Wined and Died in New Orleans (A Vintage Cookbook)
by Ellen Byron
About Wined and Died in New Orleans
Wined and Died in New Orleans (A Vintage Cookbook)
2nd in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Berkley (February 7, 2023)
Mass Market Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593437632
ISBN-13 : 978-0593437636
Digital ASIN : B09TZPW81C
The second in a fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Ellen Byron.
It’s hurricane season in New Orleans and vintage cookbook fan Ricki James-Diaz is trying to shelve her weather-related fears and focus on her business, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbook and Kitchenware Shop, housed in the magnificent Bon Vee Culinary House Museum.
Repairs on the property unearth crates of very old, very valuable French wine, buried by the home’s builder, Jean-Louis Charbonnet. Ricki, who’s been struggling to attract more customers to Miss Vee’s, is thrilled when her post about the discovery of this long-buried treasure goes viral. She’s less thrilled when the post brings distant Charbonnet family members out of the woodwork, all clamoring for a cut of the wine’s sale.
When a dead body turns up in Bon Vee’s cheery fall decorations, the NOPD zeroes in on Eugenia Charbonnet Felice as the prime suspect, figuring that as head of the Charbonnet family, she has the most to gain. Ricki is determined to uncover the real culprit, but she can’t help noticing that Eugenia is acting strangely. Ricki wonders what kind of secret her mentor has bottled up, and fears what might happen if she uncorks it.
In the second Vintage Cookbook Mystery, Ricki has to help solve a murder, untangle family secrets, and grow her business, all while living under the threat of a hurricane that could wipe out everything from her home to Bon Vee.
Character Guest Post
Eugenia Charbonnet Felice: Wined and Died in New Orleans
I have a dilemma. I’m the keeper of a secret that could change someone’s life. Many lives, really, including my own. And I just don’t know what to do.
I’m the board chair of the nonprofit Bon Vee Culinary House Museum. The home belonged to Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet – who also happens to have been my aunt. She left the home to me and I turned it into a historic site celebrating her career as a restauranteur and New Orleans’ famed food history.
Given my position, I have a say in who is hired to work at Bon Vee. The minute I met with a potential new employee and heard her personal history, I wondered if she might be a long-lost relative. My family goes back forever in New Orleans. Centuries, really. That places us firmly in the city’s upper crust. I’m not boasting. It’s actually a bit embarrassing.
You see, New Orleans is very old-fashioned when it comes to its social structure. Your roots and genealogy mean much more than your bank account in terms of social standing. People like me populate the Mardi Gras and carnival courts. We’re the kings and queens and maids who wave beneficently from parade floats and are bowed to at balls.
It is all very noblesse oblige, I admit. I know billionaires who couldn’t buy their way into the city’s most prestigious krewes — krewes are the organizations that fund and run the floats and balls; they also raise money for charity — and I know families whose lineage goes back to the founding of Louisiana but are so cash-strapped they have to take out loans to pay for the gowns and parties required when their daughters debut in the Carnival courts. (The young ladies who serve as queens and maids are debutantes making their debuts at the events.)
Back to my feeling about the new young employee, Ricki James-Diaz. I’m deeply conflicted about sharing the results of my stealth investigation into her past with her. On the one hand, what I uncovered might come as a relief. On the other hand, it might be a disappointment. Either way, I’ll have to confess that I did something terrible and so unlike me: I manipulated her into a toast to her newfound success opening Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbook and Kitchenware Shop, the gift shop at Bon Vee. Then I snuck her champagne glass away for DNA testing.
What to do. What to do…
About Ellen Byron
Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty Awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Bayou Book Thief will be the first book in her new Vintage Cookbook Mysteries. She also writes the Catering Hall Mystery series under the name Maria DiRico.
Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. An alum of New Orleans’ Tulane University, she blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster. Please visit her at https://www.ellenbyron.com/
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