Eat, Drink and Drop Dead

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Pub Date Apr 04 2023 | Archive Date Apr 07 2023

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A former chef gets mixed up in murder when she moves back to her Southern home town in the first Tiffany Austin food blogger mystery - a culinary cozy that will make your brain work and your stomach rumble!

"I was hooked from start to finish!" Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries

Food critic and blogger Tiffany Austin has the best job in the world: she gets to eat for a living. At least, she hopes she has a job. Her trial period at Southern Style magazine is up - and rumors are swirling that management are making a choice between Tiffany and a rival columnist: the ambitious Jenny Lee Plumm.

Former chef Tiffany knows she has a battle on her hands . . . but she didn't realize it was to the death! When her rival's body is discovered after the two have a very public argument, Tiffany finds herself the prime suspect in a murder investigation. The lead detective might be very hot - but Tiffany's definitely not ready to go down for a crime she didn't commit.

Ably assisted by Hilary, her best friend and partner in (non) crime, and bolstered by the unconditional love of her Siamese cat Lily and King Charles Cavalier puppy Cooper, Tiffany plunges into an investigation of her own. After all, she has a degree from the CIA - the Culinary Institute of America - and she's not afraid to use it. But can she find the real killer before she's served up to the cops on a silver platter?

Eat, Drink and Drop Dead is a great pick for fans of delicious culinary cozies by Joanne Fluke, Lucy Burdette, Krista Davis and Jenn McKinlay - if you like smart, savvy female sleuths, twisty mysteries and delicious food, why not give it a try!

A former chef gets mixed up in murder when she moves back to her Southern home town in the first Tiffany Austin food blogger mystery - a culinary cozy that will make your brain work and your stomach...

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ISBN 9781448310029
PRICE $29.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 30 members

Featured Reviews

Chef Tiffany Austin has moved back home and is hoping to snag a coveted role as food blogger in a Southern magazine. She is up against another columnist and it’s a race to the end. Unfortunately, in this case, it’s the end of Jenny’s life when she is found dead.

As the prime suspect, Tiffany is not going to allow herself to be burned for a murder she didn’t commit. She puts on her sleuthing toque and whips up her own investigation to figure out whodunit! She just has to hope she can serve the murdered up before her time is up.

This is a great start to a new series. I’ve read a few other things from this author and have never been disappointed, so I’m excited to see this new one that I really enjoyed. Can’t wait for more!

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This first in series is a welcome addition to the cozy mystery genre. It is well written, with a good plot, interesting mystery, and, thankfully, intelligent characters. While the characters are well developed, particularly Main Character Tiffany Austin, the story is not bogged down with lengthy background details and personality analysis all too common in introductory books. Instead, the characters' personalities and histories unfold and are revealed naturally, along with the story. Tiffany, a former professional chef turned food blogger and restaurant reviewer for a print/digital magazine, is wonderfully relatable, as is her relationship with her best friend. The setting is genius for the amateur investigator, allowing her to pretty much pick her own hours, allowing time for snooping, without neglecting her job. In fact, being a well liked restaurant .reviewer makes great cover for investigating this particular mystery. There are plenty of suspects and though I suspected/figured out the identify of the murderer, it did not diminish the enjoyment of this delightful read.

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I received this advance reader copy via Netgalley and Severn House, in return for an honest review. I always enjoy this author’s stories and this first in a new cozy series is equally good. When Tiffany Austin, a former professional chef, takes a job as a food blogger at a regional Southern magazine, sparks fly with fellow employee, Jenny Lee Plumm, over who gets to stay as staff cuts are made. Jenny Lee’s murder puts Tiffany firmly in the crosshairs of the detective in charge, along with her boss at the magazine. This leaves her no choice but to solve the mystery before she winds up in the soup!

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Eat, Drink, and Drop Dead is the first installment of a new culinary cozy mystery series. Tiffany is a food critic and blogger, reviewing the restaurants around Branson, Georgia. In this first book, one of Tiffany's competitors at her magazine is found murdered and Tiffany finds herself on the suspect list, as she had just recently threatened the woman. In order to clear her name, Tiffany puts on her amateur sleuthing hat and starts investigating, to the annoyance of the very handsome detective Bartell.

As this is the first book in the series, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the characters and the setting. Branson seems like it will be a fun town with plenty of interesting individuals, cozy cafes, and delicious restaurants (all necessary for a great culinary cozy series). I'm sure we'll be getting to know many of the town's citizens more indepth in later books, which I'm looking forward to. The mystery was intriguing; although, I did figure out who the killer was earlier than I'd have liked, but hopefully, in future books, I'll be wondering until the end. The only real issue I had with the book was Tiffany's background - why she left being a chef in New York. I found the reason to be a bit weak and against Tiffany's personality. I would have thought she would have stood up for herself and, at least, questioned Jeff. Maybe it will be further explained in later books. Finally, I'm already excited to try the recipe for the empanadas that were included at the end of Eat, Drink, and Drop Dead.

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I saw the title of this book and just had to read it. Food, reading, blogging, cooking. Some of my favourite things. And this didn't disappoint.

The perfect length for a fun and cosy mystery it is a very entertaining read. Tiffany (being the main character) is perfect for this story. She is a great chef and I must say a pretty good sleuth too.

The story flows well, isn't padded out with overly long descriptiveness and it is fun and quirky, easy to read. There is enough storyline, plot, mystery and fun to make it an enjoyable read. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

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What a fantastic, fun, and totally engrossing cozy series debut!!

First, the series theme. I LOVE IT! A chef turned food critic who eats at local restaurants and reviews/rates them for a living. What a dream come true moment! Don't get me started on all the mouth-watering dishes that Tiffany gets to eat - from cheesecakes to empanadas, reading this book made me drool.

Next, the writing - LoTempio's the best. I loved the storytelling, the dash of humor and romance, inclusion of furry babies, and everything else.

When Tiffany and Jenny fight in the office and Tiffany says she would kill Jenny, the whole world hears them. So, when that same night, Jenny is found dead, the local cops would obviously suspect Tiffany, right? But Tiffany is innocent. In fact, Jenny had asked Tiffany to meet her at a restaurant - and Tiffany was waiting for her when she was 'busy' getting murdered.

In spite of being warned (multiple times) not to interfere in a police investigation, Tiffany starts to poke her nose where it doesn't belong. She HAS to know who killed Jenny. And that 'HAS to know' comes at a price - the killer might be aware of the fact that Tiffany is onto them.

Speaking of killer, their identity was a huge shocker. I was like, jaw dropped, heart skipped a beat, WOW! I didn't see it coming (the killer's identity and not my heart skipping a beat.)

I enjoyed reading every bit of this fantabulous series debut. This is one of the best cozy debuts I have read this year. If you are looking for a super fun, unique and engrossing cozy mystery, you might want to give Eat, Drink and Drop Dead by T.C. LoTempio a try.

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Tiffany Austin is a former chef who leaves her New York City restaurant job to become a food critic and blogger back in her hometown in Georgia. The trial period at her job is almost over and a rival columnist, Jenny Lee Plumm, is out for Tiffany's job. The two women get into a public altercation, so when Jenny Lee is found murdered, Tiffany becomes one of the suspects. With the help of her best friend, Hilary Hanson, Tiffany launches her own investigation into Jenny Lee's death.

I really enjoy this author's Nick and Nora series so I was eager to try this new series. It is well-written and has many strong points. I like the premise of a food column and a few recipes are included in the back of the book. The friendship between Tiffany and Hilary is believable and I like their scenes together. I also like the chemistry between Tiffany and the detective investigating the case. Sometimes romances in cozy mysteries seem forced, but this one has a lot of potential. 

On the downside, the book starts out slow. Tiffany's experience at the restaurant doesn't really make sense. Jenny Lee came across very over-the-top, although her behavior did give a few different people a motive to want to see her dead. Something about the story just didn't grab me and I would rate it 3.5 stars, but many culinary cozy lovers will enjoy this new series.

I received an advance copy of this ebook from NetGalley and Severn House at no cost, but my review is voluntary and unbiased.

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Dollycas's Thoughts 

Welcome to Branson, Georgia. Hometown of chef turned food blogger and critic Tiffany Austin. She left a big job in the city and has been working on a trial basis for Southern Style magazine for the past 6 months and her efforts have been well received. With her trial period coming to an end she hopes she will be hired on as a regular employee but she has heard that the powers that be are deciding between her column or another penned by Jenny Lee Plumm.

When the decision is made, Tiffany is in and Jenny is out and she isn't going quietly. She stops by Tiffany's office for a very loud verbal communication with some choice words thrown around by both columnists before Jenny storms out of the building still voicing her threats and opinions. But the last thing Tiffany expected was having the police at her door questioning her about the untimely death of Jenny Lee Plumm.

In an effort to clear her name, she enlists the help of gal pal Hilary to uncover any clues to find out who could have killed the Society N Style maven. Who knew there could be so many suspects? Many have means and motives so she needs to pare them down and strain out who had the opportunity to take the woman out and tried to frame her for the crime.


Oh, these new characters are fun! Tiffany knows her stuff but was done wrong. Strong woman that she is she didn't let it get her down. She came home and found a job that still allowed her to eat for a living and she is darn good at it. She is creative with great ideas and she has talents that also come in handy for sleuthing. Two being organization and curiosity. Best friend Hilary Hanson also works at the magazine and helped Tiffany get the job. Friends since the 5th grade she has Tiffany's back but she also gives Tiff a push whenever needed and sometimes when she doesn't. LOL She also reunites with former classmate Dale Swenson who is now the editor of Southern Style. The friendships feel genuine and their dialogues are true to life especially the final one Tiff had with Jenny. Seriously, we have all been there.

Ms. LoTempio has put forth a very well-plotted mystery with an abundance of suspects. The victim was a real piece of work so Tiffany has a huge task ahead of her and she wasn't backing down no matter how many warnings she received from the cops to butt out. I appreciated her zeal but worried about some of her actions. I was able to focus on the right suspect early but kept second-guessing myself. Actually, I was pretty surprised when everything came to a head. The ending was very exciting.

I love the food blogger theme and the fact that readers tag along with Tiffany as she tries everything from empanadas, to tacos, tartlets, and cheesecakes. My stomach was growling just reading the words and descriptions. I also enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at the magazine industry today, both print and digital. It takes creative ideas like Tiffany comes up with to keep readers engaged. That is so important even for me and my blog and at times it is really a struggle. While I don't critique food I may pick up a few tips from Tiffany.

Eat, Drink and Drop Dead is a marvelous debut for this series. I really enjoyed the way Ms. LoTempio told this story. She gave us interesting characters and mixed them up in an entertaining mystery. I hope we don't have to wait too long for the next Tiffany Austin Food Blogger Mystery. I am excited to visit these characters again.

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A fun first in a new culinary cozy mystery that plays on a lot of traditional cozy tropes. I liked Tiffany and her friends, Tiffany's plans for blogging, her connection to the Southern Magazine. Not a lot of remorse over the death and lots of suspects who had a reason to want her dead. I liked how technology was integrated into the story. Looking forward to book 2.

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Eat, Drink and Drop Dead is everything I love about cozy mysteries: A strong protagonist who is a lot of fun, a sidekick who is the Ethel to the heroine’s Lucy – or vice versa, a swoony romantic interest (bonus points if he’s a detective), a cute pet or two, a quirky cast of supporting characters, and a layered mystery that keeps me guessing.

I’d never read anything by this author before picking up Eat, Drink and Drop Dead, but this will definitely not be my last read by LoTempio. For starters, I will definitely be following this series, as I was completely charmed by it from beginning to end. Tiffany Austin was a talented, up-and-coming chef in NYC when a messy situation caused her to jump ship and head to small town Georgia where she is thriving as a food blogger and magazine columnist. I loved her personality, her warmth & wit, and her relatable blend of gutsy and anxious. Best friend Hilary is a hoot and reminded me a lot of Nancy Drew’s Bess, and while she may not be the most reliable sidekick, she is sincere in her efforts.

The murder mystery is full of delicious layers, and you’re never quite sure what Tiffany will uncover next. There is no shortage of people who strongly disliked the victim, so she has her hands full trying to pin down the right suspect and the right motive. Why is a food blogger/chef investigating a murder? Well, for starters, this is a cozy mystery haha. But also because Tiffany herself is on that suspect list and she just can’t seem to help herself when it comes to puzzling this one out. In the process, she ends up in yummy Detective Bartell’s crosshairs more than once, allowing ample opportunity for the attraction that hums between them to spark into flame.

That messy situation I mentioned earlier? I am still not quite sure why Tiffany reacted as strongly as she did to Jenny Lee’s threats to uncover the truth behind her NYC exit – it didn’t seem to warrant that level of panic. It also felt like Tiffany could have resolved that issue in the first place by having a conversation with a certain boyfriend instead of fleeing NYC, particularly as we can see how dogged she is in solving Jenny Lee’s murder. So I’m interested to see if this comes back into play in future books, more specifically if that former boyfriend shows up in some way, and we get some more information that will clear it up for me.

Bottom Line: Eat, Drink and Drop Dead is my first read by author T.C. LoTempio, and I was drawn into this delightful mystery from the very first scene. Tiffany is such a fun character, which works out well considering the story is written in her first person POV, and I also loved her best friend Hilary and their relationship. They make a dynamic amateur sleuthing duo (well… mostly haha), and it’s certainly never boring when they’re on the case. I would hang out with them in a heartbeat. Speaking of great relationships, the chemistry practically sizzles between Tiffany and the swoony chief of detectives and, champion of KissingBooks that I am, I cannot wait to see how this plays out in future books. The mystery is full of twists and turns and the ever-present red herrings, as well as all the yummy food Tiffany gets to eat while investigating. A series I’m definitely going to follow, while I catch up on this author’s backlist!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)

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I really enjoyed this first in series cozy mystery by T.C. LoTempio. The main character, Tiffany, gets a new job as a food blogger and it's no surprise when her rival is murdered. It was also apparent that Tiffany would be pegged for the murder! As the suspects piled up (as well as the dead bodies) I tried to think outside the box and figured out whodunnit before the end. Even so, this was a well planned mystery with characters I'd like to learn more about. It seemed like the romance between the main character and detective came about a little too quickly but I definitely would like to read the next book in this series.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this first in a new series (I think? Hope?) about a chef turned food columnist in the southern US (Louisiana?). The characters were very well done, and I liked Tiffany and her best friend Hilary as they sorted through their love lives and the murder of a rival newspaper columnist, Jenny Lee Plumm. Sure, most folks had nothing nice to say about Jennie Lee, but surely no one hated her *that* much?

The writing is excellent and the story flows well, but I did guess the baddie at about halfway. It didn't really detract from the story too much, though, and there was still the 'why' after all. Also, I wasn't clear where the intense love interest sprang from after one interview. It felt a bit heavy handed the rest of the story to have sprung from one conversation. But, there we are.

Regardless, it was an enjoyable read and if this is indeed a new series, I look forward to the next one!

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