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).


An aspiring chef whips up soup and suspense in a quaint coastal town. Titles are available individually or as a box set.

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.

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?

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.


A Hollywood housewife turned homesteader digs up small-town secrets and cracks more than eggshells in this clever, irreverent series.

A Cop and a Coop (Book 1)

It's a mother-clucking murder!

When Leona Davis hatches a plan to return to her beloved hometown of Honeytree, Oregon, she hopes to build the egg farm of her dreams and leave behind the marriage of her nightmares.

But the yolk’s on her when she breaks ground on her chicken palace and unearths a skeleton in her front yard. It’s clearly fowl play. The bones may be decades old, but there’s no statute of limitations on murder.

With a county forensics team roosting on her lawn and a flock of town gossips poking their beaks where they don’t belong, Leona’s well-laid farming plans may be nothing more than a wing and a prayer.

Her spicy high school ex, Sheriff Eli Ramirez, assures Leona he’ll crack the case, but he’s not exactly a hardboiled detective. Her best hope to get back to a life with more hens and less mens? Scramble to uncover her small town’s buried secrets before everything’s totally plucked.

A Flock and a Fluke (Book 2)

The plot chickens...

It’s springtime in Honeytree, and Leona’s pullets are finally laying. Customers are flocking to buy her farm-fresh eggs.

But during the town’s Easter Egg Scramble, Leona finds more than hidden treasure when she stumbles on the dead body of the pastor’s wife. And the death isn’t a fluke—it was poison.

After Leona’s eggs are blamed for delivering the fatal dose, her customers fly the coop along with her reputation. With her nest egg dwindling, she doesn’t have time to brood. Her only hope to rise back to the top of the pecking order? Figure out who held a grudge against Honeytree’s golden girl—and why.

But things get tricky. Her two leading suspects also happen to be running for mayor. And neither one of them is crowing when Leona fowls up their campaigns with her clucking around.

Can Leona take the heat of small-town politics? Or will she be forced out of the frying pan with egg on her face?

A Roost and Arrest (Book 3)

Farmed and dangerous...

Leona’s spirits are flying as high as the flags over Honeytree’s Fourth of July Festival. Her fledgling egg business is booming, her new relationship is flourishing, and it’s finally warm enough to put the top down on her convertible. Everything is sunny-side up.

But her good mood disappears faster than a speeding pullet when the local beauty queen is shot during the fireworks finale—and the murder is pinned on one of her close friends.

Now Leona must work around the cluck to find the real killer before her friend is cooped up permanently in the state pen.


A magic library of memories holds a small town's secrets. Every secret. Every lie. Every crime.

Tomes & Terriers

A forgotten life. A mysterious murder. A secret library with all the answers...

In the tiny town of Remembrance, Oregon, Allison Rye guards of a library of memories. Her only job? Keep the library hidden. Because the magic books could be dangerous in the wrong hands, and the wrong hands are definitely interested.

But when a resident at her husband’s care facility is murdered—and a sweet old lady is blamed—Allison finds herself drawn into the investigation. She knows something that police don’t, something she can’t reveal without becoming a murder suspect herself.

With her intrepid foster Yorkie to keep her from barking up the wrong tree, Allison sets out to find the killer on her own. But as she combs the enchanted library for the killer’s identity, she uncovers more questions than answers…and secrets deeper than she ever imagined.

First in a new series, Tomes & Terriers is a magical realism mystery that will change the way you think about memory and magic, fidelity and friendship.

Pages & Pyrenees (Book 2)

A magic library that records memories… Every secret. Every lie. Every crime.

Allison Rye’s small-town life is getting complicated. She’s juggling a new job at her husband’s care facility and a foster dog determined to keep her awake at night, not to mention the magical library of memories she’s sworn to guard.

If that weren’t enough, she has a page thief to worry about, too. They stole twenty-five years of her husband’s memories, and now they’re trying to steal her family. Allison has one week to find a mysterious object hidden among her family heirlooms or risk losing everything—and everyone—she holds dear.

But her search for the secret stash is stymied when a local child goes missing. The memory books in the library may hold the only clues to his disappearance. As Allison delves into the sinister, true-life stories to find the boy, she uncovers secrets darker than she had ever imagined.

And only one of them is murder.

Libraries & Labradors (Book 3)


Coming soon...


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© 2020 by Hillary Avis