Saturday, August 07, 2010

Kitchen Cozies: Coming in October, A BRISKET, A CASKET, by Delia Rosen

This "debut" mystery from Delia Rosen will fit into many collections: cozies featuring smart women (Gwen, née Katz, Murray is adapting to the move from New York), cozies involving food (it's set in the Jewish deli left to Gwen by her uncle Murray), mysteries set in Nashville (yep, it's the only Jewish deli in town), and of course, mysteries with Jewish themes and recipes! That's right, the book wraps up with Murray's Cholent (a smoky Southern version, cooked in a crockpot), Newt's Chicken Okra Soup, and three more yummy possibilities.

Thank goodness -- because in the opening chapter, Gwen is desperately confronting a roast pig that's shown up in the kitchen, a staff crisis, and -- by the end of the chapter -- a dead customer, the literal kiss of death to a restaurant's business. And it's not clear whether her New York style of management is going to make it in the heart of the South, without any friends from the old life. Of course, Gwen does have the plus that she's been a forensic accountant, and by the state of Uncle Murray's accounts, she'll be putting her math talents to work, if she ever has time to do so.

This is a lively, smoothly written, and often very funny cozy, where deaths and threats can be dwarfed by the crisis in the kitchen or in the downtown's politics. It doesn't taste at all like a debut mystery. Turns out that while it's a debut for the Delia Rosen pen name, it's far from a first book for Jerome and Suzanne Preisler, who recently collaborated on three books in the "Grime Solvers" series. And Suzanne Preisler has extensive restaurant and floral experience with which to salt the novels.

You won't be able to pick this up until October (the official release date is Oct. 5, and it's a paperback original, no hardcover), but it's a good one to put onto your "wish list." There will clearly be more from Murray's Deli and Gwen -- and I sure hope she figures out how to find some nice Jewish boys in Nashville!

1 comment:

Beth Kanell said...

An update from Jerome Preisler, good news!: "I've written 30 novels and nonfiction books under my own name and others, including CSI: SKIN DEEP, which will be out later this month."