Murder Al Dente by Jennifer L. Hart

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    Murder Al Dente straddles the traditional cozy genre and the romantic suspense genre. I think fans of both will be pleased.

    Andy Buckland has always dreamed of being a chef. But after a live studio audience is stricken with food poisoning during her debut cooking show, she finds herself blacklisted in the culinary community.

    The only job open to her is working in her family’s southern pasta shop, and, to make matters worse, her first assignment is serving baked ziti to her former lover and his spoiled bride-to-be at their engagement party!

    But a broken heart and a bruised ego are the least of Andy’s troubles when she discovers a dead body at the party with the words “welcome home” written in flour next to it. Is it a warning? A threat? Or a frame-up job? Andy is determined to find out. With the help of her over-the-top Italian family, Andy will prove that she has what it takes to not only cook the best dish in town but also catch a killer, too!

    Review by Doc:

    Jennifer L. Hart
    Jennifer L. Hart

    Murder Al Dente is the start of a new series for talented author Jennifer Hart. In it she serves up her own recipe for mystery and it is a tasty one at that. Pull up a chair and get ready to dig in.

    In  we are introduced to Andrea (Andy) Sofia Buckland. She is a thirty something chef who’s dream of hosting her own TV show was crushed when the audience got food poisoning. She has returned to her hometown and the family pasta shop to regroup and to help her grandfather and her great aunt save the business oh, and to solve a murder as well.

    Jennifer has a light hand with her books writing well crafted, well-paced books with interesting characters and inventive plots. Murder Al Dente is no different. She has populated Andy’s home town with some interesting characters as well as created a family for her with quite a few quirks and an interesting backstory. As the book progresses we find Andy’s backstory is also complex.

    I found Jennifer when I started reading her “Laundry Hag” series. While I am probably not her usual target audience I was hooked. She has a wonderful sense of humor and the books are the light and humorous stories that I have gravitated to in recent years.

    She also recently introduced another series called “Damaged Goods” set in Miami. An experienced author with a quite a few books under her belt this new series adds to her range. Murder Al Dente straddles the traditional cozy genre and the romantic suspense genre. I think fans of both will be pleased.

    So for a light fun and entertaining read give this one a taste. I think you will be glad you did.

    Review by SGCK:

    Andy Buckland, an aspiring chef, returns to her hometown of Beaverton, North Carolina, after enduring a public humiliation that destroys her career. In short order, she is confronted with her past in the form of her ex-boyfriend, Kyle, and his fiancee, Andy’s archenemy, Lizzy, she meets and begins a relationship with Lizzy’s hot, half-brother, Malcolm, and is caught up in the murder of a chef who may have been involved in her professional downfall. There’s a lot going on here,folks.

    I loved this book. It is well-written, the characters are well-defined and the dialog “sounds” natural and flows smoothly. The storyline held my interest and moves along at a good clip.

    How much did I really love this book? As soon as I finished it, I immediately went to the author’s website ( and signed up for her newsletter. I cannot wait for the sequel.