Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Bayou Book Thief - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery #1) by Ellen Byron

Rating: Liked It!
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki's teen mother disappeared from the hospital.

Ricki's dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve "Vee" Charbonnet, the city's legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation - collecting vintage cookbooks - into a vocation by launching the museum's gift shop, Miss Vee's Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.

The skills Ricky has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki's past as curator of a billionaire's first edition collection comes back to haunt her.

Will Miss Vee's Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success ... or a recipe for disaster?

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really enjoyed previous books by Byron and I love New Orleans and can never resist a book set there.

My Impression:  This book was like a visit to New Orleans.  As most of you know we essentially lived in New Orleans for four months prior to the pandemic and honestly if I had my way entirely we would pack up and move to the area.  Until that happens or until our next visit I have this series to get me through.  There are so many tidbits that are so truly New Orleans - the conversation about pronunciations had me dying laughing as it is so true.   

Ricki is an interesting lead for the series.  She was born in the city but grew up in Los Angeles so she is both a local and an outsider at the same time.  She's a bit flaky and never met a conclusion she couldn't jump at or a potential suspect that she doesn't become convinced was the murder if only for a paragraph or two.  She has an interesting backstory and I think the dynamic of her becoming used to her new community was really interesting even if I did want to shake her a time or two.  I also enjoyed all the vintage cooking talk and would love to shop at Ricki's store.

The mystery was an interesting one.  I do love when EVERYONE wanted to murder the victim.  It definitely kept me guessing and wondering just which motive was strong enough to end in murder.  Because this is the first book in the series there is some setup and introductions which slowed the pace a bit but overall this was an enjoyable and entertaining read.  I'm looking forward to the next book already.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I'm looking forward to the next in this series and will read pretty much any book this author writes.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you are in the mood for a virtual trip to New Orleans this is a great choice.  

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. This does sound like fun and yes, I also love it when EVERYONE wanted to murder the victim. It just broadens the playing field so much.

    Will take a look at this series.

    PS: I see Blogger is having fun again. I can't add a link to my blog on the blogger comments section anymore...

  2. I enjoyed this book so much! It's the first book I've read by Byron, but it won't be the last.

  3. I just love books set in New Orleans. This sounds terrific.

  4. Oh does sound good and glad it gave you a good laugh.

  5. I did like this one, but the MC got on my nerves a bit. I am hoping she won't be so bad for me next go around. If I was the detective I would have blocked her