Sally Solari Culinary Mysteries

DYING FOR A TASTE (Book 1)
by Leslie Karst
Published by Crooked Lane Books

After losing her mother to cancer, Sally Solari quits her job as an attorney to help her father run his old-style Italian eatery out on the historic Santa Cruz Wharf. But managing the dining room at Solari’s is far from her dream of running her own kitchen.

Then her Aunt Letta is found stabbed to death at Gauguin, her trendy Polynesian-French restaurant, and Sally is astounded to learn she has inherited the place. But when the Gauguin sous chef is accused of the crime, Sally finds herself delving into the unfamiliar world of organic and sustainable farming—not to mention a few buried family secrets—to try to clear his name. And as her list of suspects grows, Sally begins to realize that, as Gauguin’s new owner, she may be the next one on the killer’s list.

 

“Karst’s smart, engaging characters steal the show in this razor-sharp new food series.” Booklist

“…a funny, feisty heroine, Italian family drama, a charming coastal California town, and clues tangled up like a plate of spaghetti carbonara.” Lucy Burdette, author of the Key West Food Critic mysteries.

Available in bookstores and online at:

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Bookshop Santa Cruz  Books-a-Million

 


A MEASURE OF MURDER (Book 2)
by Leslie Karst
Published by Crooked Lane Books

Sally Solari’s plate is beyond full between juggling work at her family’s Italian restaurant, Solari’s, and helping plan the autumn menu for Gauguin, the restaurant she’s just inherited. Complicating this already hectic schedule, Sally joins a chorus performing a newly discovered version of the sublime Mozart Requiem. But at the first rehearsal, a tenor falls to his death on the church courtyard—and his soprano girlfriend is sure it wasn’t an accident.

Now Sally’s back on another murder case seasoned with a dash of revenge, a pinch of peril, and a suspicious stack of sheet music. And while tensions in the chorus heat up, so does the kitchen at Gauguin—set aflame when Sally starts getting too close to the truth. Can Sally catch the killer before she’s burnt to a crisp, or will the case grow as cold as yesterday’s leftovers?

“Engaging characters, terrific writing, and a savory blend of musical and culinary erudition.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Karst provides a mystery that rings true and features several unexpected twists.” Kirkus Reviews

Available in bookstores and online at:

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Bookshop Santa Cruz  Books-a-Million


DEATH AL FRESCO (Book 3)
by Leslie Karst
Published by Crooked Lane Books

It’s early autumn in Santa Cruz and restaurateur Sally Solari, inspired by the eye-popping canvases of Paul Gauguin, the artist for whom her restaurant is named, enrolls in a plein air painting class. But the beauty of the Monterey Bay coastline is shattered during one of their outings when Sally’s dog, Buster, sniffs out a corpse entangled in a pile of kelp.

The body is identified as Gino, a local fisherman and a regular at Sally’s father’s restaurant, Solari’s—until he disappeared after dining there a few nights before. Witnesses claim he left reeling drunk, but his waitress swears the old man had only two beers with his meal. And then the fingers begin to point at Sally’s dad for negligently allowing an inebriated customer to walk home alone at night.

From a long menu of suspects, including a cast of colorful characters who frequent the historic Santa Cruz fisherman’s wharf, Sally must serve up the tall order of clearing her father’s name.

“…a very well-crafted murder mystery story…. The atmosphere of Santa Cruz, California is set so well that I sometimes felt I could almost hear the surf and smell the salt air.” MyShelf Reviews

“Another killer of a culinary cozy murder… [With] the gorgeous setting and strong, unique characters, this really is a solid mystery.” Long and Short Reviews (4 stars)

Available in bookstores and online at:

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Bookshop Santa Cruz  Books-a-Million