Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Cornbread, Ribs, and Murder by Proell & Whiteside

Posted May 10, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, Brenda Whiteside, clean, contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Joyce Proell, mystery/suspense / 21 Comments

Cornbread Ribs and Murder book review

Cornbread, Ribs, and Murder by Brenda Whiteside & Joyce ProellCORNBREAD, RIBS, AND MURDER by Joyce Proell & Brenda Whiteside
Chocolate Martini Sisters Mystery #3

GENRE: Cozy Mystery (clean with mild language)
PUBLISHER: Independently Published
RELEASE DATE: April 30, 2024
PAGES: 314

It’s a rib cookoff…with a recipe for murder.

Nicole Earp and Emma Banefield are celebrating another birthday at the Dulce Inn with the added fun of a rib cookoff in the park. Not only are chocolate martinis in their plans, Nic has her heart set on winning the cornbread contest. But as the excitement bakes, someone is stirring up trouble for the inn and its employees.

Strange occurrences at the Dulce are on the rise. Slashed tires, menacing phone calls, and unsavory characters add a vibe that threatens the sisters’ anticipated fun-filled stay. When the hot-headed hotel owner is caught wielding a bloody letter opener over a dead coworker, the sisters are embroiled in a caper to help the one person who finds their sleuthing as welcomed as a rattlesnake in her bed. But is she innocent?

The Chocolate Martini Sisters are primed to find out. First, they’ll have to eliminate a host of suspects that includes a dishonest restaurant owner, a jilted girlfriend, an ex-wife, the barkeeper, and a masseuse with a crush. If they can stay off the radar of the surly chief homicide detective long enough, they can put out the fire…unless the killer burns them first.

The third book in this amateur sleuths, cozy mystery series will have you chuckling and on the edge of your seat as the sisters solve the murder.


Other Books In This Series


Another birthday weekend at the Dulce Inn inevitably means chocolate martinis (with a ribs cook-off & cornbread contest as bonuses) and a murder investigation are on the agenda for sisters Nicole and Emma to solve. Not only do the appropriately-dubbed “Chocolate Martini Sisters” have to sort through a bevy of suspects, they also have to sort through the very dramatic personalities and messy relationships that come along with those suspects. Shake (don’t stir) in some stalking incidents, lots of gossip, and even theft… and these engaging sisters have their hands full with a multi-layered mystery that will keep readers guessing too.

Nicole and Emma have an enviable sisterly bond, and I enjoyed watching their differences play out in their relationship and in the investigation(s). It’s always great to find characters who make you eager to catch up with them in the next book, too, and readers will definitely want to stay tuned to this series as some exciting new personal opportunities are on the horizon for each sister. I’ll be interested, too, to see how things progress for them! Cornbread, Ribs, and Murder is my first read in this series, and I do think I would have connected better with the characters if I’d read the first two, but it still works just fine as a standalone.

Bottom Line: Cornbread, Ribs, and Murder is an enjoyable collaboration between not only authors Joyce Proell & Brenda Whiteside but also sisters Nicole and Emma! High drama among the hotel staff means the suspect list is long when one of their own is murdered, and the blend of red herrings with legitimate clues is cleverly done and nicely paced. Along with the murder, the sisters are each on the cusp of great professional adventures, and I was cheering both of them on in their pursuits because they’re very likable characters. A nice combination of several cozy tropes (culinary, hotel, sisters, etc.) and seamless co-authoring.

Reviewer’s Note: Readers of this blog may want to be aware that there is some cursing – mostly mild – scattered throughout this novel.

(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I read via Kindle Unlimited. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!

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Joyce Proell

After hearing countless stories as a mental health professional, Joyce Proell retired to create her own tales. As an award-winning author, she writes historical romance and cozy mystery where all endings are guaranteed happy. She shares her home on the prairie with a husband and a little dog with a big personality. When she isn’t reading or writing, she likes to swim and finds baking almost as relaxing as a day at the spa. Connect with Joyce at her website.

Brenda Whiteside

Brenda Whiteside is the award-winning author of romantic suspense, romance, and cozy mystery. She writes children’s books under the pen name, Brenda Sue. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart and won’t discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes. Connect with Brenda at her website.

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21 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Cornbread, Ribs, and Murder by Proell & Whiteside

  1. Deborah D

    You are a new author to me. This series sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to read about the chocolate martini sisters. Such a neat name.

  2. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for introducing me to two new to me authors and for bringing CORNBREAD, RIBS, AND MURDER to my attention. Sounds like a book I would love to read and happily added it to my TBR llist. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read and review.

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