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Mousse and Murder

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A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even c A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs. Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie's ideas--leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case. With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it's too late.


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A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even c A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs. Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie's ideas--leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case. With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it's too late.

30 review for Mousse and Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Natalia R

    Charlie Cooke has returned to her hometown of Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mom's diner. She wants to make changes to the menu, but her chef is completely against it and two get into a heated argument. When he is found dead a few hours later, she immediately becomes the main suspect. Charlie becomes determined to find the real killer and teams up with local journalist and former classmate, Chris Doucette. Together, they uncover some shocking secrets about the chef Charlie thought she knew. Th Charlie Cooke has returned to her hometown of Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mom's diner. She wants to make changes to the menu, but her chef is completely against it and two get into a heated argument. When he is found dead a few hours later, she immediately becomes the main suspect. Charlie becomes determined to find the real killer and teams up with local journalist and former classmate, Chris Doucette. Together, they uncover some shocking secrets about the chef Charlie thought she knew. This is the first book in Elizabeth Logan's An Alaskan Diner Mystery series. I thought it was a solid start to a new series. I loved the rural, wintry Alaska setting, and the diner atmosphere. Our main character, Charlie, is easy to like. She's witty, hardworking, family-oriented, and a great boss. I really liked the chemistry between her and Chris and thought they made a great sleuthing team. I would love to see their flirty banter develop into something more. I also liked Annie, Tropper, and Charlie's mom. The mystery was interesting and kept me guessing throughout the story. I was unable to figure out the culprit's identity, so the reveal came as a surprise to me. I loved the role Charlie's cat, Eggs Benedict, played in taking down the killer. Overall, this was a light, enjoyable mystery and I look forward to the second book. Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diana | Book of Secrets

    MOUSSE AND MURDER is an enjoyable start to a new cozy mystery series set in Elkview, Alaska. Charlie Cooke runs the Bear Claw Diner in this tiny tourist town. After a spat between Charlie and her chef Oliver, Oliver is found murdered on the outskirts of town. That doesn’t bode well for Charlie, so she and her friends offer to help with the investigation. I was intrigued by the unique Alaskan setting, and the author did a fantastic job describing life in and around Elkview. I felt like I was there MOUSSE AND MURDER is an enjoyable start to a new cozy mystery series set in Elkview, Alaska. Charlie Cooke runs the Bear Claw Diner in this tiny tourist town. After a spat between Charlie and her chef Oliver, Oliver is found murdered on the outskirts of town. That doesn’t bode well for Charlie, so she and her friends offer to help with the investigation. I was intrigued by the unique Alaskan setting, and the author did a fantastic job describing life in and around Elkview. I felt like I was there! The mystery itself was interesting and well-plotted. Several possible suspects came to light as Charlie and friends learned more about Oliver’s secret past. I loved Charlie, Elkview, and its residents, and I’m looking forward to continuing with this series. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    Many thanks to Berkley Publishing Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 3.5 stars! This was a nice lil cozy mystery that is perfect to curl up with on a chilly rainy day. I also loved the recipes at the back. ----------- YAS MORE COZY MYSTERIES | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram Many thanks to Berkley Publishing Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 3.5 stars! This was a nice lil cozy mystery that is perfect to curl up with on a chilly rainy day. I also loved the recipes at the back. ----------- YAS MORE COZY MYSTERIES | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  4. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    An enjoyable first instalment in a new series of culinary cozies set in a little town of Elkview near Anchorage, Alaska. The protagonist of the series Charlotte (Charlie) Cooke grew up in her parents' diner The Bear Claw. Charlie went to a culinary school in San Francisco and worked for one of the best restaurants there. Unfortunately, her love life took a nose dive and Charlie came back to her home town and took over running the Bear Claw. Charlie is smart, friendly, and curious. She gets on we An enjoyable first instalment in a new series of culinary cozies set in a little town of Elkview near Anchorage, Alaska. The protagonist of the series Charlotte (Charlie) Cooke grew up in her parents' diner The Bear Claw. Charlie went to a culinary school in San Francisco and worked for one of the best restaurants there. Unfortunately, her love life took a nose dive and Charlie came back to her home town and took over running the Bear Claw. Charlie is smart, friendly, and curious. She gets on well with everyone, if you don't count an occasional argument with Oliver, the diner chef, who is opposed to any changes and who seems to have a rather short temper. After Charlie decides to add a bit of chocolate to one of the diner's specialities, Oliver storms off.. and is murdered at the same time as Charlie stepped out of the diner for half an hour to go home and feed her cat, Eggs Benedict, AKA Benny. Obviously, Charlie needs to solve the murder mystery. As any good first instalment, Mousse and Murder sets the scene for the series. I love the small-town setting in general (Isn't it ideal for cozies?), and I love reading about Alaska, so this was a match made in heaven for me. We get to know our protagonist, her best friend Annie Jensen who also runs a family business, a small inn which appears to be always full of tourists, Charlie's budding love interest, local journalist Chris Doucette, Charlie's family, and lots of other local people. It is not unusual for the first book to seem a bit overcrowded with characters, even if you take into account the necessity for red herrings. I'm sure some of these characters will become more prominent in future instalments. As far as the mystery itself is concerned, although you might guess the culprit quite early in the book, the reason why Oliver was murdered doesn't become clear until the very end. The pace could have been a bit faster, but I liked Charlie's sense of humour, and the whole atmosphere of the Bear Claw. I don't think I'll be trying to make moose meat loaf in the nearest future, but it is great to know I have a recipe for it, should an opportunity present itself. I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series. Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

  5. 5 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts. North to Elkview, Alaska, and the Bear Claw Diner. Chef Charlie Cooke has left San Fran behind to come home to manage her mother’s restaurant. She has many ideas for updating the menu but her head cook Oliver is not having it. When she proposes a change to their signature Bear Claw, he explodes and walks out. This is not the first time he has done that but it is the first time he doesn’t return. Turns out the man went and got himself murdered and because of the public tantrum Dollycas’s Thoughts. North to Elkview, Alaska, and the Bear Claw Diner. Chef Charlie Cooke has left San Fran behind to come home to manage her mother’s restaurant. She has many ideas for updating the menu but her head cook Oliver is not having it. When she proposes a change to their signature Bear Claw, he explodes and walks out. This is not the first time he has done that but it is the first time he doesn’t return. Turns out the man went and got himself murdered and because of the public tantrum Charlie is the prime suspect. With her entire life on the line, she knows she needs to find the real killer pronto! ______ Growing up in a family diner I was so excited to read this and I am pleased to say Ms. Logan created great characters you could find in diners everywhere. The cooks, waitresses, families and truck drivers that come in to eat, and because this is set in Alaska tour groups that have come to see the sights. The core group of characters is just starting to develop but Charlie and her awesome cat, Eggs Benedict (Benny) are in clear focus. Charlie is smart, hardworking, and dedicated to her new life at the diner. She also is a true cat lover using technology to interact with Benny while she is at work. There also may a romance blooming for Charlie. The author also served readers with a generous supply of humor. The state trooper, Trooper, and Charlie’s best friend Annie have their moments and are two characters I want to get to know better. The mystery grabbed me right away. It did have twists but there was a whiplash twist the really caught me by surprise. I had the culprit in mind pretty early but I really didn’t have a good reason, something just didn’t ring true for me. As the story continued, my choice faltered but was soon clear, and the big reveal was so rewarding. I have to mention the food, it sounds so good! Cherry Cheesecake Mousse may become a family staple in this house. The Alaskan Diner Mystery Series is off to an excellent start. Great cozy characters, a well-plotted mystery set in frozen tundra of Alaska. I can’t wait for November when Fishing for Trouble will be released.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    I am an avid fan of cozy mysteries and this one caught my attention because it was set in Alaska and I haven't noticed too many books in this genre that take place in that setting. I enjoyed the characters of Charlie, Chris, and the rest secondary cast. Charlie is likable and there is a fun bit of flirtation that takes place between her and Chris. That said, I thought there could have been a bit more character development in this first book. For me, I found the pace to be too slow and not enough I am an avid fan of cozy mysteries and this one caught my attention because it was set in Alaska and I haven't noticed too many books in this genre that take place in that setting. I enjoyed the characters of Charlie, Chris, and the rest secondary cast. Charlie is likable and there is a fun bit of flirtation that takes place between her and Chris. That said, I thought there could have been a bit more character development in this first book. For me, I found the pace to be too slow and not enough in the mystery that grabbed me. As a reader, I didn't get a chance to really know Oliver, the victim, so I was not all that invested in the identity of his killer. There were plenty of clues provided throughout the story and a nice twist regarding Oliver's parentage. As for the identity of the killer, it was not all that difficult for me to figure out, I just didn't know the motive. And for those who read my reviews, I am not really all that good at determining whodunit. For me, this had likable characters and a different setting, but the slow pace, lack of character development and ease of solving the mystery was enough that I will probably not be back for more books in the series. I voluntarily read a digital advanced review copy that I download from Edelweiss Books.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Charlie runs the Bear Claw Diner in Elkview, AK, having returned to her hometown after a bad break up. When the head chef, Oliver, is murdered, Charlie and her friends Chris and Annie decide that since law enforcement is stretched so thin in this rural area, they will help with finding the killer. I liked the Alaska setting and the characters in this new cozy mystery series, and would like to read more by this author who includes recipes of some of the Bear Claw Diner favorites. Thanks to the pu Charlie runs the Bear Claw Diner in Elkview, AK, having returned to her hometown after a bad break up. When the head chef, Oliver, is murdered, Charlie and her friends Chris and Annie decide that since law enforcement is stretched so thin in this rural area, they will help with finding the killer. I liked the Alaska setting and the characters in this new cozy mystery series, and would like to read more by this author who includes recipes of some of the Bear Claw Diner favorites. Thanks to the publisher and to Netgalley for this ARC.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    Alaska is near the top of my travel bucket list, so I always love traveling there vicariously on the pages of a good book. There aren’t a ton of books set there, though, so whenever I find one that looks halfway interesting I snatch it up. Mousse and Murder did not disappoint, and I’m looking forward to more books in this series! Along with spotlighting the beauty and quirks of Alaska & its residents, Mousse and Murder introduces an intriguing murder mystery and an equally intriguing cast of char Alaska is near the top of my travel bucket list, so I always love traveling there vicariously on the pages of a good book. There aren’t a ton of books set there, though, so whenever I find one that looks halfway interesting I snatch it up. Mousse and Murder did not disappoint, and I’m looking forward to more books in this series! Along with spotlighting the beauty and quirks of Alaska & its residents, Mousse and Murder introduces an intriguing murder mystery and an equally intriguing cast of characters to match. I really liked Charlotte (“Charlie”) and the narrative from her perspective. Her cat-cam cracked me up, and Benny the cat lived up well to his role as the loyal pet. The romantic potential between Charlotte and Chris-the-reporter was light enough to not annoy readers who don’t want any lovey-dovey stuff in their cozy mysteries but present enough to appease readers like me who think any story is better with a little romance. Trooper steals the show, however, in my opinion. The somewhat-crusty-but-also-wryly-hilarious state police officer is definitely my fave recurring cast member so far. The mystery itself seems to be fairly straightforward at first but in fact has many different layers once all is said and done. The more that Charlie & Chris uncover about Oliver, the more suspects come to light. And while I figured it out before they did, it was still well-plotted and cleverly-crafted. Bottom Line: Cute and well-layered, Mousse and Murder is a great start to a new cozy mystery series! Trooper is hands down my favorite character but all of the main cast members are easily likable. Including Benny the wonder cat! The mystery gets more complicated at every turn, with new dimensions – and new suspects – and the barest hint of potential romance adds other layers too. Engaging & entertaining, Mousse and Murder belongs on every cozy mystery fan’s to read list! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book) first seen at Reading Is My SuperPower

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    My thoughts Would I recommend it? Yes Would I read more of this series ? Yes Would I read more by this author? yes This is the first time I've ever read anything by this author and I don have to say that while I liked it and enjoyed the story it was kind of slow for a cozy mystery. And I tend to read a lot of them , you can say that their one of my go to when I want to just read something and get lost in story and what got me to pick it up in the first place was the title itself. And I even liked th My thoughts Would I recommend it? Yes Would I read more of this series ? Yes Would I read more by this author? yes This is the first time I've ever read anything by this author and I don have to say that while I liked it and enjoyed the story it was kind of slow for a cozy mystery. And I tend to read a lot of them , you can say that their one of my go to when I want to just read something and get lost in story and what got me to pick it up in the first place was the title itself. And I even liked the characters and the Charlie's cat name which I thought was funny, the story does pick up the more that you read it and it also have as feel to that there might be a bit more of a something between Charlie and one of the characters.Over all it had this had likable characters and a different setting, but the slow pace.But I do want to read more of this series to see if it gets better. With that said I want to thank Edelweiss for letting me read and review .

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    In the premiere installment of a new cozy series, Charlie and her cat Benny reside in Alaska where she runs the diner her now-retired parents established. When her chef turns up dead, Trooper deputizes Charlie and a newspaper reporter. Motives for several persons begin to emerge. While some plot elements seem a little far-fetched, I found this a pleasant mystery in an enjoyable setting with local characters I enjoyed. While I did figure it out before the sleuth did, I initially suspected a diffe In the premiere installment of a new cozy series, Charlie and her cat Benny reside in Alaska where she runs the diner her now-retired parents established. When her chef turns up dead, Trooper deputizes Charlie and a newspaper reporter. Motives for several persons begin to emerge. While some plot elements seem a little far-fetched, I found this a pleasant mystery in an enjoyable setting with local characters I enjoyed. While I did figure it out before the sleuth did, I initially suspected a different person. I loved Benny the cat and his role in the mystery! I received an advance electronic copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sue Em

    Returning home to Alaska to take over running the Bear Claw, her family's diner, Charlie Cooke finds her ideas aren't always appreciated by the long-term chef. Then he turns up dead and Charlie joins forces with the local trooper and journalist to look into his death. What sets the debut cozy apart is the locale and the way the community functions there. An enjoyable read and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series. Returning home to Alaska to take over running the Bear Claw, her family's diner, Charlie Cooke finds her ideas aren't always appreciated by the long-term chef. Then he turns up dead and Charlie joins forces with the local trooper and journalist to look into his death. What sets the debut cozy apart is the locale and the way the community functions there. An enjoyable read and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Not a bad book but it couldn’t hold me and I figured out who did it way too easily

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leane

    Really nice start to a series. I enjoyed the setting, the characters and the murderer made sense.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Moondance

    I disconnected the phone call, waiting for the sirens, ready to be arrested and thrown into the women's side of the tiny jail in Elkview, Alaska. Charlie Cook has come home to Elkview, Alaska to take over the family's diner. When the chef is found murdered, Charlie sets out to solve the crime. This was a good introduction to the series. I really liked Charlie's character. It may have been due to her love for her cat, Eggs Benedict AKA Benny. I loved how she used technology to stay in touch with hi I disconnected the phone call, waiting for the sirens, ready to be arrested and thrown into the women's side of the tiny jail in Elkview, Alaska. Charlie Cook has come home to Elkview, Alaska to take over the family's diner. When the chef is found murdered, Charlie sets out to solve the crime. This was a good introduction to the series. I really liked Charlie's character. It may have been due to her love for her cat, Eggs Benedict AKA Benny. I loved how she used technology to stay in touch with him throughout her work day and night. It certainly made me think of cranking up the technology around my house. Of course, i may not want to know what my crew is up to while I am working. Chris, the reporter, was a good strong character as well. I liked that he didn't try to entangle Charlie into a relationship. He helped her follow clues without strings attached. Well, other than the chance to drive her car with a heated steering wheel. State Trooper, Cody Graham, is simply referred to as Trooper. He has his finger on the pulse of Elkview. It was nice to have a more mature police presence. Charlie's friend, Annie, is an asset not only as a local innkeeper but with information as well. The setting was wonderful! I loved learning about the area. I could just visualize Denali and all the magnificent wildlife. The murder was well done. I did have a inkling of the culprit before the reveal but didn't really know the motive. The book ends with a couple of recipes. I will take a hard pass on the moose meatloaf but the cherry cheesecake mousse sounds interesting. I look forward to catching up with the town of Elkview in the next book

  15. 4 out of 5

    katayoun Masoodi

    the characters, the story and the writing were not that engaging. i would say not read it and save the time for something better, most anything. though i did finish it, maybe hoping that the ending would save it (view spoiler)[ and the person who did it wouldn't be the person i thought was the culprit from the first chapters, not that there was any reason for thinking cause well the story part thing, other than subtle hints about him/her that everyone in the story ignored!!!! (hide spoiler)] the characters, the story and the writing were not that engaging. i would say not read it and save the time for something better, most anything. though i did finish it, maybe hoping that the ending would save it (view spoiler)[ and the person who did it wouldn't be the person i thought was the culprit from the first chapters, not that there was any reason for thinking cause well the story part thing, other than subtle hints about him/her that everyone in the story ignored!!!! (hide spoiler)]

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary Brown

    Synopsis: A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with Synopsis: A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town. When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs. Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie's ideas--leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case. With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it's too late. (Goodreads) Review: The characters are well developed and well rounded. Charlie knows that she is in trouble, she got in a fight with her head chef and shortly thereafter, he is dead. She is a prime suspect but she knows that she did not do it. She has to help the troopers figure out the real culprit or she is going away for a long time. I thought the relationship between Charlie and Chris was based on friendship and I am looking forward to seeing if it develops into anything else. The secondary characters added a lot to the story. Benny, Charlie’s cat, stole the show. The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story from the very beginning. The mystery was well plotted and there were enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider. I had a few people I did consider, including the actual culprit, but I was not sure of the why. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    I think this is going to be a fun series.  I don't think that I have read a series set in Alaska, so I enjoyed learning a little more about the state and the landscape.  I have visited Alaska but it has been at least a decade.  The rural setting, the diner, and this picturesque town invite the reader and wishing that it was a real place to visit.  I'm sure there are several small towns like this one in Alaska, just not quite. The cast of characters is small but complements the story.  Not all cha I think this is going to be a fun series.  I don't think that I have read a series set in Alaska, so I enjoyed learning a little more about the state and the landscape.  I have visited Alaska but it has been at least a decade.  The rural setting, the diner, and this picturesque town invite the reader and wishing that it was a real place to visit.  I'm sure there are several small towns like this one in Alaska, just not quite. The cast of characters is small but complements the story.  Not all characters are given in depth lives in the story, but there is potential for them to become more a part of the cast in future books.  It is a shame that Oliver is killed right off the bat because I felt like there was more to his life that we could have learned about him and his past to understand why he was killed.  When the truth is revealed at the end about the "why" I felt like there should have been a little bit more.  I did figure out the killer only because almost all of the other characters had been eliminated.  Charlie seems to spend a lot of time away from the diner investigating Oliver's murder, leaving her staff to manage the diner.  I did chuckle at the Trooper swearing in Charlie and friends as deputies.  It didn't mean a hill of beans but, as Graham said, it made you feel better about nosing around in potentially unsafe places. If you like cats then you will like Benny.  I was intrigued by this device that would feed him but also had a camera and other electronic toys for Charlie to play with him from the diner.  It was a good way to keep Benny entertained, and perhaps even Charlie and her co-workers.  Benny also saves the day in the end but you'll have to read the book to find out how. The story is not fast paced but will get you to where you need to go in due time. We enjoyed this book and give it 3 1/2 paws.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marit Seils

    An enthralling debut in a new cozy mystery series. The Alaskan setting and the lead character’s interaction with her cat was an added factor in the enjoyment of this story. With the help of friends and family Charlie (Charlotte) finds the answer to who murdered her chef, Oliver. Looking forward to the next instalment.

  19. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Charlie Cooke has returned to her tiny hometown of Elkridge, Alaska after a failed relationship in San Francisco sent her running. Charlie loves living back her her hometown and running her mom's diner, the Bear Claw, a local and tourist hotspot open 24/7. The customers are not much of a problem but the chef, Oliver (don't call him a cook) is temperamental. When Charlie suggests changing up their signature Bear Claw pastry recipe, Oliver storms out of the diner in a rage. When he fails to return Charlie Cooke has returned to her tiny hometown of Elkridge, Alaska after a failed relationship in San Francisco sent her running. Charlie loves living back her her hometown and running her mom's diner, the Bear Claw, a local and tourist hotspot open 24/7. The customers are not much of a problem but the chef, Oliver (don't call him a cook) is temperamental. When Charlie suggests changing up their signature Bear Claw pastry recipe, Oliver storms out of the diner in a rage. When he fails to return and can't be reached, Charlie isn't too worried but she lies to her vacationing mom about the situation as so not to cause her worry but when Trooper arrives at the diner and informs Charlie of Oliver's death and not to leave town, Charlie is worried. She has no choice but to tell her mom everything for who else has an insight into the reclusive chef's life? The trooper is overworked and understaffed so he grants permission for Charlie to investigate alongside reporter Chris Doucette. Charlie enlists the aid of her mom; best friend Annie, a B&B owner; and other friends to help clear her name and figure out who killed Oliver and why. This book was hard to read physically. The e-book formatting was off. I tried the e-pub OverDrive book on two different devices and the first line of the page kept spanning to the next page. I liked the story well enough but it's not more than a 3 star read for me. It took me awhile to figure out whodunit. The final clue was so obvious and Charlie was kind of dumb about it. The way she was saved was totally ridiculous, not to mention the improbable motive for murder. It was a little disjointed at the end. There were some questions that could only be answered by Oliver and unfortunately he's dead. The red herrings kept me up at night reading and eager to keep reading. I did put it down and picked it up again about a 1/3 of the way through. I didn't care for all the local color. Alaska is cold I get it, beautiful, OK, has lots of moose people like to kill and eat (horrific) mouse and they have giant mosquitos in the summer. The lower 48 are all the same-the people are ignorant and the weather is always farm. That's enough to make me want to run far far away from Alaska, not go there. What's with the recipes? Since the story is kicked off with the signature Bear Claw pastry, where was the recipe for that? Charlie is an appealing heroine until the tropey ending. She's intelligent, loves trivia and is passionate about showcasing the best her tiny town has to offer. When she needs comfort she turns to her cat, Eggs Benedict, aka Benny. She's not the greatest cat mom in the world but she has a demanding job and feels guilty about leaving Benny alone. It's only temporary though because her parents will be home from their cruise soon and Benny LLOOOOOVVEEESS Charlie's mom! Charlie isn't perfect. She makes mistakes, jumps to conclusions and worries a lot about pleasing her mom but the last makes her a loving daughter and it's a nice change from the usual snippy "when are you going to get married" mother trope. Charlie's mom is fun and caring. She bends over backwards a little too much to please her returning husband but she was also a career woman for many, many years. She is a strong enough mom to hand off the diner to her daughter, confident in knowing Charlie has everything under control. That, too, is a nice change from the "when are you going to get a real job?" mom. I don't normally like cats but I liked Benny. He's actually very sweet and charming. Charlie's BFF Annie annoyed me. Her obsession with Pierre is way over the top. It's obvious where that's going. Annie moves quickly and crushes hard easily. She doesn't seem to feel any emotions except giddy euphoria. She's a practical businesswoman with a big heart so I guess it makes her trusting. I suspect Pierre isn't who he says he is. For one thing, Swiss isn't French and Zurich is in the German speaking part of Switzerland. However, he could live there and work for a magazine. That would be easy enough to check up on. Charlie has to resist the temptation but if I were her, I'd ask Chris to use his journalist connections to check just to be sure because Pierre totally has to be lying. Chris is a mixed bag for me. He isn't clear in his intentions towards Charlie. Does he like spending time with her or her heating steering wheel? He has a sense of humor so I suppose it's the former but I'd rather he be straight with her and ask her on a date. Unlike Charlie, I didn't jump to conclusions about him but I did keep him at a distance. I'm not sure he's trustworthy. The diner staff are a fun bunch. Victor, the assistant cook, makes me uneasy though. He did not answer his phone with Charlie needed him to come in to work and his alibi for the time of murder is a bit thin. He doesn't seem to mourn Oliver as he should and seems very eager to take over. Plus he brings in a friend who is in-between jobs right now. A friend from California who just happens to get there when needed? Is he the usual impatient to be head chef type? Charlie hopes not because he's great with the customers, an excellent cook and a hard worker. His sister Nina is also fun. She helps out at the diner part-time and is quick to join in the rhythm of diner life. The diner slang they toss around is a lot of fun. Trooper, the only police officer for miles around, is a good guy. He can be tough when he needs to be but also knows how to relax and be a diner patron only. He needs help solving the murder because he's overworked so he makes an exception to the civilian investigators rule. He lays down some ground rules which the characters agree to follow. It's different but in a positive way. I like him. Deputy Josh is not so dumb but young and a rule follower. He's unsure of himself, I think. Manny, Moe and Jack are diner regulars and fun characters. Not their real names of course, but the three travel together as a pack when they're in town and are loyal diner patrons. Some of them have hasty tempers though and made me a little nervous at times. I like their close friendship and the bond they share as truckers. Sadly, Manny is close to retirement age so the trio may end up breaking up. I hope not! Manny's story is heartbreaking but also very unhealthy. I can't imagine what he's feeling but what he does isn't healthy or sane. Oliver's sister Kendra is the primary suspect. She seems like a piece of work and not very sisterly. She has her reasons but she sure seems suspicious, especially after Oliver's will is revealed. There's also the mysterious tall, blond man claiming to be Oliver's brother who came into the diner to argue with him. Who is he and what is his connection to Oliver? I think he's someone from Oliver's past come back for something... and I think he's a more likely suspect for murder. I MAY read the next two but I don't feel an urgent need to get them ASAP.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality It is more likely that the Elkview Bugle would win a Pulitzer – after all, the Anchorage Daily News just did – than it is that Charlene Cooke attended her first – and only – year of law school in Anchorage. There are no law schools in Anchorage or anywhere in Alaska. Not that Elkview actually exists, but there are places just like it along the Glenn Highway. And in spite of some small but mostly necessary changes (I’m still niggled about the law school thing Originally published at Reading Reality It is more likely that the Elkview Bugle would win a Pulitzer – after all, the Anchorage Daily News just did – than it is that Charlene Cooke attended her first – and only – year of law school in Anchorage. There are no law schools in Anchorage or anywhere in Alaska. Not that Elkview actually exists, but there are places just like it along the Glenn Highway. And in spite of some small but mostly necessary changes (I’m still niggled about the law school thing), the Alaska of Mousse and Murder reads like the place I lived in – in all of its cold, wintry “glory”. But it was great to be back in the “Great State”, even vicariously, for a few hours, to meet the residents of Elkview and solve a perplexing mystery. The mystery is plenty perplexing, and the red herrings it offers up are as tasty as the offerings at the Bear Claw Diner. Or perhaps that should be the other way around. Our primary amateur detective in this one is chef and diner owner/operator Charlene Cooke. The Bear Claw is the diner that her mother owned and operated while Charlie was growing up. Charlie herself was practically raised at the counter. Now that Charlie is an accredited chef, her mother can leave the diner in Charlie’s capable hands while traveling “Outside” (that’s Alaskan for anyplace away from the state) with Charlie’s dad. Charlie’s hands don’t feel all that capable when she and her head chef have one of their epic arguments in the middle of the diner, resulting in Chef Oliver stomping out in a huff. A fact that Charlie doesn’t reveal to her mother in their daily phone call, as mom is half a world away on a Danube cruise and Charlie doesn’t want to spoil it for her. When Oliver turns up dead, and Charlie is briefly considered a suspect, ruining mom’s vacation is the farthest thing from anyone’s mind. Considering the state of bush policing in Alaska (the statistics Charlie cites are all too real) clearing her name and figuring out exactly who did kill Oliver – and why – shoots right to the top of Charlie’s to do list. Charlie is determined to leave no stone unturned, and with the help of local reporter and fellow informally sworn-in deputy Chris, she uncovers a web of secrets that shows that absolutely no one really knew Oliver in spite of his decades-long tenure at the Bear Claw. And that Oliver’s secretive past – and present – provide plenty of motives for his murder. Escape Rating B+: If you enjoy quirky small-town mysteries, and/or mysteries featuring felines as companion animals, sounding boards and occasional sleuthing assistants, Mousse and Murder is an absolute delight. Oops, I forgot to tell you about Benny. Benny is the feline who holds Charlie’s heart. He’s a big, fluffy orange cat whose full name is Eggs Benedict. He’s smart enough to answer to either name. He is also clearly the light of Charlie’s life, and he’s adorable. The cat he resembles most closely is Diesel in the Cat in the Stacks series, although he’s not nearly as large. Few domestic cats are. But Diesel and Benny are both friends and companions for their humans who are the actual amateur sleuths. They are both intelligent, but on the cat scale of intelligence. (As much as I love Joe Grey, one clowder of speaking cats solving crimes is probably enough.) Part of the delight of this story is the way that Charlie loves and cares for Benny, and how much fun they have together. Benny serves as Charlie’s comforter-in-chief and best sounding board. One of the marvelous things about companion animals is that we can tell them anything and they never judge – while humans, of course, pretty much always do. Mousse and Murder also has shades – or should that be flavors and aromas? – of Diane Mott Davidson and other wonderful culinary mysteries, including a couple of yummy looking recipes tucked into the back. In between investigations, Charlie spends plenty of time at the diner, providing readers with plenty of virtual goodies to salivate over. Remember, there are no calories in the desserts that you only read about – but you’ll be tempted to make some of these! One of the things that is so fascinating about Alaska is that it is one of the few places where a person can still completely hide in plain sight. In our 24/7 connected world there are very few places where a person can still be part of a community AND be relatively isolated at the same time. That Oliver came to Elkview to live and work in a place where he can both be known and keep his secrets is still possible – and would have been even more so when Oliver started working at the Bear Claw when Charlie was a little girl. What makes the story so much fun is the cast of characters who frequent the Bear Claw, both the residents of Elkview and the frequent regulars, like the truckers Manny, Moe and Joe, who stop by so often that they have their own booth. I have a feeling we’ll be meeting more of the regulars as the series continues. Based on the ones we’ve met so far, it’s going to be fun getting to know them. But this first story is all wrapped around Charlie. Hers is the perspective we follow, and she’s an interesting and likeable protagonist, and not just because of Benny. She’s easy to relate to, her fears and insecurities make sense under the circumstances, her mistakes feel real and we want her to succeed. We also want her to succeed in her potential romance with reporter Chris, but not too soon! Mousse and Murder is a fun cozy mystery in an unusual setting with a great cast of characters. I did figure who probably “dunnit” fairly early on, but the why was not remotely apparent until very near the end, so that’s also a win. I’m looking forward to more of Charlie’s adventures, and another visit to Elkview, when Charlie and Benny go Fishing for Trouble later this year.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Garrison

    Great story setting, you really feel like your right there while you were reading. Benny the cat role was every entertaining and I did like the connection between her and Chris. I did find the story a bit slow but being the first book not everything is going to flow the way we like it. I'll be waiting to see what trouble Charlie and he cat can get into next. Great story setting, you really feel like your right there while you were reading. Benny the cat role was every entertaining and I did like the connection between her and Chris. I did find the story a bit slow but being the first book not everything is going to flow the way we like it. I'll be waiting to see what trouble Charlie and he cat can get into next.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Charlie returns to Alaska to take over running her mother’s diner. She makes a few changes to the menu which makes the long term chef angry and he storms off. He is found dead and she is first on the list to be suspected. An enjoyable read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Frazier

    Loved it!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan has Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke running the Bear Claw Diner in Elkview, Alaska after her mother’s retirement. Charlie wants to add a chocolate bear claw to the menu, but it has head chef, Oliver Whitestone up in arms. They have a terrible row in front of customers and then Oliver storms off. Trooper Cory Graham arrives later in the day to question Charlie because Oliver was found dead near his home. Charlie is asked by her mother, Evelyn to work with Trooper Gr Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan has Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke running the Bear Claw Diner in Elkview, Alaska after her mother’s retirement. Charlie wants to add a chocolate bear claw to the menu, but it has head chef, Oliver Whitestone up in arms. They have a terrible row in front of customers and then Oliver storms off. Trooper Cory Graham arrives later in the day to question Charlie because Oliver was found dead near his home. Charlie is asked by her mother, Evelyn to work with Trooper Graham to uncover Oliver’s killer. Mousse and Murder is the debut novel in An Alaskan Diner Mystery series. I thought it was unique to set a cozy mystery in Alaska. I enjoyed the descriptions of Elkview which is a small Alaskan tourist town. I thought the author captured the Alaskan weather and lifestyle including the wildlife ingredients they utilize (like moose meat). Charlie is a warm and likeable main character. She works hard, is a good friend and daughter, and a cat lover. Charlie knows trivia and fun facts about Alaska. It was enjoyable learning more about our fiftieth state. Charlie grew up in the town and is known by the locals. Her best friend, Annie Jensen owns Jensen’s Elkview Inn. I like how Charlie uses technology to interact with her cat, Eggs Benedict aka Benny during the workday. She can talk to Benny, see how the cat is doing, how much he has eaten, and even play with Benny using a laser. It is cute that she confides in Benny. There is a diverse cast of secondary characters from Trooper Graham, Chris Doucette, Annie, diner staff, and diner regulars. Oliver’s murder had a small handful of suspects, good clues and a red herring or two. I would have liked to have gotten to know Oliver before he was murdered. While I was able to identify the killer early in the story, I did not know why. I joined Charlie and her friends as they set out to learn the who and, most importantly, the why. They did uncover some interesting information including something unexpected. I did have a couple of unanswered questions at the end of the book and I wish they had been addressed. Mousse and Murder is a carefree cozy mystery with moose meatloaf, a cavorting cat, suspicious siblings, a cold climate, and pleasing pastries.

  25. 5 out of 5

    K.A. Davis

    MOUSSE AND MURDER, the first book in the brand new Alaskan Diner Mystery series by Elizabeth Logan, introduces the reader to Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke and her posse of friends and employees at her family’s Bear Claw diner in Elkview, Alaska. The setting is unique given the small wilderness town and I enjoyed the bits and pieces of Alaskan history and geographical tidbits the author weaves into the story. Her descriptive voice makes the setting come alive and I could imagine the rugged natural be MOUSSE AND MURDER, the first book in the brand new Alaskan Diner Mystery series by Elizabeth Logan, introduces the reader to Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke and her posse of friends and employees at her family’s Bear Claw diner in Elkview, Alaska. The setting is unique given the small wilderness town and I enjoyed the bits and pieces of Alaskan history and geographical tidbits the author weaves into the story. Her descriptive voice makes the setting come alive and I could imagine the rugged natural beauty the area offers along with the activities that draw tourists to the town. Ms. Logan has created delightful characters and it was easy to admire Charlie. I especially loved her cat, Benny (nicknamed after Eggs Benedict!). Benny is a charming sidekick and the “Bennycam” and cat app games are brilliant additions providing a bit of humor. Charlie’s friendliness contributes to easy going relationships with her friends and employees… that is except for her head chef, Oliver. Theirs is a contentious relationship and when Oliver walks off the job and is found murdered after an argument with her, Charlie can’t help but feel guilty and want to find out what happened to him. A long-time friend of Charlie’s mom and frequent visitor to Bear Claw Diner, the local sheriff exhibits great understanding of Charlie’s need to help find answers. I really like when an amateur sleuth isn’t treated with contempt by law enforcement and instead it’s acknowledged that they might have helpful information. As the group of friends surrounding Charlie grows, so does the sheriff’s need to “deputize” those helpers, which added some cute scenes. The well-plotted mystery provided enough clues yet with some twists thrown in which kept me guessing most of the read. I look forward to the next book and the opportunity to revisit the quaint town of Elkview, Alaska and its delightful residents. I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    Charlie Cooke is thrilled to return to her hometown of Elkview in Alaska where she’ll be running her mother’s diner. Her parents are going on a cruise leaving Charlie to handle everything. Unfortunately, things get off to a rocky start when she has a huge fight with her head cook, Oliver. He storms out of the diner and isn’t heard from again. When he turns up murdered, Charlie is the top suspect. It’s up to Charlie to prove her innocence. The Alaska setting is beautiful and the author did an exce Charlie Cooke is thrilled to return to her hometown of Elkview in Alaska where she’ll be running her mother’s diner. Her parents are going on a cruise leaving Charlie to handle everything. Unfortunately, things get off to a rocky start when she has a huge fight with her head cook, Oliver. He storms out of the diner and isn’t heard from again. When he turns up murdered, Charlie is the top suspect. It’s up to Charlie to prove her innocence. The Alaska setting is beautiful and the author did an excellent job of transporting me there. Her descriptive writing put me right there. She painted a vivid portrait of Alaska life. I enjoyed meeting Charlie and her friends. It took me some time to warm up to them and I’m looking forward to learning more about them in future books. The one character who truly stood out for me is Eggs Benedict “Benny”. Benny is Charlie’s cat. Charlie confides in Benny all the time and he unknowingly helps her investigate. Charlie watches Benny throughout the day remotely using a “Benny Cam”. She even plays with him via the Benny Cam. Very cute. Just as a side note, the cat doesn't possess any paranormal traits and doesn't talk. He's just a sweet cat who loves Charles and she loves him :) I would have liked to meet the victim and witness Charlie’s fight with him. It would have helped feel a sense of urgency in finding his killer. Instead, we hear about it after the fact. Some parts were a bit slow, but then the plot took off and had me turning the pages quickly. I had to know who the culprit was! I honestly hadn’t figured out who the killer was until a few pages before Charlie did. Then, it all fell into place. I learned the truth right along with Charlie. The book is the first of a new series. It is filled with charm, quirky characters and witty dialogue. I look forward to the next episode in this cute cozy mystery series and a chance for another visit to Elkview. FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 Stars This is the first book in the Alaskan Diner series by Elizabeth Logan. Basic premise: Gal takes over the running of her family’s diner. She and the “chef” have not seen eye to eye with the menu and then the dude ends up dead. Now Charlie must find out who killed her chef, find a new cook for the diner. But when she starts to look into Oliver’s background, she finds a ton of skeletons in his closet which proves the axiom that you don’t really know your friends very well. I liked following 4.5 Stars This is the first book in the Alaskan Diner series by Elizabeth Logan. Basic premise: Gal takes over the running of her family’s diner. She and the “chef” have not seen eye to eye with the menu and then the dude ends up dead. Now Charlie must find out who killed her chef, find a new cook for the diner. But when she starts to look into Oliver’s background, she finds a ton of skeletons in his closet which proves the axiom that you don’t really know your friends very well. I liked following this story. It really gave you a sense of place and made the setting shine. Some of the background characters were a bit lackluster but I thought Chris and Charlie really stood out. The scenes where the sheriff deputizes them is funny and honest. Since the whodunit featured a newspaper man, the mystery felt more like a reporter going after a story than a normal cozy mystery. And I was okay with that. It made the story feel unique and different. The hot and cold vibe between Charlie and Chris kept me reading. The farther they dug into Oliver’s past, the more surprises they uncovered. I look forward to book two to see where this story will go from here. If you are looking for a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out. I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    Chef Charlotte (Charlie) Cooke moved to Alaska and took over her mom's job at the diner by request of her mom. Her cat, Eggs Benedict was highly pampered and it is funny at times. Charlie wants to change the menu some, when her head chef Oliver turns up dead. Charlie is the prime suspect since they had a argument before he walked out that day. Charlie and Chris and the Trooper work together to solve the crime. She needs to find out before it is too late for her and and she is in much danger. Egg Chef Charlotte (Charlie) Cooke moved to Alaska and took over her mom's job at the diner by request of her mom. Her cat, Eggs Benedict was highly pampered and it is funny at times. Charlie wants to change the menu some, when her head chef Oliver turns up dead. Charlie is the prime suspect since they had a argument before he walked out that day. Charlie and Chris and the Trooper work together to solve the crime. She needs to find out before it is too late for her and and she is in much danger. Eggs Benny is a very clever cat and helps Charlie when all else fails before it is too late....Great read!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Krysti

    A delightful romp of a mystery set in a cozy Alaskan town. This was such a fun read, with unexpected twists and a charming cast of characters. Culinary cozies are definitely my favorite niche, and this was no exception with it's quaint diner and a controversial cookbook at the heart of the mystery. There's also a lovely little romance budding, and I can't wait to see how that develops in the next book in the series! A delightful romp of a mystery set in a cozy Alaskan town. This was such a fun read, with unexpected twists and a charming cast of characters. Culinary cozies are definitely my favorite niche, and this was no exception with it's quaint diner and a controversial cookbook at the heart of the mystery. There's also a lovely little romance budding, and I can't wait to see how that develops in the next book in the series!

  30. 5 out of 5

    PugMom

    Fun first in series!

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