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Title: Bayou Book Thief
Author: Ellen Byron
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: June 7, 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Vintage Cookbook #1
My Rating: 4/5
Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital.
Ricki’s dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet, the city’s legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation – collecting vintage cookbooks – into a vocation by launching the museum’s gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.
The skills Ricki has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki’s past as curator of a billionaire’s first edition collection comes back to haunt her.
Will Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success … or a recipe for disaster?
Bayou Book Thief is the first book in the Vintage Cookbook mystery series by Ellen Byron. I have enjoyed Byron’s Cajun Country series, so I was excited to see she had a new mystery series.
Ricki James has moved back to New Orleans. She lands a dream job running a gift shop at the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum in the Garden District. The shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware, is housed in the former home of a Vee, a late New Orleans restaurateur.
While going through boxes of donated books, Ricki finds the body of a recently fired employee of Bon Vee. The employee was exposed as a book thief and let go. Ricki puts her research skills to the test, and investigates the murder. She is especially interested in finding the killer, after one of her new friends is considered a suspect.
Bayou Book Thief has quirky characters, an enchanting setting, and a well-plotted mystery. This was a delightful start to a new cozy mystery series.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Books in the Vintage Cookbook series:
- Bayou Book Thief