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October 22, 2022

Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking by Raquel V. Reyes ~ an Audiobook Review

by Donna Huber

Miriam is a Cuban-American cooking show host who solves murders on the side. In book 2 of the Caribbean Kitchen Mystery series, the head chef at the country club where Miriam is organizing a charity gala is murdered. Is his replacement just a bad cook or is she intentionally poisoning people?

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free audiobook was provided for an honest review.

book cover of cozy mystery audiobook Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking by Raquel V. Reyes
October 2022; Dreamscape Media; 9781666619645
audio (8h 48m), ebook, print; cozy mystery

I have not read book 1 in the series, but I didn't have any problems jumping in with Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking. There are several references to the previous book early on but the details of that story are necessary to enjoy this one. For me, it seems like the case in the first book might be an ongoing storyline in the series. As this is just book 2, it is still easy to catch up if you like to read a series from the beginning.

The story is set around Halloween so if you are a seasonal reader and don't want to read horror for the holiday, then this is a great book to pick up.

I read a lot of cozy mysteries and so I really enjoy it when I find a new series that has something unique about it. I think this is the first series that I've read that features a Latina main character. There is a lot of Spanish sprinkled throughout the text. As I was listening to the book, I was able to kind of gloss over the Spanish. I'm sure if I had been reading the book myself I would have been trying to translate it but I would have been unsuccessful as I don't know Spanish. There are no direct translations but you get an understanding of what is being said through the context. I think I prefer this way of handling other languages in a story as it seems more natural.

Another thing that was different from the majority of the cozies I read is that Miriam is married with a kid. I read a few cozies with married couples, but I think I've only read one or two that the main character is a mother. 

I also liked that the murder didn't consume the plot. I didn't feel like Miriam was actively investigating, but just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time to observe clues 

Unlike other culinary cozies, there were no recipes - at least for the audiobook. That's a shame because I like Caribbean food but I don't really have any recipes for it. My luck though if there had been a recipe it would have been for akee and salt fish - the one Jamaican dish I just couldn't eat (I don't really like fish and they served this dish for breakfast).

The narrator Frankie Corzo is great. She has enough of an accent that it is believable that the character is Cuban-American but not so powerful that she is hard to understand. And for the English-only speaking characters, all traces of the Latin American accent is gone.

If you haven't tried this series yet, it is definitely worth the read or listen.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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