Cover Image: The Diva Delivers on a Promise

The Diva Delivers on a Promise

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Member Reviews

Although I liked elements of this cozy, I felt there was a lot of plot and not enough character growth happening. And normally, Davis’ hits a good balance between the two but I felt it hit the mark with this story. I felt a bit bored at times and this could have been edited down to not drag on as long. I didn’t feel connected to the story as the previous novel I read of the same series. The protagonist, Sophie, is relatable and down-to-earth but I would have loved more of her character arc instilled in the story.

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I can always count on the Diva cozies to educate me on the latest in culinary and catering trends.
This time it’s ghost kitchens which seems just like a pop up place with pizzaz.
I do like it when Sophie and Nina run around Old Town and we get to peek into other’s people’s houses.
The mystery got dragged out a little long and I was frustrated with an interesting development with Sophie and Mars but then it was dropped flat.
Guess I have to wait to see what next awaits the gang.

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This is the first book I have read in the Domestic Diva series. It was entertaining and I think it was okay not to have started with the first book. The characters are well developed and the mystery will have you invested in the story. I was not familiar with ghost kitchens so I ended up doing some research after reading this book. Sophie is a wonderful person … caring, compassionate, gives back to the community, great friend, good ex-girlfriend … just an amazing woman. I loved getting to know her better and look forward to future adventures with her.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

For more reviews, please visit my blog at: Over 1000 reviews posted!

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I enjoyed following along on Sophie’s adventures again. The plot was cleverly crafted with some fun characters. I look forward to more about Sophie.
Many thanks to Kensington and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Book Review: The Diva Delivers on a Promise by Krista Davis

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

In “The Diva Delivers on a Promise,” Krista Davis delivers yet another delightful installment in her Domestic Diva Mystery series. Set in the charming town of Old Town, Alexandria, the story follows entertaining guru Sophie Winston as she takes on the task of coordinating the first-ever convention of the Association of Ghost Kitchens. However, Sophie’s plans take an unexpected turn when she stumbles upon a dead body during a lunch meeting organized by A Healthy Meal, a group dedicated to providing meals for children in need.

One of the aspects that immediately catches the reader’s attention is the captivating cover. It perfectly captures the essence of this cozy mystery, enticing readers to dive into the book’s pages. Davis’s writing is impeccable, effortlessly weaving together an engaging plot filled with twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very end.

While “The Diva Delivers on a Promise” is part of a series, it can be enjoyed as a standalone novel. Davis skillfully introduces the main characters and provides enough backstory to make new readers feel right at home in Old Town. The setting itself adds to the cozy atmosphere, with its quaint streets and charming shops.

The pacing of the story is well-executed, with a perfect balance between action and character development. The author expertly intertwines the convention of ghost kitchens with the mystery surrounding the dead body, creating a compelling narrative that keeps readers hooked from beginning to end.

One of the highlights of this novel is the well-developed and likable cast of characters. Sophie Winston shines as the protagonist, showcasing her intelligence and determination as she navigates through the investigation. The addition of the “Domestic Diva” letters at the beginning of each chapter adds depth to Sophie’s character and provides insights into her personal life.

Furthermore, Davis tantalizes readers with delicious recipes sprinkled throughout the book. The mouth-watering descriptions will leave readers craving the dishes and create a sensory experience that adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the reading experience.

In conclusion, “The Diva Delivers on a Promise” is an outstanding read that combines all the elements of a great cozy mystery. Krista Davis’s writing is top-notch, the plot is engaging with plenty of red herrings to keep readers guessing, and the characters are well developed and likable. With its cozy setting and delectable recipes, this book is a must-read for fans of the genre. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a captivating and enjoyable mystery novel.

**ARC Via NetGalley**

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This book was fun and interesting. I love Sophie and her crew. They always make things exciting. And the mystery was full of twists and turns to keep a reader guessing. I was captured from the first page.
I had never heard of a ghost kitchen, but now I'm intrigued by the idea.

Many thanks to Kensington Publishing and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or favor or expectation.

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This book was incredibly fun to read with lots and lots of exciting characters. I thought the plot was unique and clever. I always look forward to reading a new book in this series because it feels like a visit with old friends. I love them.

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Sophie Winston is helping with a luncheon for A Healthy Meal when a dead man is found as the group enters the dining room. The hostess and her family become the chief suspects so Sophie is enlisted to help find the real murderer at the same time as she coordinates the Association of Ghost Kitchens. While another murder and unusual occurrences keep Sophie on her toes, she is determined to solve the mystery.

Sophie and her whacky friends are great characters and seem like old friends with each installment.

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The mystery is well-plotted and full of twists and turns. There are plenty of red herrings to keep the reader guessing, and the ending is satisfying. The characters are also well-developed and likable.

A fun and entertaining mystery with a satisfying conclusion.

The characters are well-developed and likable, and the mystery is well-plotted.

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I’ve enjoyed the Diva series but this one made the whole premise seem tired. The murder is kind of random and the book theme being ghost kitchens feels like it’s trying to be trendy without any substance. I’ve liked the rotating door of characters before but at this point, everyone is just kind of friends and there’s little tension. I’m just kind of over it.

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This was really interesting in how the book related the information about ghost kitchens. Especially coming out of the pandemic, having a commercial type of kitchen where delivery or take out are the only options, would cut down on some of the overhead of running a full restaurant. Sophie is actually manning a convention of ghost kitchens, but there is a murder almost immediately during a meeting of one of her other causes and that man may have ties to the other association. I wasn't a fan of Wong's ex.

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Both the Diva and Ms. Davis do an outstanding job on delivering with this latest Domestic Diva Mystery. I had not read a Domestic Diva book in a while and am not sure why. This mystery has all the right ingredients to be the perfect cozy and you don't need to have been reading the series all along to be able to follow along. Plenty of suspects and red herrings, as well as a supportive crew for the sleuther and even a furry friend. The story pulled me in instantly with an early body drop and a sleuth who seems to let nothing ruffle her feathers from tomato sauce on a light colored dress to being accused of sabotaging someone's good name (questionable) and cookie business (please she didn't even bake them). Speaking of cookies, there is an wonderful cookie recipe at the conclusion of the story that has both of my favorite flavors, cherries and chocolate.

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Princess Fuzzypants here: Ghost kitchens are the last craze. They pop up all over the place and deliver meals and goodies. Sophie is organizing the first convention for them but did not expect to find a real ghost. Well, maybe not a ghost but definitely a dead body.

How and why the deceased ended up in Geraldine’s house is a big question. How no one heard anything nor discovered the body is also a question and one that makes Geraldine and all of her family suspects. There are some very odd goings on including fraud and theft but it is going to take all of Sophie”s skill and smarts to unravel this complex mystery.

Four purrs and two paws up.

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The mystery was not as strong as in other books. I did find the idea of ghost kitchens to be a novel one that added to the book's interest. It is a fun read for cozy mystery fans.

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Krista Davis is back with a new book: The Diva Delivers on a Promise! After reading the previous book in this series, I just had to check out this book. This book is charming and fun to read, especially with the mystery and characters. I recommend giving this book a try!

My thanks to Kensington Publishing and NetGallery for a digital copy of this book for my review!

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The Diva Delivers on a Promise by Krista Davis

Characters: I love the characters in this series. Sophie and Natasha are polar opposites and everyone else fits somewhere in between. It would be fun to rate each character on a scale from easy going to uptight. The distinct personalities are easy to remember from book to book.

Setting: The Domesticated Diva series is set in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia. It's made up of historical townhouses, antique shops, cobblestone streets and delicious restaurants. These make interesting murder spots and provide venues for new people to be introduced. You never know where a murderer might be lurking in Old Town.

Another common setting is a table. Food is the theme throughout the series so you'll wish you were able to taste the wonderful food they share. How fabulous that there are different recipes included in each book.

Plot: The Diva Delivers on a Promise is now one of my favorites in the series. It's a great whodunit that kept me guessing. The chain of events were well paced and kept my interest high.

Final Thoughts: I trust Krista Davis to produce a clean cozy mystery filled with undeniable personalities, beautiful historic places and events to die for. This is one of my favorite series and I would recommend it to anyone who likes clean cozy mysteries.

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This addition to the series was wonderful! I love returning to Sophie and her friends, and I enjoyed this murder/adventure and, as always, the food mentioned!

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Sophie is busy handling the first ever convention of the Association of Ghost Kitchens—restaurants that do delivery only—but she’s taking a little time out for a lunch meeting organized by A Healthy Meal. The group is dedicated to providing meals for children in need, and as a bonus, it’ll give Sophie the perfect opportunity to ogle the lavish Old Town home of socialite Geraldine Stansfield. Gerrie’s dining room is impeccably furnished, the table laden with gleaming crystal and prized china. If it weren’t for the dead man lying on the floor, everything would be perfect . . .
Sophie is trying to keep her nose out of it but it is so hard . Her and her friends jump right in to solve the crime. She just can't make sense of the crimes that have been committed and then a friend ends up in the hospital it makes her want to solve it even more. Through many twist, it takes she comes out on top. I have to tell you it is not who I thought it was!! Can't wait for the next one.

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I have mixed feelings about the book. On a positive note, there are fewer repeated outfit changes than in previous books, the recipes at the end are tempting, and there is no need for Sophie to be ahead of the police. However, the story wanders at a meandering pace with no out-of-left-field excitement or gasps. Then it ends abruptly.

In the amateur sleuth genre, it is refreshing when the who-done-it is open-ended and unpredictable since my mental murder board was jumping in multiple directions.

Despite these criticisms, I still enjoy the series for its charming depiction of Old Town, the friendships, the food, and the occasional tackling of social issues.

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Never trust anyone who tries so hard to be perfect.
Krista Davis, The Diva Delivers on a Promise, Kindle Loc. 1878

Sophie is busy handling the first ever convention of the Association of Ghost Kitchens—restaurants that do delivery only—but she’s taking a little time out for a lunch meeting organized by A Healthy Meal. The group is dedicated to providing meals for children in need, and as a bonus, it’ll give Sophie the perfect opportunity to ogle the lavish Old Town home of socialite Geraldine Stansfield. Gerrie’s dining room is impeccably furnished, the table laden with gleaming crystal and prized china. If it weren’t for the dead man lying on the floor, everything would be perfect . . .

No one knows the victim—or at least, no one claims to. But a little snooping by Sophie reveals links to many local notables. In fact, not only was he a client of Geraldine’s late husband, an attorney—every member of the Stansfield clan knew the deceased. But only one knows what he was doing in Gerrie’s house.

Gerrie’s elegant abode looks spotless, but there’s plenty of dirty linen in those family closets. Now Sophie will have to get the killer to come clean before he spoils another appetite—for good . . .

Amazon. com

The Diva Delivers on a Promise is the sixteenth book in the Domestic Diva Mystery series. Sixteen! I applaud Krista Davis for her ingenuity. Her characters are like old friends who take readers along on their investigations. Thank goodness the calories are also fiction!

Once again, Sophie Winston investigates murder within the small community of Old Town Alexandria, VA, a place I’ve visited many times while living in Northern VA. There are brick sidewalks, and many of the homes are on the historic register—just as Krista describes. Sophie and her best friend Nina solve not just one murder, but two, and an attempted murder along with a scam that ties to those murders. There’s a lot of crime surrounding her neighborhood, which gets Sophie investigating during the hot August days and nights.

P.S. Books 10—15 are now on Kindle Unlimited. Read them free with your subscription!

Welcome Krista Davis back to WWK! E. B. Davis

How does the industry classify your mystery series? Although there are the cozy elements of the culinary arts, the comradery of friends, and pets—there’s also a lot of blood. Luckily, some of that blood was actually tomato sauce, but there still was enough.

The Domestic Diva Mysteries are considered cozy mysteries. Cozies come in a range. They don’t have to be sugary sweet or hilarious. I remember asking my editor if I could hang someone. She said, “It all depends on how you do it.”

Has anyone ever approached you about movie rights?

Yes. At the moment there is a strike in progress which has brought a lot of things to a screeching halt.

This is the first time, I think, that there was a question that Mars might have been having an affair with Natasha before Sophie and his divorce. Was this an oversight on my part or a new twist?

Sorry, but it was an oversight on your part. Sophie doesn’t know for sure, but she’s not the only one who suspects that may have been the case.

In the last book, Bernie seemed to be making romantic overtures to Sophie. In this book, he volunteers to stay overnight at her place when she is threatened. But Mars kisses her—twice! I’m suspicious. Perhaps he sees the error of his ways. But…is Mars now interested because Bernie seems interested?

Mars doesn’t realize how Bernie feels about Sophie. Not yet, anyway. Mars was comfortable socializing with Sophie as a couple again.

What are ghost kitchens? Why are they appealing to the public over regular restaurant delivery services such as Door Dash?

Ghost kitchens cook food for delivery only. They do not have dining rooms and consumers cannot pick up their food. Some ghost kitchens have a delivery person, and many use companies like Door Dash for delivery of their food.

I was shocked that Charlene asked Mars, Bernie, Nina, and Sophie to deliver her ghost kitchen food. I know she was in a bind, and yet, it seemed inappropriate. Her family was there to help. Why would she ask Sophie, et al., to do so?

Charlene’s family (her mother and Natasha’s mother) were tied up in their own store. Sophie has assisted Charlene in the past. This time Charlene was in a pinch and had run out of options. You’ll notice that Mars and Bernie also agreed to help deliver her food.

Nina asks Charlene about giving the food to children or adults only. Charlene says give it to the kids because often parents are still at the office and order dinner for their kids from there. Is this a new trend?

Ghost kitchens are new, so I guess it is a recent trend. Imagine how convenient it is! School is out for the summer and a fourteen-year-old or a sixteen-year-old without a car is babysitting your children. Mom and Dad are working away from home and can call in an order for what they want their children to eat. It magically appears at their house!

Sophie is helping Colleen Stansfield field the first conference of the Association of Ghost Kitchens. Is there such an organization? Who does Colleen work for?

Colleen works for the Association of Ghost Kitchens. Such organizations and conferences are cropping up. There is an International Association of Delivery Kitchens.

What’s a tomahawk steak?

It’s a bone-in ribeye steak with a long bone attached, hence the name tomahawk. They are well-marbled and a favorite among steak lovers.

What’s a Figaro link silver bracelet?

The figaro link usually consists of three small links in a row, followed by an elongated link and are mostly seen on necklaces and bracelets. They are a popular link for men to wear, though women wear the link as well.

Mariah Carey has a cookie business?

You bet!

Dark roots are still tacky, aren’t they, even if the media seems intent on trying to make them fashionable?

I’m not getting involved in a fashion trends argument! LOL! Let’s just say that is in the eye of the beholder.

At the beginning of Chapter 10, I was shocked when I agreed with Natasha’s answer. Is something wrong with me?

Natasha isn’t always wrong! Natasha is very opinionated and has strict rules for herself that she thinks are appropriate for others.

When Bernie asks everyone to The Laughing Hound for a taste test, he’s trying out wood-burning cooking. I thought only pizza places might have a wood burning oven. Is this different? Is it a new trend? (For readers—here’s the tasting menu—pork with pineapple, crisp grilled whole fish, spiced lamb, brined chicken with sweet corn, smoky pork belly mac and cheese, grilled zucchini, and salad—and finished by a dessert of chocolate ice cream with a French chocolate liqueur and charred marshmallow topping—accompanied with Amaretto coffee topped with melting whipped cream. Many refrigerator doors will be opened during this scene.)

It is a new trend! It’s not an oven, though. It’s a live open fire. You can imagine it takes a special work area, so not every restaurant is capable of wood-burning cooking without a major renovation. But it is definitely a hot trend. (Sorry, had to say it!)

I really thought “petit” larceny was “petty” larceny. Are both adjectives used interchangeably or was I doing another auditory learner mistake?

A prosecutor friend informs me that “petty” is unfortunate American language for “petit.” It differs by state and commonwealth. Some states call it misdemeanor larceny.

It was great finding out more about Officer Wong in this book. Her ex, Eddie, is back in town. He is a narcissist. I have some experience with such individuals. You wrote with authority and authenticity on the disorder. Do you have a narcissist in your life?

I believe I have encountered some narcissists in my life. Thank you for your kind compliment.

Why are narcissists attracted to clever, confident women?

My understanding is that they seek strong women because narcissists are insecure and such women give them the authority they did not receive from their parents. I’m not so sure about that. I suspect it may be because confident women are a bigger challenge and reward.

Why does Natasha jump to the conclusion that Sophie is responsible for ruining her cookie business?

Because the problem arose immediately after Natasha was a guest speaker at the conference Sophie was running. Natasha thinks it wouldn’t have happened if she had not been a guest speaker.

Are deeds to houses still issued?

I certainly hope so! To the best of my knowledge, they are still issued.

Are the temporary credit cards a new phenomenon? I haven’t heard about them. They sound like a good idea, but it’s probably confusing and problematic.

I was very surprised to read about them. I’m in total agreement with you. They sound like a terrific idea, but a hassle. For those not familiar with them, the bank gives you a number for one use only. After you charge something, that number is no longer valid. What a great way to foil credit card thieves! Unfortunately, having been the victim of credit card theft myself recently, I wonder if we’re heading in that direction. Those who are interested in learning more about them can start at this link.

Do you drink Blue Ghosts or eat them with a spoon?

You drink them. Like a Brandy Alexander made with ice cream!

What’s next for Sophie and the gang?

I am pleased to announce that The Diva Goes Overboard has been sent to my editor and should be released in May of 2024!

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