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Cheddar Off Dead

It's not punny when a food-critic meets his end in this debut cozy mystery from Korina Moss

Cheddar Off Dead is the debut book in the Cheese Shop Mystery series by Korina Moss.

Set in a small town in the lovely Sonoma Valley, Willa Bauer's dream of opening her own French-inspired gourmet cheese shop has come true. But unfortunately, her dream goes sideways when a hard-nosed food critic has a disastrous visit to her shop and is then killed nearby with one of her cheese-shop knives. Now Willa is the prime suspect and must clear her name.

This was a delightful and delicious, cozy debut! Willa is an appealing sleuth, if a bit rash at times, but I think her being a novice at detective work, this seemed pretty honest. There's a lovely supporting cast of characters who help Willa navigate the town and assist in the investigation. A relationship with one of the characters, Baz, came across to me as more big-brotherly than romantic, and I found that refreshing for a cozy. As this will be a series, there is a good deal of world-building, and the setting is so charming. An intriguing plot, a handful of possible suspects, and a few false leads made this fun to try to figure out! I love foodie cozies, and this one had me craving cheese and wanting to try varieties I never had before. Plus, there are yummy recipes in the back. This was a well-written and fun read. I love starting new cozy series, and I look forward to book two!

My steep was iced Passionfruit Peach black tea from Oliver Pluff & Co teas, and it is a summer-time favorite in our house! Oliver Pluff is a lovely South Carolina company selling some truly stellar teas.

From the blurb:

In Korina Moss's cozy series debut, Cheddar Off Dead, cheesemonger Willa Bauer discovers that her new home in a small Sonoma Valley town is ripe for murder... something here stinks to high heaven, and Willa knows it's not the cheese. Cheesemonger Willa Bauer is proving that sweet dreams are made of cheese. She’s opened her very own French-inspired cheese shop, Curds & Whey, in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. The small town of Yarrow Glen is Willa's fresh start, and she's determined to make it a success – starting with a visit from the local food critic. What Willa didn’t know is that this guy never gives a good review, and when he shows up nothing goes according to plan. She doesn’t think the night can get any worse... until she finds the critic’s dead body, stabbed with one of her shop’s cheese knives. Now a prime suspect, Willa has always believed life’s problems can be solved with cheese, but she’s never tried to apply it to murder…

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