"Killer in the Kitchen" By Judy Murray: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

 Real Estate Rule #2: How to sell a house—Offer a drop-dead kitchen. —Helen Morrisey Wisdom; Killer in the Kitchen

Fifty-something Helen Morrisey has been a widow for four years still wearing her late husband’s ring around her neck like a good luck charm. She’s also an empty nester with her adult children, twins Lizzie and Shawn, successful on their own. As her daughter Lizzie remarks, she is the “best real estate agent in Kent County.” Helen replies with a smile, “Why not the entire state of Maryland?” She is, however, a bit of a enigma. For two decades, she’s worked at Safe Harbor Realty and has become a successful agent as her daughter boasts, but she’s also an enthusiastic mystery fanatic, often quotes her heroines, craves Twizzlers, and loves her cats Trixie Beldon and Watson. Despite knowing her mother is challenged in the kitchen, Lizzie has a lead on a new client with a multi-million dollar property to sell: acclaimed chef Roberto Barto.

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Killer in the Kitchen Earns 5/5 Flying Pans…Entertaining and Clever Cozy!

Twice a week Lizzie Morrisey is the host of the Cooking with Roberto segment at ShopTV featuring the non-stick cookware dubbed the “Flying Pan.” The star Roberto Barto was named Best Mid-Atlantic Chef by Gourmet Magazine and is known for reenergizing Chesapeake Bay cuisine with his creative interpretations, authoring several internationally bestselling cookbooks, and owning several restaurant including the popular Water Street Bistro here in Port Anne. Adrian Stanton, Roberto’s business partner and co-owner of the Barto Enterprises, is the inventor of the popular cookware so desired by professional and amateur cooks alike. But, with Roberto’s guest appearances and plans to open another restaurant, he’s unable to spend much quality time at the home he spent pots of money to renovate, so he’s selling. Enter Helen, agent extraordinaire!

Stopping in at her favorite Java joint, Jean’s Coffee Pot, Helen gets in on some of the gossip about Chef Barto, but she also learns about an attack on local agent Paula Brezow. There’s been a rash of attacks throughout the country, but Helen always takes her safety seriously. Maybe Roberto should have done the same thing. Minutes before ending the on-air presentation, Barto collapses and dies. Even Lizzie isn’t feeling well. Helen is worried, angry, and determined to find out who harmed her child…and, of course, who killed the chef.

Brilliant! Judy Murray has another hit with this second book in her Chesapeake Bay Mystery series with a dream kitchen, an over-the-top chef, and more than one murder. Easy to read, yet complex, mystery involves professional jealousy, rumors about finances, incidents long ago, and plenty of spicy egos, but he’s loved by so many and appears congenial with his business partner and those who work with him, so who would want him dead? I greatly enjoy a strong, middle-aged character in the lead and Helen’s professional and personal relationship with Detective Joe McAlister is fun to follow. He’s quick to tease her about her fictional Detection Club heroines and how she channels their insights, techniques, and some of their personality traits, but he recognizes her valuable involvement. She doesn’t overtly ignore law enforcement, but her wrong place, wrong time appearance can be problematic for them both. However, inspired by her fictional detective personas, she successfully identified a previous killer, albeit with a bit of personal peril, and McAlister knows it. The book is a good length allowing for a compelling investigation, fascinating details, secrets and motives revealed, ins and outs of the real estate biz, family gatherings, and a bit of welcomed romance (maybe even triangular). My own inner “fictional” detective was challenged with all the possibilities. The ending, a key element of any mystery, had the right amount of peril and a surprise, yet satisfying, arrest. Top contender for Great Read in 2022!

A Chesapeake Bay Mystery

Murder in the Master (2021) Reviewed HERE

Killer in the Kitchen (2022)

Be a Big Judy L. Murray Fan!

Judy Murray uses her own experience and knowledge of the real estate world, love of her home Chesapeake Bay, and her passion for mysteries and strong, intelligent detectives to create The Chesapeake Bay Mysteries. Her award winning first book, Murder in the Master, used “Real estate rule #1: A dead body creates buzz. A dead body in a house that is for sale is never the buzz you want,” is a must read book as well.

Facebook: Judy L. Murray Mysteries

Website: Judy L. Murray Mysteries

To enter to win an ebook copy of Killer in the Kitchen, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "kitchen,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 5, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Love a good cooking-related story.
    Sounds great. thanks

  2. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham

  3. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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