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TWO BITES TOO MANY BY DEBRA H. GOLDSTEIN—A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

September 22, 2019 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,
a cat and a dog looking at a glass of liquid

Debra H. Goldstein strikes again!  With the pen that is.  Her new cozy mystery, TWO BITES TOO MANY, Book 2 of her Sarah Blair Mystery Series, reunites the reader with the twins, Sarah and Emily.

We first met the twins in Debra’s debut cozy mystery novel, One Taste Too Many, (reviewed by this writer in the January 22, 2019 post).  Emily, a chef, was accused of poisoning her sister Sarah’s ex-husband.  The twins combined wits and skill to find the real killer.

In TWO BITES TOO MANY , Sarah’s receptionist job at Harlan’s law office is going well. The town is bustling with activity as the bank, town council, businesses and residents share ideas and lock horns debating rezoning plans. The battle lines are divided between those who want a more upscale Main Street and those who want the town to remain as is. In the midst of this tug of war is Sarah’s sister.  Emily’s culinary career is on the rise and she’s awaiting news on the bank loan that will turn her dream of opening a gourmet restaurant into a reality. Her hopes get crushed when the bank officer denies the loan.

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The twins’ mother, Maybelle, a formidable woman and a substantial client of the bank, takes it upon herself to champion her daughter’s cause. Unbeknownst to Emily, Maybelle confronts Lance, the bank president and leading town council member. When Lance turns up dead, the prime suspect is . . . Maybelle!

It appears that the killer has used the confusion caused by ambitious bankers, disgruntled relatives and residents, varying town factions, and chefs competing with each other to be the best, to create the perfect recipe for murder.

Sarah and Emily plunge into a frantic investigation and race against time to uncover the truth and save their mother from a murder charge.

A cozy mystery with just the right amount of intrigue, suspense and humor, TWO BITES TOO MANY is engaging and entertaining. Debra will keep you guessing, and reading, to the end.

If mystery is not your genre of choice, not to worry, Two Bites Too Many is a good story that will satisfy every taste.  So go ahead, grab the book and take a bite or two!


Sarah Blair Mystery Series

A Sarah Blair Mystery

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

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ONE TASTE TOO MANY

TWO BITES TOO MANY

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TWO BITES TOO MANY

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

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THREE TREATS TOO MANY

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

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FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

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FIVE BELLES TOO MANY
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Book Review: One Taste too Many by Debra H. GoldStein A Review by Veronica Jorge

January 22, 2019 by in category Book Reviews, Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,
One Taste Too Many | Debra Goldstein | A Slice of Orange

One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)

First in a new series!  

by Debra H. Goldstein

Kensington Publishing Corp.  2019   ISBN 9781496719478

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. It’s also an effective way to take him out—permanently!

Every clue points to Emily, a chef on the rise, and it doesn’t help that the dead man is Bill Blair…her twin sister Sarah’s ex-husband. Throw a third woman into the mix, Jane, the woman Bill was seeing who claims that Bill’s family inheritance belongs to her, including Sarah’s cat, and you’ve got a recipe for murder.

In the midst of a major Food Expo and fierce, (shall we say deadly?), chef competition aspiring careers will be made or broken. Emily’s lawyer Harlan, and Peter the police chief, all life-long friends, match evidence and wits to discover the identity of the real murderer and get Emily off the hook.

In One Taste Too Many, Debra Goldstein will put your sleuthing skills to the test. If you think you can run with the best of the pack; whether Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie, or Jessica Fletcher of the television series, Murder She Wrote, Debra will throw you for a loop each time you think you’ve solved the case.

Intriguing and entertaining, you will bury your nose in the book trying to pick up the scent of each new clue.  But like a sophisticated recipe, you won’t be able to guess the secret ingredient. And like the expert storyteller that she is, Debra will keep you turning the pages until she reveals the culprit. It’s not who you think!

A Sarah Blair killer recipe| Write from the Heart | A Slice of Orange

P.S.  I tried the killer recipe included at the end of the book (‘killer’ as in taste, not the one that did poor Bill in. That’s why I’m still here).  I didn’t get it to come out the way it was supposed to, but it’s light, refreshing, and delicious. And if I might add…one taste is to die for!

See you next time on February 22nd.

Veronica


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ONE TASTE TOO MANY by Debra H. Goldstein: A Review by Carol L. Wright

December 30, 2018 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Book Reviews tagged as , , , ,

I was surprised when I had the chance to receive an advance reading copy (ARC) of award-winning author Debra H. Goldstein’s first book in her new Sarah Blair Mystery series, ONE TASTE TOO MANY (Kensington Books), available for purchase on December 18.

Full disclosure: I know Debra, having been on panels with her at writers’ conferences and having published some of her short stories in my capacity as Executive Editor of Bethlehem Writers Roundtable . One of her stories was nominated for an AGATHA AWARD in 2018 and another received an Honorable Mention for the 2018 BETHLEHEM WRITERS ROUNDTABLE SHORT STORY AWARD. (See Short Story Award hfor information about our 2019 competition which opens January 1.) Obviously, I already knew Debra to be a talented writer, so when this opportunity to get a sneak peek at her latest novel arose, I jumped at the chance.

As with her previous mysteries, MAZE IN BLUE (2012 IPPY E-Book Regional Bronze Award Winner) and SHOULD HAVE PLAYED POKER (Five Star Publishing, 2016), her new book is definitely of the cozy variety. Cozy readers know that means that the main character is an amateur sleuth, the story is usually set in a close community (e.g. a small town, a nursing home, a ski lodge, a cruise ship, a school, etc.), and there is no graphic language or violence. Some follow a theme, such as a particular craft or profession, and they often include a pet. As the cover of ONE TASTE TOO MANY promises, we get both a theme and a pet.

The main characters are Sarah Blair (nee Johnson), a twenty-eight-year-old recent divorcee and her fraternal twin, Emily. The Johnson twins are as different as any two siblings could be. Growing up in small town Wheaton, Alabama, a Birmingham suburb, one is fair haired; the other is a brunette. One is reserved and pragmatic; the other outgoing, talkative, and a bit of a risk taker. One is a “convenience” cook; the other is a gourmet chef.

Sarah married her high school sweetheart, Bill Blair, right after graduation and stayed in Wheaton. For ten years, her natural reserve was exacerbated by her husband’s unrelenting undermining of her self-esteem. Meanwhile her sister Emily, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), worked in restaurants in Birmingham and San Francisco. When Sarah’s husband leaves her with little more than the cat, RahRah, he inherited from his mother (to which he was allergic), and Emily moves back home to take a job at the Southwinds gourmet restaurant owned by her previous mentor from San Francisco, their lives intertwine in new ways that neither could predict.

Sarah’s ex-husband holds a controlling interest in Southwinds, and the woman who had stolen Bill away from her, Jane Clark, works at the restaurant and is Emily’s chief competitor for the open sous chef position. The competition heats up when Southwinds chefs compete against each other and other gourmet chefs from around the region at a Food Expo at Wheaton’s Civic Center.

When Bill is found dead late one evening at the Civic Center, with Emily at his side and her rhubarb crisp, which contained nuts to which he was deathly allergic, on his fork, foul play is immediately suspected. Everyone knew that Bill would never willingly take a bite of Emily’s rhubarb crisp, so the police chief identifies her as the prime suspect in Bill’s apparent murder. Fortunately for the twins, Sarah works as a receptionist for a lawyer who takes the case pro bono.

Jane makes a perfect foil for the twins. Not only is she Emily’s rival for sous chef, she claims to have papers that give her the right to take Sarah’s cat, RahRah. The tangled plot thickens when development schemes, an animal trust, and divided loyalties twist the sisters in different directions, looking for the person responsible for framing Emily. The more they learn, the less certain they are about whom to trust. The author also sprinkles in a hint of romance and finishes with an unexpected ending.

As with many culinary cozies, there are recipes at the end. But don’t worry if you’re not a gourmet chef—they are Sarah’s “convenience” recipes.

Debra Goldstein is the perfect person to write this book as an Alabaman, the mother of twins, a retired federal judge, and a convenience cook herself. Since this is promised to be the first in a new series, it should be very interesting to find out what Sarah Blair is up to next.

ONE TASTE TOO MANY
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Carol L Wright

Carol L. Wright escaped a career in law and academia for one in writing. She is the author of the Gracie McIntyre Mystery series, the first of which, DEATH IN GLENVILLE FALLS, was a finalist for both the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award and a Next Generation Indie Book Award in 2018.

In addition to her mysteries, she is the author of short stories in several genres that have been published in a variety of literary journals and anthologies, including the award-winning Bethlehem Writers Group’s “Sweet, Funny, and Strange” anthologies in an assortment of themes.

She is a founding member of the Bethlehem Writers Group, a life member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America, and a member of Pennwriters and SinC Guppies. She is married to her college sweetheart, and lives in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania with their rescue dog, Mr. Darcy, and a clowder of cats. You can learn more on Carol’s website, or by following her Facebook page.


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A Captivating Cozy: Debra Goldstein’s One Taste Too Many

December 18, 2018 by in category Book Reviews by Geralyn Corcillo, Things That Make Me Go Mmmrrh . . . by Geralyn Corcillo tagged as , , ,

Reviewed by Geralyn Corcillo

A Captivating Cozy| Geralyn Corcillo

What are your holiday plans? Are you looking forward to wrapping up in a comfy blanket, putting on your favorite pair of fuzzy socks,and tucking in to a cozy mystery? If so, then I have a delightful treat to tellyou about! Award-winning mystery writer Debra H. Goldstein is launching a new series and the first book is available starting TODAY!  One Taste Too Many has all the classic earmarks of a cozy and a few riveting surprises as well.

One Taste Too Many | Debra Goldstein | A Slice of Orange

Meet Sarah Blair, the twenty-eight-year-old law firm receptionist who’s never achieved her dream of becoming a private eye. Her over-bearing ex-husband derailed her ambitions then cheated on her and divorced her–and good riddance to him! So, we meet Sarah on her own and starting over, living in a tiny apartment with her cat. Life is going along just fine until her ex shows up dead at the local food expo after hours. The cute cop on the case thinks Sarah’s sister Chef Emily is the culprit, and Sarah’s dead ex’s mistress decides to try to steal Sarah’s cat – all just to get an inheritance Sarah herself may have been cheated out of! Sarah engages her lawyer boss to take Emily’s case, but all sorts of conflicts arise regarding wills and land development deals and it becomes difficult to know who to trust. Sarah’s not even sure if her own sister is being honest with her. Someone else gets murdered at the food expo, and Emily’s goose really looks cooked. Can Sarah save her sister and her cat, all while flirting with the cute cop and keeping the job she so desperately needs?

This book tells a page-turner of a tale that will have you biting your nails and rooting for Sarah all the way. Is she perfect? Not at all. But her foibles and struggles make her character so relatable and her story that much more engaging. The supporting characters in this cast make every scene into one more enticing step to the solution of the mystery. And about that solution? I could not figure it out! I kept THINKING I knew who it was. At one point, I was pretty darn sure. But I was wrong, wrong and wrong again. The identity of the murderer knocked me for a loop and took me TOTALLY off guard! But in retrospect, all the pieces fit–yet somehow Goldstein distracts you from seeing the clues.

In this book, Goldstein weaves a truly mysterious narrative revolving around a heroine you will want to follow through the series. Cozy up with One Taste Too Many and get ataste of this delightful new series! Available starting TODAY!    

ONE TASTE TOO MANY
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