BOOKS 

THE NEELA DURANTE MYSTERIES

A geneticist unravels scientific mysteries and solves murders on the side.

Kernel of Doubt (Book 1)

There’s a body in the cornfield at the Broad Earth research center.

 

Neela Durante has it all: handsome husband, loving family, loyal dog, and fantastic career. As a star geneticist at the world’s largest agriculture company, she engineers crops that feed the world. But her long hours in the lab may have destroyed her marriage.

Divorce papers arrive on the same day that Neela learns her father’s health is failing. Even her dog is miserable. And that’s not the only trouble germinating. 

When she finds a fellow scientist dead in the research center’s test fields, Neela is sure the murder has something to do with their work. 

As her friends fall under suspicion—and her soon-to-be-ex investigates the case—she is drawn back into the project that ruined her life. 

Turns out, accusing your colleagues of murder isn’t the best career move.

With her job, her marriage, and her family farm at risk, Neela’s sleuthing might come at a cost she can’t afford—maybe even her life.

 

Recipes included! Click here for a Book Club Discussion Guide (pdf).

THE DEATH DU JOUR MYSTERIES

An aspiring chef whips up soup and suspense in a quaint coastal town. 

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Crime Chowder (Book 1)

She's serving up soupwith a side of gunpowder.

Aspiring chef Bethany Bradstreet dreams of opening her own restaurant, but she knows she has to work her way up from her current job as a fry cook. So when her real estate developer boyfriend offers her a sweet catering gig, she jumps at the chance to cook for his gala and rub elbows with the town’s elite. 

The problem? That fancy gala is only happening because her best friend’s home was burned down by an arsonist. And the more Bethany learns about her boyfriend’s planned development, the more she suspects that he might have had something to do with it.

Determined to uncover the arsonist’s identity, Bethany cooks her way through the gala, listening to the secrets, lies, and gossip swirling around Hosanna Street. 

But when someone close to her is killed during the party—and the murder weapon is found in her pot of clam chowder—Bethany finds herself in more than a little hot water.
 

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Risky Bisqueness (Short Mystery)

A novella set between Books 1 and 2

When the public library computers are stolen in a late-night burglary, Bethany Bradstreet misses out on a catering job that would have paid this month's rent. To add sizzle to the pie, the bakery where she works has to shut down because of mice—the little thieves. With no money and no job prospects, Bethany only has her suspicious nature to fall back on as she hunts down Newbridge's most notorious sticky fingers (and paws).

Risky Bisqueness is a short cozy mystery story that takes place between Book 1 and Book 2 of the Death Du Jour series, but it can be read as a stand-alone mystery. If you like culinary mysteries with smart sleuths, strong friendships, and quaint settings, you'll love this series!

Rest in Split Peas (Book 2)

Bethany Bradstreet is boiling mad.

Business at Bethany’s little soup kiosk in the train station is simmering along, but a competitor has the nerve to open up right next door!

Worse than stealing her customers—they’re stealing her recipes! 

It’s not all bad for Bethany. The fresh rivalry draws the attention of a certain handsome local food critic, and she’s definitely not mad about that.

But when her competitor is not-so-accidentally hit by a train, Bethany is the prime suspect in an investigation that will throw Newbridge—and Bethany’s tight circle of quirky friends—into a stew of suspicion.

Rest In Split Peas is the second book in the Death du Jour series. If you like cozy mysteries full of soup and suspense by the sea, this is the book for you.

Chili con Carnage (Book 3)

Who is poisoning the pot in Newbridge's hottest cooking competition?

 

The nation’s favorite new reality show—the Ultimate Freakin’ Cook-off—is coming to town, and Newbridge’s chefs are champing at the bit to demonstrate their best chili recipes in a televised showdown.

With a huge cash prize and a front-page feature in the local newspaper up for grabs, Bethany decides to put her skills to the test. It’ll be good for her business, and face it, she needs the prize money to pay the rent while her soup kiosk is closed during the train station renovation.

But when one person is hospitalized and another dies after tasting entries in the contest, Bethany and the other chefs are the prime suspects in a murder investigation. The ultimate showdown is about more than who has the best recipe—it’s about who has the best motive.

Will Bethany catch the killer before another unsuspecting diner is poisoned? Or will the rogue murderer’s rampage close all the restaurants in town?

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Lentil Death Do Us Part (Book 4)

The special of the day is always murder.

Chef Bethany Bradstreet has finally opened the Railway Café, the restaurant of her dreams in Newbridge’s quaint historic train station. She gets to do what she loves every day—cook amazing food with her best friend.

Bethany’s smooth sailing hits a snag when bad weather threatens to sink her friend’s wedding. The venue is flooded, and the ceremony is only two weeks away! To bail out the beleaguered bride, Bethany rushes to locate a uniquely beautiful spot for her friend to tie the knot.

But all bets are off when Bethany finds mummified remains at the new wedding locale. Crime scene tape definitely won’t fit in with the planned décor.

To cook up a solution—to the wedding woes and the murder—Bethany must rely on the two men vying for her heart. Can anyone say awkward?

And she’ll have to work fast…before death parts them all.

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© 2019 by Hillary Avis