of her family’s diner. She and the “chef” have not seen eye to eye with the menu and then the dude ends up dead. Now Charlie must find out who killed her chef, find a new cook for the diner. But when she starts to look into Oliver’s background, she finds a ton of skeletons in his closet which proves the axiom that you don’t really know your friends very well. I liked following this story. It really gave you a sense of place and made the setting shine. Some of the background characters were a bit lackluster but I thought Chris and Charlie really stood out. The scenes where the sheriff deputizes them is funny and honest. Since the whodunit featured a newspaper man, the mystery felt more like a reporter going after a story than a normal cozy mystery. And I was okay with that. It made the story feel unique and different. The hot and cold vibe between Charlie and Chris kept me reading. The farther they dug into Oliver’s past, the more surprises they uncovered. I look forward to book two to see where this story will go from here. If you are looking for a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out. I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Krysti

    A delightful romp of a mystery set in a cozy Alaskan town. This was such a fun read, with unexpected twists and a charming cast of characters. Culinary cozies are definitely my favorite niche, and this was no exception with it's quaint diner and a controversial cookbook at the heart of the mystery. There's also a lovely little romance budding, and I can't wait to see how that develops in the next book in the series!

  24. 4 out of 5

    katayoun Masoodi

    the characters, the story and the writing were not that engaging. i would say not read it and save the time for something better, most anything. though i did finish it, maybe hoping that the ending would save it (view spoiler)[ and the person who did it wouldn't be the person i thought was the culprit from the first chapters, not that there was any reason for thinking cause well the story part thing, other than subtle hints about him/her that everyone in the story ignored!!!! (hide spoiler)] the characters, the story and the writing were not that engaging. i would say not read it and save the time for something better, most anything. though i did finish it, maybe hoping that the ending would save it (view spoiler)[ and the person who did it wouldn't be the person i thought was the culprit from the first chapters, not that there was any reason for thinking cause well the story part thing, other than subtle hints about him/her that everyone in the story ignored!!!! (hide spoiler)]

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nanci

    I started off liking this cozy mystery. I liked the setting and most of the characters. The dialogue was fun and a bit snappy. Then, it just started to drag and the dialogue became more annoying to me. I knew the murderer early on. I just didn't know the motive. Even when the motive came out, it just didn't really make sense to me. Cute, but not enough substance.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    What a perfect and brilliant start to a great new series! There is a wonderful sense of anticipation about beginning a new series and this one was no exception. I'm a great fan of cozy mysteries so when I saw Mousse and Murder by author Elizabeth Logan, being launched, I knew I had to read it. In this cozy-style mystery, Chef Charlie Cooke, thirty-three, has returned to her hometown of the bustling and touristy Elkview, Alaska, after spending time in San Francisco, to take over her mother's resta What a perfect and brilliant start to a great new series! There is a wonderful sense of anticipation about beginning a new series and this one was no exception. I'm a great fan of cozy mysteries so when I saw Mousse and Murder by author Elizabeth Logan, being launched, I knew I had to read it. In this cozy-style mystery, Chef Charlie Cooke, thirty-three, has returned to her hometown of the bustling and touristy Elkview, Alaska, after spending time in San Francisco, to take over her mother's restaurant, the Bear Claw Diner. But there's trouble from the off, when her plans to change the menu and some of the recipes are received with distaste by the Head Chef, Paris trained and hothead Oliver Whitestone, 50. They argue about the chocolate bear claw ingredients, which results in Oliver taking the recipe from Charlie and shredding it in front of all of the staff. Shortly after, Oliver doesn't show up for his shift at the Bear Claw and is found dead... leaving Charlie as the prime and only suspect in the case. In the opening chapter, we are introduced to enthusiastic Charlie who although pretty savvy, has never done any sleuthing before. She decides to play amateur detective to clear her name, and help out the local police, namely Alaska State Trooper Cody Graham (known only as 'Trooper'). Not lacking any helpers, including local reporter and former classmate, Chris Doucette, I immediately warmed to Charlie, finding her ebullience, confidence and intuitiveness very refreshing. Mousse and Murder was certainly a fun cozy for me and I loved the inclusion of Charlie's tabby cat, Eggs Benedict (Benny). The Alaskan setting was well portrayed with fascinating descriptions of the locale and relaxed way of life. The plot was well thought-out and I very much appreciated Elizabeth Logan's superb and varied characterisation, even though an odd few of the characters weren't particularly personable. Being the first book in a new series, the reader gets to know the main characters pretty well, but there is still plenty of room for growth. Apart from Charlie herself, and of course, Benny, there was an assortment of friends, regulars and employees of the Bear Claw, adding another dimension of humour to the story that had me cracking a smile or two. Elizabeth Logan writes with such flair and an easy style. There was a plethora of suspects to choose from, who might have had the motive to kill and I enjoyed the way in which Charlie and her entourage evaluated the information acquired from their investigative poking around. All in all, this was a story that held my attention well and I loved that things came together for a great resolution. Being a culinary cozy, there are some delicious sounding recipes, too. I am eagerly anticipating what Elizabeth Logan has in store for Charlie and her sleuthing buddies in her next book in the series, Fishing for Trouble. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Great Escapes Book Tours via Berkley and NetGalley. This review is my unbiased opinion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I always enjoy the anticipation of starting a new cozy series. To find out if the characters will become friends that I want to continue getting to know, to read about a new setting or hobby, and to see if I can solve the mystery before it’s resolved. Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan (pen name for Camille Minichino, who writes a bunch of other cozy series under various names) really had the description and history of Alaska going on, but as for the characters and mystery, not so much. I did I always enjoy the anticipation of starting a new cozy series. To find out if the characters will become friends that I want to continue getting to know, to read about a new setting or hobby, and to see if I can solve the mystery before it’s resolved. Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan (pen name for Camille Minichino, who writes a bunch of other cozy series under various names) really had the description and history of Alaska going on, but as for the characters and mystery, not so much. I did really enjoy getting to know Alaska more and to read the beautiful descriptions of the state. Although sometimes, it felt like Logan was just listing facts about Alaska and not incorporating it into the book seamlessly. And the diner, along with the recipes and diner lingo, was another great addition to the cozy. I also really enjoyed the cat, Benny, and how Charlie had her house set up electronically to interact with Benny throughout the day. I thought this detail was spot on for so many people and their pets with the work heavy life many people lead. As far as the characters go, they were nice people, but no one really stood out to me as someone I would want to befriend or even get to know more. And the workers at the diner didn’t really have much to differentiate them from each other. They were all just there, being nice and taking over running the diner when Charlie was off chasing clues. I did really like that the sheriff deputized Charlie and a few more characters (even if it is farfetched), instead of the local law enforcement continually telling the main character to stay out of the investigation. And I also liked that Charlie’s mom and friends were encouraging and helped investigate. It gets old fast when everyone is constantly nagging on the sleuth to stop sleuthing! As far as the mystery itself went, I thought it was very easy to figure out the murderer, even though I only had half of the motivation correct. Logan does leave some red herrings laying around and gives the reader a couple of twists, which is always welcomed in a murder mystery. If it had just been the easy to figure out mystery alone, I would have given the book a higher rating, but with none of the characters really engaging me, I can’t. I would try book two in An Alaskan Diner Mystery series, Fishing for Trouble, which comes out November 2020, to see if the characters get more depth to them, and to read more about Alaska, the diner, and Benny.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Mousse and Murder earns 5/5 Sweet Bear Claws...Entertaining Fun! Small town, Alaska, a family diner, an innovative chef, and...murder? Elizabeth Logan, a new-to-me author, has penned a well-written, delightful first-in-a-series cozy with clever predicaments, endearing lead, quirky two- and four-legged support, and a fascinating look at the setting and history of Alaska. It’s been a year since Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke left San Francisco and a cheating fiancé to return home to Elkview, Alaska, and Mousse and Murder earns 5/5 Sweet Bear Claws...Entertaining Fun! Small town, Alaska, a family diner, an innovative chef, and...murder? Elizabeth Logan, a new-to-me author, has penned a well-written, delightful first-in-a-series cozy with clever predicaments, endearing lead, quirky two- and four-legged support, and a fascinating look at the setting and history of Alaska. It’s been a year since Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke left San Francisco and a cheating fiancé to return home to Elkview, Alaska, and take over her mother’s restaurant, the Bear Claw Diner, which included the staff, signature recipes, regular patrons, and an orange tabby named Eggs Benedict (Benny, for short). She’s trained in the culinary arts and tries to reenergize the diner and its menu, but the latest falderal with Oliver Whitestone, the longtime head cook, is over a chocolate bear claw recipe. Ripping up the paper into little pieces and muttering something akin to “over my dead body,” he walks off the job. She’ll regret that heated argument when Oliver ends up murdered, and she’s now a person of interest. She’s not one to stay in the kitchen, the local state trooper recognizes Charlie and other residents are valuable to keeping the peace, or in this case finding a killer. Charlie also partners with Chris Doucette, local journalist and former classmate, uncovering surprising secrets that just might have lead to a motive for murder. The final reveal was a satisfying surprise, well worth investing my time! Put on your apron for these two easy-to-follow favorites from the Bear Claw Diner: Cherry Cheesecake Mousse (I love cherries!) and Moose Meatloaf (might not find moose meat, so you might have to improvise). But, no sharing of the signature Bear Claw recipe! Disclosure: I received an ARC from Berkley Prime Crime thru NetGalley. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    Charlie Cooke is back home in Elkview, Alaska, running her mother's Bear Claw Diner, After an argument with the head cook about some changes to the menu, Charlie is surprised to leatn that Oliver has been discovered dead. She is worried that her argument might make her a suspect. She decides to help the local police solve the crime. Once she starts investigating, she realizes how little she knows about the man who has cooked at the diner for more than twenty years. With the help of local reporte Charlie Cooke is back home in Elkview, Alaska, running her mother's Bear Claw Diner, After an argument with the head cook about some changes to the menu, Charlie is surprised to leatn that Oliver has been discovered dead. She is worried that her argument might make her a suspect. She decides to help the local police solve the crime. Once she starts investigating, she realizes how little she knows about the man who has cooked at the diner for more than twenty years. With the help of local reporter Chris Doucette, she begins trying to learn more about Oliver. She has quite a few suspects including his sister who seems suspiciously eager to have him buried and a mystery man who was seen arguing with him. She also briefly suspects the employee who has now become the head cook at the diner. This story was a love letter to the state of Alaska because Charlie is a huge fan who knows all sorts of trivia about the state and its attractions. It will also be quite satisfying to any cat owner since Charlie is enthralled with her pet cat Eggs Benedict, more commonly known as Bennie. I found it to be a pretty run-of-the-mill cozy mystery. There were a number of characters who were briefly described and mostly notable for some personality quirk. I didn't feel I ever really got to know Charlie and was surprised when those around her commented on her quick temper since I hadn't seen much evidence of it. Fans of culinary cozies may enjoy this one and will welcome the recipes that are included.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    I can honestly say I've never read a cozy mystery set in Alaska and, since I have a not-so-secret fascination with that state, I was kinda slap-happy giddy over discovering this first book in the Alaskan Diner Mystery series. And this new-to-me-author does not disappoint when it comes to making a reader feel like she's experiencing all that is wild and wonderful about Alaska. If you like to armchair travel through your fiction, this is definitely the book for you. Love the way Logan has set the s I can honestly say I've never read a cozy mystery set in Alaska and, since I have a not-so-secret fascination with that state, I was kinda slap-happy giddy over discovering this first book in the Alaskan Diner Mystery series. And this new-to-me-author does not disappoint when it comes to making a reader feel like she's experiencing all that is wild and wonderful about Alaska. If you like to armchair travel through your fiction, this is definitely the book for you. Love the way Logan has set the stage for this series -- great secondary characters with the diner being a central meeting place and therefore perfect for sleuthing. Also love that Charlie doesn't sleuth alone -- she has a journalist (and potential love interest?) friend who is just as eager to suss out the killer. And there's a cat! What? You're not surprised? Well, you will be with the way Charlie interacts with him. She raises dedicated pet parenthood to a whole other level with very amusing results. In fact, that's another thing I love about this series -- the author has a deft comedic hand and that kept me grinning all the way through. Oh -- and I absolutely appreciate that this book is a clean read! A solid mystery with an admittedly bumbling though eager amateur sleuth who has enough grit and determination to expose a killer.

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