Guilty as Charred(A Cook-Off Mystery)by Devon Delaney

About the Book

Cozy Mystery3rd in Series 
Kensington (June 25, 2019) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496714474 ISBN-13: 978-1496714473 
Digital ASIN: B07HVYY7KN
Sherry Oliveri has attained celebrity status after winning the America’s Good Taste Recipe Contest with her delectable New England Crab Cake Sliders. But now that she’s back home in Connecticut, she’s got to deal with something else fishy . . .
Sherry’s making a guest appearance on a local radio show when the news comes in: Poppy Robinson has been found dead in the town’s community garden. Sherry was supposed to be taking questions about her win in the national cooking competition, but instead the callers start dishing dirt.
Poppy and Sherry were both involved in the vegetable garden, and while Poppy may have been a bit priggish, it wasn’t anything that called for a shovel to the back of the head. There was already trouble brewing, with the owner of the land threatening to renege on their agreement, and this murder has taken tensions to a new level. Now while Sherry’s organizing a Fourth of July cook-off event, she’s also got a murder investigation on her plate . . .
Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!


“Herb, that’s enough. Sit down so Sherry can give her other fans a chance for a picture.”
Herb let loose a boisterous chuckle before returning to his seat. His wife crawled over his legs to reach hers.
“I shouldn’t have postponed my highlight appointment at Hair Force One.” Sherry sighed as she imagined the unflattering images the camera phones captured.
“You have a very natural look,” the stewardess offered. “Cooks are supposed to spend time in the kitchen not at the beauty salon.”
Sherry peered back over her shoulder and met a line of people that clogged the plane’s aisle as far as she could see. She jerked her head toward the stewardess, who cradled a pillow under one arm.
“I’ll cater your next get-together if you announce mealtime right now.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. I’ve been advised of severe turbulence in the airspace ahead of us. Please return to your seats and fasten your seat belts until further notice.”
A collective whine reverberated throughout the plane’s cabin.
The captain’s ominous words sent a cold vibration through Sherry’s core. As passengers dispersed, Sherry sighed and tucked her trophy back in the overhead bin. The intercom speaker crackled to life as she slammed the compartment door shut. She nestled in her seat, pulled her seat belt tight, and settled her arms into a self-hug.
“This is the captain again. I have an update, not weather related. I’ve been advised we are flying today with a celebrity onboard.”
Sherry pinched her eyes shut and held her breath.
“The winner of America’s Good Taste recipe contest is among us. I’m honored to be transporting Sherry Oliveri home, along with her winnings. I’m told she is an Augustin, Connecticut, native, who prepared New England Crab Cake Sliders for the big win, and I’d like everyone to join in a heartfelt round of applause for representing the Northeast so well in the national contest.”
“Please don’t give out my address,” Sherry whispered as her eyes widened. Heads rotated her way and Sherry gave the queen’s wave in all directions. The plane dropped, along with Sherry’s stomach.
“Sorry, folks. I shouldn’t try to walk and chew gum at the same time. Or make that, I shouldn’t try to steer the plane to a calmer altitude and applaud for a celebrity passenger at the same time. Better keep my eyes on the road, so to speak. But the rest of you, put your hands together for our winner.”
After the brief but robust clapping ended, Sherry leaned her head back and peered out the
“Would you mind if I took that middle seat until the plane finds calmer air? It’s a long way back to row six.”
Sherry looked up and was eye level with the belt buckle of a man in dusty rose-colored shorts, white tube socks, and black sneakers. “Of course. I’ll move my purse.” Sherry gathered her overstuffed bag from the empty window seat to her left. She scanned the floor for any unoccupied space to set the tote down in. Seeing only enough room for her feet, she nestled the bag on her lap. She pulled her knees up against the edge of the seat cushion and the man maneuvered by.
“For the price of these seats, you’d imagine they’d offer a bit more room.” As the plane shuddered, the man lost his balance. He steadied himself by clutching Sherry’s headrest. “Pardon me as I nearly crush you. For your sake, I’m glad I showered this morning.” He removed his chest from Sherry’s face.
“Doesn’t help that I’ve been eating and drinking nonstop for the past three days.” Sherry patted her core. “I’m trying to suck in my stomach so you can get by, but that’s asking the impossible.”
The plane danced across another turbulent patch.
“I don’t like this one bit.” She rubbed her moist palms together, unzipped her purse, and checked her phone. “Another hour and a half to go. I’m not sure I’ll survive.”

About the Author

Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester, recent empty nester, and lifelong resident of the Northeast. She has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years, including a full kitchen of major appliances, top cash prizes, and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the Grand Prize in a national writing contest for her “foodie” poem “Ode to Pork Passion.”

Check out Devon’s website at: and find her on Instagram –

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