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18 November 2015

Krista Davis - The Diva Runs Out Of Thyme

I admit, holidays can stress me out. I'm a decent cook and we never host anything anyway so there shouldn't be much to stress out over, but still ... I start digging up recipes weeks in advance in case I may decide to channel my own inner domestic diva. If that ever actually happens I'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, though, we can all just live vicariously through the characters in Krista Davis' Domestic Diva Mystery series! Reading about cooking is so much more fun than actually doing it anyway ...

The Diva Runs Out Of Thyme is the first in the series (there are nine at last count -- with more to come). I've debated starting the series off and on for years thanks to her involvement with Mystery Lovers Kitchen and I'm SO glad that I finally did! I was in the mood for some Thanksgiving-y reads and the few books I have on hand that would fit I've either already read or are parts of series I haven't caught up with yet (and you know how I am about skipping ahead). A first in a series AND a cozy mystery AND the right holiday? It's like it was meant to be.

I absolutely adored this book.

Sophie Winston is a 44-year-old divorced event planner in historic Alexandria, Virginia. Her ex-husband, Mars, lives nearby with his girlfriend, Natasha ... who happens to be Sophie's childhood rival and a local uptight and glamorous Martha Stewart-type. While at the grocery store to get the fixings for a stuffing competition and the Thanksgiving dinner she'll be hosting for her visiting parents, sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law, Sophie is stopped by a strange man who tries to talk her into adopting a kitten. She refuses but has a change of heart and looks for him in the parking lot when she leaves the store. She finds him ... dead in a dumpster. Her picture is found on the seat of his vehicle but until the kitten incident she swears she'd never seen him before. When the head of the stuffing competition is also killed Sophie becomes a suspect for both murders and things, of course, just get more complicated from there.

My heart really went out to poor Sophie. I think I get stressed over holidays?!? I don't have to deal with an ex constantly around with his snarky other, meddling family members, an ex-mother-in-law staying in my guest room and talking to dead people, and the best man from my wedding camping out in my den WHILE a Peeping Tom is roaming around my neighborhood, I'm faced with having to write my own less-uppity domestic advice column, I'm a murder suspect myself, and almost every one around me is acting suspiciously. Oh, and we can't forget the exasperation of the hot-and-cold hunky investigator in charge of the cases who one minute seems to think I'm wonderful and the next seems to think I'm guilty.

My life is boring and wonderful and my holiday stress is nothing.

Even with all the angst going on for Sophie, this is truly a "cozy" with delightful light-hearted bits. Each chapter begins with a column blurb from either Natasha or Sophie. Of course, most of Natasha's advice I wouldn't ever attempt, but I'm actually thinking about trying some of Sophie's if the need and opportunity ever arise! Her best friend is the kind of friend I wish I had living across the street and there's plenty of comic relief from her and some of the other neighbors. Even the family pets get in on the fun of it all without being as obnoxious as book pets can sometimes be.

Oh, and the mystery? I totally didn't see it until the big reveal and totally wanted to give Krista Davis a big hug for that whole fantabulous scene.

And now I want to go make some stuffing.

I do have one more Thankgiving-y book lined up to read but I'm guessing that it'll be another fast one so I'm going to delay it until next week. Besides, I have to play catch-up with another series for my post-Thanksgiving Christmas marathon but if you're looking for something yourself, though, my next Thanksgiving-y read will be Jessie Crockett's Drizzled With Death. There's plenty of time still to get the ebook OR the actual book-book in a "real" store or online with decent shipping options (*cough*Amazon Prime*cough*).

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