Category Archives: Cavender, Chris

Chris Cavender. Killer Crust. New York: Kensington Books, 2013.

killer crustAs regular readers of this series know, the bottom line at A Slice of Delight pizzeria is mighty thin, so it’s no wonder that Eleanor jumps at the chance to enter a pizza-making contest with a  $25,000 prize.  The contest organizer, the misnamed Laughing Luigi, is a bit of a snake, but Maddy’s fiancé, lawyer Bob Lemon, says the contract looks on the-up-and-up, so the sisters sign on the dotted line.

Things soon go very wrong.  Eleanor and Maddy are thrilled to be ensconced, at Luigi’s expense, at the new luxury resort where the cook- off will take place.  But it’s clear that the three other cooking teams all have histories–bad ones–with Luigi.  Luigi seems to be using the contest to settle scores but before he can do much damage, he’s dead.  Unfortunately for Eleanor, Luigi choked on a piece of her pizza. Despite Luigi’s death, the contest goes on.  Can Eleanor can score a double–win the cooking contest and catch the murderer?  With so many good suspects, Killer Crust is a classic who-done it.  As with other books in this series, the author includes a tasty recipe at the end.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Cavender, Chris, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series

Chris Cavender. Rest in Pizza. New York: Kensington Books, 2012.

Maddy’s boyfriend, Bob Lemon, has popped the question, but the much-married Maddy isn’t sure that she’s ready for another walk down the aisle.  Eleanor’s thoughtless reaction to this development has made a touchy situation more so, so the sisters decide to distract themselves by investigating the murder of celebrity chef Antonio Benet.  Benet, who was in Timber Ridge for a book-signing, was murder in A Slice of Delight, so their friends already half-expect them to look for the killer.

And there is no shortage of suspects.  Chef Benet was an arrogant, angry man.  His chief assistant despised him, his wife thought he was having an affair, and his producer was trying to keep him from bolting to another television network.  But Eleanor can’t help but wondering why Benet would want to do a cooking demonstration at the local bookstore.  Did the famous chef have a connection to someone or something in Timber Ridge?  Did he bring trouble with him, or was it already waiting for him in Eleanor’s little mountain town?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Cavender, Chris, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Chris Cavender. Pizza Lovers Mystery Series.

Eleanor Swift enjoys being the owner of A Slice of Delight, the pizzeria in her hometown, (the fictional) Timber Ridge, North Carolina.  Her sister Maddy works with her, the waiters and delivery man feel like family, and Timber Ridge is a nice little mountain town.  Then why are there so many murders?  Eleanor’s quick temper make her the prime suspect in several of the murders, but even when she isn’t a suspect, Eleanor can’t resist sticking her nose in the crimes.  Is that because her high school boyfriend is now the town’s police chief?  Or is just because Timber Ridge is the kind of small town where everyone is in everyone else’s business?

As the series continues characters are add, include a love interest for Maddy and a new beau for Eleanor.  These novels are clearly for readers who crave a cozy mystery.  The books will satisfy pizza lovers too since they include recipes for pizza dough, sauces, and fillings. Yum!

Find all the novels in the Pizza Lovers Mystery Series at the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries by clicking on the titles listed below:

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Filed under Cavender, Chris, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Series

Chris Cavender. A Pizza to Die for. New York: Kensington Books, 2011.

Eleanor Swift loves being the owner of A Slice of Delight, even if the little pizzeria is barely making  a profit.  Her sister Maddy works with her, her two part-time waiters feel like family, and a steady supply of regulars let her know that her pizza hits the spot.  But the commercial district in Timber Ridge is quite small, and when an outsider, Judson Sizemore, decides to open a Food Network-worthy pizzeria a few doors down, Eleanor fears for her business.  When someone kills Sizemore just before his restaurant opens,  Eleanor should be relieved, but because of a few ill-chosen words that she directed at Sizemore shortly before his death Eleanor instead worries that she is the prime suspect.

As was the case in the earlier books in this series, Eleanor doesn’t wait for the sheriff to solve the case.  Eleanor and Maddy start their own investigation, drawing on the contacts and skills of their friends, from Paul the baker, to the shady Art Young, to Bob Lemmon, a lawyer who is infatuated with Maddy, to Karen, a regular customer with a variety of useful skills.  Their investigation leads them to a wealthy recluse who may or may not have some very greedy relatives.  They also uncover a tangle of romantic connections, past and present, reminding the sisters that  Timber Ridge really is a very small town!  This reader was happy to see that David Quinton, one of Eleanor’s former beaus, is back on the scene–will the next book in the series have one of the sisters sporting an engagement ring?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Cavender, Chris, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Chris Cavender. Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder. New York: Kensington Books, 2010.

When someone is murdered, family members are often the first people who the police investigate. The police in (fictitious) Timber Ridge, North Carolina are ready to pin Wade Hatcher’s death on his brother, Greg.  Greg and Wade had been fighting over their grandparents’ estate, and to add insult to injury, Wade recently put the moves on Greg’s longtime girlfriend. Eleanor Swift, the owner of A Slice of Delight pizzeria, has herself been the victim of a crime–she was robbed while making the night deposit. That’s no great concern to Eleanor. She’s more worried about Greg, her deliveryman. She knows that he is no killer, and she’s going to prove his innocence. With the help of her sister, the flighty and much-married Maddy, Eleanor digs into Wade’s personal and business relationships. Their activities put the sisters in danger, antagonize the police chief (one of Eleanor’s former boyfriends), and show the sisters that sometime friendships are stronger than families.

This is the second novel in the Pizza Lovers Mystery series.  It includes recipes for thin-crust pizza and a basic pizza sauce.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Cavender, Chris, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Chris Cavender. A Slice of Murder. New York: Kensington Books, 2009.

Being a bit of a softy gets Eleanor Swift in trouble. When her delivery driver calls in “sick” Eleanor think she can handle A Slice of Delight’s deliveries herself that night.  Her one late night delivery is to the home of Richard Olsen, someone whose advances she very publicly rebuffed at her town’s most recent harvest festival.  Pizza in hand, Eleanor looks in through Richard’s front door, only to see that someone has stabbed him with a large kitchen knife.

The image of Eleanor juggling her cell phone and the pizza box is a great start to this light-hearted mystery.  Because of that incident at the festival, Eleanor is suspected of the murder by the police chief, who happens to be her high school beau.  When public opinion, as measured by sales at her pizzeria, seems to turn against her, Eleanor enlists her sister Maddy to help her investigate the crime.  Along the way, the reader gets introduced to a town full of characters.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Cavender, Chris, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places