Killer Mousse by Melinda Wells

I have a secret fantasy: one of these days I’m going to get brave enough to submit an audition video for The Next Food Network Star, they’ll choose me to participate, I’ll win easily and then go on to be the next Rachel Ray or Nigella Lawson.

Della Carmichael didn’t share my fantasy but, nonetheless, she ends up with a cooking show on a cable TV station. In the Kitchen with Della debuts with a delicious dinner of Easy Cranberry Chicken, a vegetable side dish and Killer Mousse. The Killer Mousse, to quote the back cover of the book, lived up to its name when Della’s predecessor taste tests it and winds up dead on the floor.

Of course, Della is a suspect but so are a number of others. I have to say, though – the person who turned out to be The One surprised me!

Della is the sort of woman I’d like to be friends with. She is a good cook, but not really so much a celebrity chef sort, she has great friends, a loving relationship with her mother and sisters – and a vintage Mustang! (An aside: why do so many of the female leads of cozy mysteries drive vintage cars?) She doesn’t have a problem-free life – she’s a widow who took the job at the TV station so that it could fund her real love – her cooking school.

Della also behaves much like I think a real person would given the situation she finds herself in. That is to say: she panics, then she does what she has to do. She just keeps going on, as we all do.

That’s probably why we like these cozy mysteries: the women in them are enough like us that we can imagine ourselves in these situations.

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