Pet chef Kitty serves "killer" meals to the pampered canines of upscale  L.A. residents: braised lamb, steak and egg burrito, salmon and cheese omelette,etc. Unfortunately, a drugged up ex‑rock star eats his pet's meal by mistake and dies of poisoning. Kitty, aghast and under suspicion by the police, works to clear her name with help from best friend  Velma. Light‑weight prose, a humorous approach, and idiosyncratic LA characters transform this series start into a real treat."  - Library Journal  "Nope. The subtitle "A Gourmet Pet Chef Mystery" is not a misprint. Kitty Karlyle is exactly that. She rushes all over town providing such specially cooked delicacies as Benny Had a Little Lamb, Mister Cookie's Jack and Dill and The Doggie and the Hare for the pampered pets of the very rich. (Recipes included, by the way.) Her charges range from dogs and cats to cockatiels, but Kitty rises to all occasions and makes a living from this weird enterprise-believable only in the context of Los Angeles.  But someone puts poison in one of her recipes and, worse yet, the food looks so tasty that recording star Rich Evan samples it-with fatal results. So who's to blame? Why Kitty, of course, at least according to the police. With the help of Velma Humphries, a one-time fellow student at cooking school, Kitty sets out to find the real killer, and handsome Detective Jack Young seems eager to assist. Dishing up Death is a rollicking tale meant to be fun to read ‑ and  it  succeeds. Celine has a wry sense of humor which peeks through every so often in this romp through Los Angeles' more expensive neighborhoods." - I Love A Mystery  "One young, naive gourmet pet chef. Several hungry pampered pets. One fading  rock star (dead). Many red herrings. One attractive detective. One murderer on the loose. Mix all ingredients together and you have an entertaining first mystery novel..."  - Skokie Public Library  "From delectable dishes to long-buried secrets and quirky celebrities, this story has all the ingredients that make up a great read." - Cats and Kittens Magazine  "An enjoyable, light-hearted mystery." - Tucson-Pima Public Library, a Staff Pick” - Dishing Up Death
“At the start of Celine’s enjoyable second Kitty Karlyle pet chef mystery (after 2005’s Dishing Up Death), a nervous Kitty can hardly believe that she’s in a Los Angeles film studio about to do a run-through for the pilot of a new CuisineTV show called The Pampered Pet, which she’s hosting. On the kitchen set, Kitty prepares Pooch Pot Pie, which is eagerly consumed by a Dalmatian she picks from the audience of people and their pets. After the show, Kitty signs a few autographs and goes in search of the show’s producer, Gretchen Corbett, for feedback on her performance. Kitty finds Gretchen lying dead on her office floor with one of Kitty’s knives in her back. Fearful of becoming a suspect, Kitty decides to investigate on her own. Likable characters, an engaging plot, and plenty of L.A. local color bolster a cozy sure to appeal to all dog lovers.” - Publisher's Weekly “The second in Celine’s Pet Chef series follows Kitty filming the first episode of The Pampered Pet, her CuisineTV series…The mystery unravels in agreeable fashion, and Celine adds a jaunty, madcap note to the proceedings with a touch of magic. Recipes for pet food from Kitty’s business add an unusual note to this light and fun addition to the pet mystery genre.”  - Booklist “Pet chef Kitty Carlyle has gotten famous serving her home made goodies to the pets of L.A.’s rich and famous. So famous that she’s been approached by Cuisine TV about her own TV show called The Pampered Pet. TV celebrity wasn’t the career Kitty was aiming for, but it can’t hurt her business so she agrees. But during the pilot episode, the producer is found stabbed to death – with Kitty’s own knife. She becomes suspect number one, the only way to prove her innocence is to track down the killer herself, and hope she doesn’t end up the next victim. A must read for pet lovers.” - R. Smith, Librarian “A perfect blend of fun and mystery. Kitty Karlyle is a culinary school graduate who has carved out a career as a private pet chef when she is picked to star in a new television series about cooking for pets. She is filming her very first episode when she stumbles over the body of the show's producer who has been stabbed to death with one of Kitty's knives. The police come to investigate and along with them comes her detective/fiancé Jack who is accompanied by his new boss, the very blond and gorgeous Lt. Elin. When Elin seems to be accusing Kitty of the crime and Jack seems slow to defend her, Kitty and her sidekick Fran decide that they will solve the case on their own. Their adventures are a lot of fun and I hope to see more of Kitty in the future.” - Natasha Rose, Bookseller” - Lights, Camera, Murder!
If dogs and cats could read, their holiday gift for two-legged friends would be Celine’s third romp featuring L.A. pet food TV chef Kitty Karlyle (after Lights, Camera, Murder!). Kitty and her sidekick, makeup artist Fran Earhart, find only trouble when Kitty’s annoying producer, Steve Barnhard, insists on shooting an episode of her show, The Pampered Pet, at the New-Age/New-Pet weekend being held at Little Switzerland Resort and Spa, “nestled in the southern California hills somewhere.” When Kitty finds the body of wealthy creep Victor Cornwall, it’s cherchez les chiens as well as cherchez la femme. Meanwhile, Kitty’s black Lab, Fred, and rescued tuxedo cat, Barney, go from blissful runs and rubdowns to super chow, including Kitty’s popular liver and oatmeal treats. Despite too many cartoonish characters, such as stuffy pet shrink George Newhart and egomaniacal chef Henri Moutarde, Celine amuses and then scares in a tense description of Kitty’s mountainside encounter with the killer." - Publisher's Weekly Kitty Karlyle takes her friend Fran and a television crew to the posh Little Switzerland Resort and Spa for Pets in this installment of the TV Pet Chef series. But there is nothing relaxing about this trip after another guest is found strangled in his room. Victor Cornwall loved to show off his championship pet ring but did not treat his dogs well. He also had many enemies due to failed investment schemes. Fran is a suspect in his murder as her parents lost a lot of money through Cornwall’s schemes. When Cornwall’s wife, Eliza, is poisoned, and Kitty is pushed down a ravine, Kitty begins to press hard for answers in the face of a desperate killer. Surprises and secrets flavor the crime scenes in between the unusual details of filming a pet cooking television show. Pet mysteries continue to be popular, and this fun addition to the subgenre should find an eager audience. Pair Celine’s series with Linda O. Johnston’s Barkery & Biscuits novels, also starring a pet chef."- Booklist “Pets, a mystery, and a spa resort, what's not to love!”- Netgalley Reviewer ”This is a purrfect cozy mystery for pet lovers!” - Netgalley Reviewer  ”This is a fun, colorful series that will delight any cozy mystery fan…If you enjoy a fast paced cozy filled with laughter and pets, then this is the right book for you.” - Netgalley Reviewer  “The mystery is well-paced, with plenty of humor and quirky fun. With gourmet pet chefs and doggie psychologists in the mix, how can you not have a zany, good time?” - Netgalley Reviewer” - Pet in Peril
A Bird Lover's Mystery Series”
Abuzz with a flock of feather brained puns, this cozy mystery has a wide cast of characters…I liked the characters and hope we get to interact with them in further adventures."- Laura's Interests For the start of a new cozy mystery series, I have to say this was a great book to begin with. Unlike other cozy mysteries, this one immediately plunges into the mystery…I actually enjoyed the world building within this book. It’s clear this small town is full of drama and scandal, as even Amy’s best friend has a dirty secret to hide. There are quirky and crazy characters to enjoy, but the one I enjoyed the most was the Pester, aka Amy’s tenant Esther. The old woman is constantly pointing the finger at Amy as the killer and is the bane in Amy’s behind every step of the way. Even though I would have wanted to kick her out, were she my tenant, she does eventually worm her way into your heart… well sort of…I would highly suggest this book for any cozy mystery lover. Hopefully you’ll be adding it to your reading list and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did."- The Writer's Inkwell It's a compelling mystery, full of twists and turns, with an intriguing storyline and interesting characters…The characters in this story are well-developed, believable and engaging. Some of them are warm and lovable, others bizarre and nosy, the typical inhabitants of a small town. The plot is very well developed, there is a lot of suspense and adventure, to solve the case Amy will be in many absurd situations, dangerous but also comic. I really loved the descriptions of Ruby Lake, it was a pleasant trip into charming South. This is a wonderful story that is very well written with a great pace. Great debut for this new series, I look forward to reading the next adventure of Amy. Must-read for those who love cozy mystery and birds."- Libri Amori Miei This book quickly grabbed my attention right off…Amy was a great main character and her ease of sliding into investigating the crimes was enjoyable. As any sleuth she did find herself in trouble and many predicaments, but I liked how all of this was woven into the story. Overall this was a great book and I’m excited to read the next installment!!"- A Date with a Book I was entertained every single page while reading this book…A ripping good read!"- Back Porchervations A very well written cozy mystery. It had a good plot, the pace was just right and the characters were well developed and engaging. I look forward to more of this series!"- Tea and Tales” - Die, Die Birdie
Maggie Miller Mysteries”
“This fun, farcical first in a new cozy series from Ripley (Gunfight in Gatlinburg) introduces 39-year-old Maggie Miller, who has moved from Phoenix to Table Rock, Ariz., where her mother, sister, and two nephews already live. When people ask her whether she’s married, recently divorced Maggie says her husband is dead because “he was dead to me.” Maggie is preparing to open Maggie’s Beignet Café, but inside a packing box, she finds the body of her landlord, Rick Wilbur. When Det. Mark Highsmith, who has “yummy brown eyes, sort of the color of brown M&Ms,” learns that the murder weapon was a rolling pin, he takes Maggie in for questioning. Meanwhile, obstacles keep getting in the way of her grand opening—the police investigation, a bounced check, a fire, and a visit from her ex-husband. Recipes and tips add seasoning to Ripley’s appealing mix of quirky characters and slapstick humor.” - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY “Ripley is the well-reviewed author of eight other mysteries. Humor is a significant aspect of his appeal, and, in Maggie, he has created a quirky, vulnerable protagonist with a wicked wit. Those who like their mysteries relatively nonviolent and delivered with a smile will thoroughly enjoy this little gem.” - American Library Assoc. Booklist Magazine “This is book one in a fun new cozy series set in unconventional Table Rock, where people believe in aliens and a less mainstream life style. Expect some crazy relations, a cat, plenty of suspects, a hot detective, recipes and all the trappings of a good cozy mystery. Told in her own words, Maggie makes for a lively protagonist as she races around looking for clues and the culprit, while dodging attempts on her life and well-meaning relations and trying to open her café. If you enjoy this type of detective story this is a good one, being pacy, amusing without being too crazy and never losing sight of what a good mystery is all about, i.e. detecting. I would definitely read another, so I hope this is the first of many.” - Rachel A Hyde – Myshelf.com “I loved this book! Maggie Miller is laugh out loud funny. After her divorce she moves to the new age town of Table Rock, Arizona to open a beignet shop. She is setting up shop the day before her opening but when she goes to open a carton that should be holding the chairs for her shop she finds the dead body of her landlord instead, along with her missing rolling pin, now covered with blood. In addition to a handsome detective we meet a bunch of interesting characters including her attorney/organic farmer brother in law Andy and a former Olympic figure skater who, with his partner Clive, runs The Hitching Post -a bridal store next door. I loved meeting Maggie and hope there will be many future adventures to follow along with her. I highly recommend this book.” - Natasha Rose, Bookseller “All thrillers are not serious. In fact, there are some very funny thriller novels published that not only supply a good dose of suspense, but laughs as well. J.R. Ripley's Buried in Beignets is a good example. This novel tells the story of Maggie Miller, who, after being newly divorced, decides to use her life savings and loans from family to open a Beignet shop in a small Arizona town…As the novel progresses, readers are introduced to some fairly bizarre characters, neighboring shop owners, family members, and law enforcement personnel. The novel is mostly tongue-in-cheek, so readers will be laughing throughout, even though Maggie, et. al. are in danger much of the time…Maggie is likeable and has a very strange family, so many readers will be able to relate to her. The novel does have a surprise ending; there are several suspects, each with a viable motive to get rid of the landlord, and while Maggie looks at all of the suspects, she is obviously not a professional detective, so she misses a lot and jumps to conclusions as to who-done-it…the book is a fun read, has good recipes (at least one is good – the other is for a tree-hugger type casserole that this reader isn't about to try), helpful hints, and plenty of laughs. Readers who want a change from heavy thriller novels will welcome this quick and easy read.” - Karen Hancock (Reviewer)” - Buried In Beignets
Maggie Miller, the narrator of Ripley’s appealing sequel to 2015’s Buried in Beignets, is up to her flour-caked elbows in batter and angst in Table Rock, Ariz., where she’s trying to establish her café, which features the famous fried French pastry. One day, Maggie agrees to give a lift to her friend Clive Rothschild, who owns the Hitching Post, the wedding store next door, with his husband, Johnny Wolfe. Unfortunately, Maggie and Clive wind up finding the body of 27-year-old Lisa Willoughby under 700 pounds of wedding cake. Lisa had some history with Clive and Johnny, and Clive becomes suspect number one. The good-hearted Maggie joins a long list of plucky female protagonists who start new businesses—and sometimes new romances—but still are unable to say no to their know-it-all mothers. That creates complications, of course, since Maggie manages to get into plenty of trouble on her own. Every step leads to a misunderstanding or worse as Maggie strives to track down the real killer in this clever, amusing cozy." - Publishers Weekly” - Beignets, Brides and Bodies
Tony Kozol Series”
In the genre of Sam Spade, Columbo, and hosts of other "Pulp" stories, J.R. Ripley is so true to form in Stiff in the Freezer that one can almost hear the Bronx accent narrating the story. Dames, diners, and a stiff. . .a wonderful brew for murder and mayhem. . .    Written in a totally off-the-cuff, bare bones fashion. . . Ripley has a cutting sense of humor." - Midwest Book Review  "The story is lighthearted, sexy, funny and entertaining. Well-plotted, it rises to an amazing finale. The characters are well-drawn, interesting and believable." - The Tribune  "Stiff In The Freezer is a mix of mystery, murder and mayhem." - The Chattooga Press  "Light, quick reading, Stiff In The Freezer, by J.R. Ripley is a thriller laced with a good dose of humor. . .Ripley's dialogue and bumbling characters smack of Damon Runyon's style. . .it's perfect for an afternoon at the beach." - The Island Reporter” - Stiff in the Freezer
... Readers will enjoy Ripley's sharp dialogue, which keeps the novel speeding along at a pleasant clip." - Publishers Weekly Wacky characters, liquid prose, frequent humor, and a decidedly light plot place this in the fun, breeze-to-read category. Readers who enjoyed Sharon McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun will also get a kick out of this." - Library Journal As always, with J.R. Ripley's work, this book is fun to read. Maybe it's because he always seems to write with a sort of tongue-in-cheek attitude. ... He has that touch of the bizarre, the outre, the silly, yet there seems to be some common sense behind it. It's always entertaining reading... You'll enjoy this book." - The Tribune Musician Tony Kozol is not thrilled about the idea of traveling to Sedona, Ariz., to play guitar at a New Age convention. He'd rather be at home in Ocean Palm, South Florida, where weirdos don't worry about their auras. The Crystal Magic of the Skulls Conference just does not sound like Tony's cup of tea, but an old friend asked, so he's on the way. When his pal ends up crushed by his piano lid, the amateur detective has something more interesting than chakras to keep him busy. You get the idea Ripley has had a few good laughs at Sedona's expense, and he provides more than a few wicked shots here. Skulls of Sedona is quick and light-hearted and likely to give you a pretty good vibe." - The Miami Herald J.R. Ripley continues to delight with offbeat and provocative settings for this follow up to the benchmark Stiff in the Freezer.  And true to form, Ripley comes up with a mixture of innovation, some wry commentary of the fads of the day, and just plain old amateur sleuthing in a grab bag of fun and excitement." - Midwest Book Review” - Skulls of Sedona

Join the Friends List!