Chicken Soup & Homicide by Janel Gradowski Blog Tour & Review




Amy Ridley and her friend, Sophie, have perfected their chicken soup recipe, and the winter-weary residents of Kellerton, Michigan can’t wait to watch them compete against other local chefs in the Chicken Soup Showdown. But the charity event starts out with a bang, literally, when one of the rival chefs falls out of a freezer and onto Amy. If it wasn’t stressful enough for Amy to catch a dead body, the detective in charge of the investigation targets her best friend, Carla, as the chief suspect in the murder.

In order to clear her friend’s name, Amy does her own investigating. The problem is nobody liked the arrogant murdered celebrity chef, and soon her suspect list is longer than the list of ingredients in her secret chicken soup recipe. Can Amy figure out who killed the celebrity chef? Or will Carla be spending the spring in jail?


Barnes & Noble





ChickenSoup_final-195x300“We can work on that prep table.” Sophie’s voice echoed a bit as she pointed to one of several stainless steel-topped tables in the cavernous kitchen space. “I’ll round up some tools for us.”

Other than adding the access door, nothing really needed to be done to the former bakery’s kitchen. Elliot Maxson had been a super neat control freak, so all of the appliances and work areas were spotless and in working order when he sold the bakery before retiring. The giant industrial ovens made the original coffee shop’s single convection oven seem like an Easy Bake Oven. Amy began arranging the loaves of bread, jars of nut butters, and pints of jams on the table while Sophie laid out cutting boards, bread knives, and spreaders.

“We should be able to get quite a few sandwiches out of each loaf if I cut the slices thin enough.” Amy plucked at the end of the plastic wrap on the coconut bread. The sweet scent was a little bit of tropical heaven in the middle of the cold Michigan winter. “I’m going to use cashew butter and pineapple jam with this, sort of like a piña colada.”
“That sounds wonderful,” Sophie said as she examined the labels on the jars. “You’ve done great coming up with all of these. I can’t wait to see what they taste like. I think I’ll go for sunflower seed butter with tomato jam on the rosemary bread.”

“Yum. I was hoping you would like my idea of savory PB and J.” Amy had bought jars of every kind of nut butter she could find at Columbo’s Market, from the standard peanut to soy bean. Then she scoured her cookbooks for unique jams and preserves, coming up with everything from a dried-apricot spread to whiskey-onion marmalade. The hardest part had been narrowing down all of the choices into half a dozen of each sandwich item. There were only so many samples they could eat at one time. It would take at least three test sessions to get through all of the culinary ideas she had unearthed in her cookbook-reading binge.

Soon all of the loaves of bread were sliced and small offset spatulas were stuck into every jar. Sophie had a notebook to jot down all of the combinations along with their tasting notes. Just setting up the ingredients seemed to have put Sophie in a better mood.

“Let’s make some incredible sandwiches.” Amy fist bumped Sophie. Maybe the gesture was a bit over the top for the circumstances, but it made her friend smile. “Lunchbox gourmet. Here we come.”

“You know, I kind of like that term. Would you mind if I poached if from you? Maybe I could make that a category on the café menus.”

“Go right ahead.” Amy swiped bacon jam on a slice of banana bread. Peanut butter was already spread on the other half of the sandwich. It would be her homage to Elvis Presley. “I think that’s what consultants are supposed to do anyway—give clients ideas.”

She would’ve happily helped with the new menu for free, as a friend, but Sophie had insisted on putting her on the payroll as a recipe consultant. The new title was snazzy, but it also came complete with a giant helping of apprehension that settled in her stomach like greasy mac and cheese. People with no formal chef training didn’t deserve to be consultants, did they? It was the equivalent of an unemployed geek who spent twenty hours a day playing first-person shooter video games in his parents’ basement being hired as a security specialist.


Amy’s nerves were already fried from getting ready for the Chicken Soup Showdown. This was her first competition against two other chefs. The prize wasn’t much, but money would go out to the chefs favorite charities.

Amy thought the missing knives, propane leak, drunk, and MIA chef were going to be the biggest problems she encountered at the beginning of the showdown. She was wrong. When the MIA chef falls out of the freezer on top of her, dead, she knows her day just went from bad to worse. To top it off the lead investigator is horrible at his job, and has made everyone she cares about a suspect.

Can Amy figure out who the murderer is before her or her friends get arrested?

This was a fun book to read. Especially with the “lead investigator” tripping over himself and everyone being a suspect.

Let’s Party Giveaway


Author Bio:

JanelGradowskiHeadshot-300x275Janel Gradowski lives in a land that looks like a cold weather fashion accessory, the mitten-shaped state of Michigan. She is a wife and mom to two kids and one Golden Retriever. Her journey to becoming an author is littered with odd jobs like renting apartments to college students and programming commercials for an AM radio station. Somewhere along the way she also became a beadwork designer and teacher. She enjoys cooking recipes found in her formidable cookbook and culinary fiction collection. Searching for unique treasures at art fairs, flea markets and thrift stores is also a favorite pastime. Coffee is an essential part of her life. She writes the Culinary Competition Mystery Series, along with The Bartonville Series (women’s fiction) and the 6:1 Series (flash fiction). She has also had many short stories published in both online and print publications.




Twitter (@JanelGr):



Link to blog tour page:


Author: lynnthompsonbooks

Lynn Thompson’s home is in the Land of Enchantment, and, yes, the land is enchanting. The skies are blue, the stars are bright., and there are beautiful panoramic landscapes surrounding her hometown. Lynn wades through the craziness of life to follow her true passion, writing fiction. You can find her, or not, trekking through the mountains, searching for fairies and vortexes, keeping her eye out for anything paranormal, or sitting in the hot springs in her spare time. Lynn doesn’t have a specific genre she writes in. Characters have a way of leading her stories. She follows. Lynn is also a sponge when it comes to knowledge. She’s always on the move to continue her education in writing, marketing, social media, digital media, and hopes to find the extra time to add some criminal investigation classes to her repertoire. Lynn has three novels out: Blake, Sterling, and Tarnished Gold. Blake is the beginning of Montana’s story. Her need for seclusion, at least, for one winter. She does not get what she wants. There is someone or something in the mountains stalking her, people keep showing up on her doorstep, and she meets Max. Max knows what is hunting Montana, but won’t tell her. Montana’s lack of trust in Max drives her to fix her own problems. If she had known what she’d be confronting that night, she never would have sedated Max. Sterling is the second novel in the Montana Dayton series. Montana moves to Florida hoping to escape her old life, and regain her normal life back, but her past has come back to haunt her. Not only does she start losing time, she continues to wake up every morning wearing gorgeous jewels and is surrounded by precious gems. She never remembers where, or who she’s getting the glittery baubles from and is hell bent to get back her memories and return the jewels. Afraid she has been out robbing houses in the middle of the night, she is determined to figure out what is happening on her own. That is until the dreams and the strong pull to explore the gulf. When she finally realizes she needs help, she is powerless to get it. Tarnished Gold is Sam’s story and will be coming out around the new year. Sam first appeared in Sterling and demanded her own novel. Lynn has bowed to Sam’s wishes and is writing that story now. Lynn is also the proud owner of: Dark Fates. Eight short stories that are fun, but still on the dark side. Dark Fates-Madness. Four dark short stories. News Worthy. News Worthy stands alone with five short stories. Watching the news first thing in the morning may not be fun, but dissecting news clips and re-writing them into short stories that had a different ending was a blast! Dark Fates Collections is compiled of Dark Fates, Dark Fates-Madness, News Worthy, and features Karma Shay’s adventures. Visit Lynn at: Website: Twitter: @lynnthompson8 Facebook: Goodreads:

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