Killer in the Kitchen - Book Review

Killer in the Kitchen

Author: Judy L Murray
Narrated by: Sarah Mollo Christensen
Genre: Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
Publisher: Level Best Books
Date Published: September 27, 2022
ISBN-10: 1685121926
ISBN-13: 978-1685121921

GoodReads Rating:

Book Review of :  Killer in the Kitchen


Award-winning author Judy L. Murray is a master of mystery suspense. Her second book, Killer in the Kitchen, is set in the Chesapeake Bay Area, as was her first, Murder in the Master.  Judy Murray is an author to watch rise in the cozy mystery genre. Plenty of red herrings, well-plotted mysteries, and a couple of hints of romance will keep the reader guessing. Her experiences as a residential realtor and her familiarity in listing hard-to-sell homes, illusive buyers, contrary contractors, and the safety concerns of agents authenticates her stories with personal insight.

 Professional Realtor Helen Morrisey has a couple of Real Estate Rules #1: A dead body creates a buzz, and Rule #2: Offer a dead-drop kitchen.

Helen Morrisey's world turns upside down when her daughter, Lizzie,  a popular home shopping network host, invites her mother to be on her show. It is a special show where Helen gets to meet an internationally famous chef, Roberto Barto.

Not only is Roberto interesting to Helen as a celebrity, but he is also a prospective Real Estate client since he has a waterfront mansion that he wants to sell. What better way to meet a new client?

But things turn sinister when the chef becomes a corpse, and Helen's daughter is lying on the studio floor unconscious.

This is a crime scene, and Sleuth Helen is again entangled in a high-stakes investigation. She has to find out what happened to Roberto, and can she save her daughter before it's too late?

How was he killed becomes a big question, and who is Mariah Manley?

Helen is intrigued by the fiery personalities and financial mysteries surrounding Roberto Barto's world. She is determined to figure out what was the motive behind his murder.

She is guided by her inner detective "sense" supplemented by her Detection Club members. Helen takes her inspiration from famous literary female detectives such as Agatha Raisin,  Nancy Drew, Jessica Fletcher, Nora Charles,  Jane Marple, and Trixie Belden. Helen is constantly asking her fictional team members what they would do.

Romantic interest, Detective Joe McAlister, insists that Helen stick to selling houses and leave detection to him. However, Helen's daughter, Lizzie, was also stricken when the chef was killed, so staying out of the investigation is impossible for her.  Soon after Helen gets involved, her life is threatened during the showing of a home, and members of her literary detective squad encourage her to snoop and sleuth even more.

Murder continues to be on the menu. A TV personality commits suicide. Or was it another murder? Who had the most to gain from culinary superstar Roberto's death?

His partner and business manager becomes a suspect as he rushes Helen to sell Roberto's mansion. Helen discovers gambling debts, and gangsters are implicated in the mystery of murder suspects.

With a confident voice, the author has created an indelible heroine and a dazzling cast of supporting characters that are as original and vibrant as the protagonist. Helen is an extraordinary woman determined to live on her own terms. She is practical and uncompromising, shrewdly observant with the help of her detective team. Helen has the moxie and courage to do her detective calling even though she knows others consider her quirky and maybe a bit touched.

Author Judy Murray is an author who will quickly gain notoriety with her suspenseful mysteries laced with a bit of humor and romance. Watch for her next mystery, Peril in the Pool House, in the Chesapeake Bay Mystery series. 

Reviewed by: Carole W

About Judy L Murray


Judy L Murray is the 2022 First Place Winner of the PenCraft Award for Sleuth Fiction. The debut novel in her Chesapeake Bay Mystery Series, Murder in the Master, is an IPPY Silver Medalist, a Silver Falchion Award Winner, and an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Second in the series, Killer in the Kitchen, released in September 2023, won the IPPY Gold Medal for Mystery e-fiction. Third in the series, Peril in the Pool House, will be released in September 2023 through her print and e-format publisher Level Best Books. Audio versions are under contract with Blackstone Publishing in audible and CD formats. 

Her series introduces Helen Morrisey, a quick-tongued, gutsy and mature woman long on loyalty and short on romance. A mystery story addict, Helen’s approach to solving problems is to call on the talents of her favorite, strong-minded female detectives within her own mental Detection Club, much like Agatha Christie formed in the 1930’s.

A former vice president and real estate broker for Berkshire Hathaway’s seventy-two office Philadelphia region, Judy worked with enough delusional sellers, jittery buyers, testy contractors, and diva agents to fill her head with back-office insight and truth versus gossip. She and her husband live atop a cliff on the Chesapeake Bay where they are buffeted by winds in winter and invaded by family and dogs in summer. Combined with her obsession for mysteries with smart, gutsy women, from young Nancy Drew to the wise Miss Marple, and her Chesapeake Bay Mystery Series was launched.

Judy holds a newspaper journalism degree from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University and an MBA concentrating in marketing with Penn State University. She began her writing career as a newspaper reporter and magazine columnist. She is a member of Sisters in Crime as their Guppy Board Liaison and Mystery Writers of America.  Sign up for her newsletter and find links to purchase her books through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Independent Bookstores at Follow her at on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.. She is represented by Blue Ridge Literary Agency and Birch Literary Agency. Judy enjoys hearing from both readers and authors.

Visit for more information on Judy L Murray


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