I'm pleased to welcome T. C. LoTempio back to Cozy Up With Kathy today. T. C. writes the Tiffany Austin Food Blogger Mystery series. EAT, DRINK AND DROP DEAD is the first book in the series and was released earlier this month.
Kathy: You start a new series with EAT, DRINK AND DROP DEAD. Was there a specific inspiration for the Tiffany Austin Food Blogger Mystery series?
TCL: Yes, my love of food LOL. I love watching cooking shows and the Food Network Channel and I thought a series aobut a food blogger would be fun to write.
Kathy: Tiffany Austin is a former chef who has become a food critic and blogger. Have you ever wanted one of these jobs or are you just happy to consume the delicacies?
TCL: I think anyone who loves food has always hired a secret desire to be one of those LOL. Personally, I"m content with just eating the fruits of others labors.
Kathy: Do you enjoy cooking? Do you have any specialties?
TCL: I never did when I was younger but I find that since I'm retired I've become more adventurous. One of the things I love to make is a squash soup. Look for that recipe in a future Tiffany book!
Kathy: Tiffany is vying for a position with Southern Style magazine. I love looking through that type of magazine. Do you?
TCL: I absolutely do, and I especially love when they have color photographs of the yummy food!
Kathy: Tiffany has a Siamese cat, Lily, and a King Charles Cavalier puppy, Cooper. Was there a reason to choose these breeds specifically? Are Lily and Cooper based on real animals or are they purely fictional?
TCL: I love King Charles Cavalier puppies and always wanted one. when I lived in NJ there was a woman next door who had one named Cooper, so I guess I pattered Tiffany's dog after him. As for the Siamese, well, my cat MAXX has a definite Siamese yowl when he's hungry, which is 99% of the time LOL
Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
TCL: The third Pet Shop mystery will be released in late June, and the second Tiffany Austin, A CRUST TO DIE FOR, either at the end of this year or beginning of next. The seventh Nick and Nora mystery will be out a little later next year because it's a Halloween mystery! You can always check my website, www.tclotempio.net, or ROCCO's blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com, for news on upcoming books! and of course, you can always sign up for my newsletter!
The First Tiffany Austin Food Blogger Mystery
Tiffany Austin, former New York City Chef, has completed her trial period and is now the permanent food critic and blogger for Southern Style Magazine. Her co-worker, the vitriolic gossip columnist Jenny Lee Plumm, doesn't fare as well. With her benefactor gone, the magazine's board of directors fired her. Blaming Tiffany for her dismissal, Jenny Lee vows to ruin her, digging up any dirt she can find, including the real reason Tiffany left NYC. When the antagonistic columnist is found dead and Tiffany becomes a suspect Tiffany decides to find the killer...or die trying.
The first Tiffany Austin Food Blogger Mystery gives us a well liked protagonist, who, though a bit of a goodie two shoes, is determined and does whatever is necessary to find a killer. I do think her leaving NYC the way she did was a bit ridiculous. Good Lord, say something woman! But she made up for it with her dogged determination to solve the crime. Lots of red herrings and a good number of suspects made for a compelling investigation. Although I cottoned on to the real killer fairly early on, I wasn't absolutely sure until the end.
I found a few inaccuracies in the book, Peanut shells covered the floor of the bar, yet the baskets on each table held unshelled peanuts. In another instance a female suspect was given a pat search by a male detective even though there was a female police officer on the scene. That would not happen-the female officer would complete the pat search. Since I read an advanced reader's copy, I'm hopeful these errors were caught and fixed. Their inclusion, though a bit jarring, didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book.
With great characters, lots of food, and an intriguing mystery EAT, DRINK AND DROP DEAD is a wonderful start to a new series.
Eat, Drink and Drop Dead (A Tiffany Austin Food Blogger Mystery) by Toni LoTempio
About Eat, Drink and Drop Dead
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - Georgia
Severn House: Main edition (April 4, 2023)
Hardcover: 256 pages
A former chef gets mixed up in murder when she moves back to her Southern home town in the first Tiffany Austin food blogger mystery - a culinary cozy that will make your brain work and your stomach rumble!
Food critic and blogger Tiffany Austin has the best job in the world: she gets to eat for a living. At least, she hopes she has a job. Her trial period at Southern Style magazine is up - and rumors are swirling that management are making a choice between Tiffany and a rival columnist: the ambitious Jenny Lee Plumm.
Former chef Tiffany knows she has a battle on her hands . . . but she didn't realize it was to the death! When her rival's body is discovered after the two have a very public argument, Tiffany finds herself the prime suspect in a murder investigation. The lead detective might be very hot - but Tiffany's definitely not ready to go down for a crime she didn't commit.
Ably assisted by Hilary, her best friend and partner in (non) crime, and bolstered by the unconditional love of her Siamese cat Lily and King Charles Cavalier puppy Cooper, Tiffany plunges into an investigation of her own. After all, she has a degree from the CIA - the Culinary Institute of America - and she's not afraid to use it. But can she find the real killer before she's served up to the cops on a silver platter?
Eat, Drink and Drop Dead is a great pick for fans of delicious culinary cozies by Joanne Fluke, Lucy Burdette, Krista Davis and Jenn McKinlay - if you like smart, savvy female sleuths, twisty mysteries and delicious food, why not give it a try!
About T.C. Lotempio
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series originally from Berkley Prime Crime and now with Beyond the Page Publishing. They also write the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane and the Pet Shop series, originally published by Midnight Ink and rebranded last year as “Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries.” Book six in the Nick and Nora mysteries, A PURR BEFORE DYING, is released this February from Beyond the Page. There is also a new series, Tiffany Austin Food Blogger, coming out in April.