Friday, February 10, 2023

Book Review and Giveaway - Wined and Died in New Orleans (A Vintage Cookbook) by Ellen Byron

My Review

Wined and Died in New Orleans is the second book in the Vintage Cookbook mystery series. Ricki James-Dias is happily managing her vintage cookbook/kitchenware shop in the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum when another murder takes place at the museum. After some very valuable old French wine is found on the premises, distant relatives of the house's builder start arriving to stake their claim. One of them, a particularly unpleasant claimant from France, is discovered murdered. With the head of the museum board, Eugenia Charbonnet, under suspicion, Ricki works to solve the mystery.

I wanted to read this novel because I enjoyed the first book in the series so much. I love vintage cookware and cookbooks, so that is a huge plus for me with this series.

Ricki is a fun amateur detective, quirky and smart and brave. I enjoyed watching her detecting process.  I like her friends, her romantic interest, and the pair of dogs she co-owns with her crush.

My favorite features of this series, though, are the food history and vintage cookbook details, and the New Orleans atmosphere. There are great descriptions like:

They reached the carriage house and climbed the stairs to the second floor, where Ricki found the box waiting for her. She borrowed the office box cutter to slice open the top and extracted the tureen from its nest of protection. Sleek and crème-colored, decorated with a design of raised ceramic leaves painted in warm fall tones, the tureen was stunning. The women admired it. “This may the nicest item in your shop,” Cookie said. “It’s gorgeous.” 

“I know.” Ricki examined the tureen and matching ladle with a practiced eye. “And in perfect condition. The date on this is 1958. Tureens weren’t as popular by then, so it’s pretty rare, especially in this pattern. It’s called Autumn Days. The maker is Sunbaked, a ceramics company in California that went out of business in 1959. The person I bought this from didn’t know what they had.” (eBook position 556).

This is becoming one of my most anticipated cozy mystery series, and I already am looking forward to the next book in the series. I highly recommend Wined and Died in New Orleans (along with the first book, Bayou Book Thief) to fans of cozy mysteries, and especially for anyone who enjoys vintage cookbooks, food history, or New Orleans.  Lots of atmospheric fun here!

Book Synopsis

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.

Author Bio

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

Author Links






Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo


a Rafflecopter giveaway