Irish Stewed (Ethnic Eats Mystery #1) by Kylie Logan (Berkley Prime Crime mass market paperback, 3 May 2016).
After losing her job as a personal chef in Hollywood, Laurel Inwood goes to tiny Hubbard, Ohio, to help out her foster-aunt Sophie, who's having knee surgery.
She expects to be running a quiet, elegant restaurant with linen tablecloths and candles, not the train station diner she finds. Although she's (understandably) annoyed that Sophie lied to her, Laurel finds herself agreeing to stay.
Firstly, she really has nowhere else to go. Secondly, when Sophie shows Lauren around Terminal at the Tracks for the first time, they find a dead television reporter at one of the tables. Because the restaurant was locked up, Sophie at first becomes a "person of interest".
Besides, Declan, the handsome guy whose family runs the Irish gift shop across the street is interesting, and very good-looking, and Lauren is intrigued despite herself. Then, when Laurel is attacked, she takes it personally, and decides that she will solve the mystery before she leaves.
Irish Stewed is a bit different from many cozy mysteries in that the protagonist is not running home after being disgraced, and so forced to endure the pity and condescension of her old friends. Laurel knows no one in Hubbard, so she has no preconceived expectations to overcome. She also is not a completely sympathetic character at first, coming across as a bit of a cultural and culinary snob.
But she is intelligent and resourceful, and she manages to unravel a complicated mystery filled with red herrings, and at the same time adjust to life in a small, Midwestern town, even if it's not an easy process.
The recipe for the titular Irish stew is included at the end of the book, along with a preview of the next book in the series, French Fried.
The publisher has generously offered a copy of Irish Stewed to one of my readers. Please comment below by 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 16th. Please don't forget to include an email address where I can contact you if you win. Entries from the U.S. only, please.
FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of the book.