Tuesday, June 21, 2016

"Murder on the Menu" by Zanna Mackenzie

Murder on the Menu
(A Celebrity Mystery Book 1)
by Zanna Mackenzie

Murder on the Menu is the first book in the Celebrity Mystery series by Zanna Mackenzie. Also available: Holiday Heist and Murder at the Bake Off.

Murder on the Menu is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

After Lizzie's new boss, celebrity chef Armand, is stabbed in his own kitchen, Lizzie finds herself at the top of the suspect list.
Determined to clear her name she’s forced to enlist the services of her new neighbour, Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency (CCIA) special agent Jack Mathis, who’s been suspended from his duties for reasons unknown.
Can Lizzie save herself from getting arrested and manage to resist her special agent sidekick’s considerable charms and gorgeous smile? Will they solve the culinary murder mystery or will she end up in a prison cell?

Click below to read an excerpt.

Praise for the Book
"A fun combination of mystery, romance and scandal!" ~ Laura’s Interests
"Murder on the Menu was a charming, light-hearted mystery with a fun heroine and witty dialogue." ~ Moonlight Rendezvous
"This was a really fun read! Lizzie and Jack make a good team and their interactions can be hilarious at times." ~ Book Babble
"If you enjoy a cozy mystery with a celebrity murder, a little romance, lots of suspects, a challenging plot, likeable characters, set in a pretty English village - then you’re going to love Murder on the Menu." ~ Carole's Book Corner

Guest Post by the Author
Meet My Main Character
What’s your name? Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Lizzie Carter. I’m a twenty-something who used to have a life in the city (and a steady boyfriend) but now I live in the sticks and am single. I’m telling people that I’m "currently revising my life plan" – which really means I haven’t a clue what I’m doing!
Where is your story set?
A little while back, I made the difficult decision to move from London to the wilds of Cumbria in the north of England. Things happened in London which drove me away. I loved my old life, well, I thought I did. Turns out it wasn’t really what I thought it was. Anyway, my aunt and uncle used to have a smallholding up in Cumbria and I’ve inherited it from them. It’s all a bit ramshackle and I’m battling to turn it around and make enough money to scrape a living on. In the meantime, I’m waiting tables at a fancy country restaurant run by a creepy celebrity chef. Basically, my new life couldn’t be more different from my old one!
Can you share with us why you left behind your old life in London?
Well, it’s all still a bit raw. I feel such an idiot. I mean, why didn’t I realise? I thought things were going brilliantly. A promotion at my old job looked highly likely and the idea my steady boyfriend Adam might present me with an engagement ring someday soon wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility. Then, one day, everything turned upside down and I guess I knew, no matter how much I loved the city, I just had to get away.
What should we know about you?
Hmm ... just the good stuff right? My best friend describes me as strong, determined (she’d probably use the word stubborn) and far too nosy for my own good. In reality, I sometimes hide behind a veneer of confidence (don’t we all on occasion?) and, I admit, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with my life these days (my old life plan went out the window when I left London), but I’ll make it all work one way or another. I have to.
What is the main conflict? What messes up your life?
Ah yes ... I dared to think I might finally be getting things back on track up here in Cumbria and then my creepy celebrity chef boss Armand was murdered. Somebody stabbed him in the kitchen at the restaurant after the place had closed up for the night. As he’d made me work late to help him out with some marketing stuff (my old career used to be in marketing and promotion), I was the last person to leave the place that night and that’s why the police are dragging me down to the station for questioning and have me firmly at the top of their list of suspects. All of the females who worked at the restaurant hated Armand, he was a chauvinist pig, so, let’s face it, there are plenty of real suspects who should be on that list! I just have to find out who the real murderer is – simple right?
You said you used to have a steady boyfriend in London but now you’re single. Is there any sign of a new man in your life yet?
Well ... maybe. Two runaway cows appeared in the yard at my farm (don’t ask! This is what my life is like these days) having wandered over from a neighbour’s place and just when I was figuring out how to get them safely back home, this quadbike appeared with a rather handsome guy driving it. His name is Jack and he’s the younger brother of Fraser who runs the nearby farm. He told me he’s a special agent – hah, as if! If he’s got a regular job like being an accountant or something, why doesn’t he just tell me so? I’m not one to judge. Still, he insists he’s a special agent for some place called the Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency (otherwise known as the CCIA!) and is on some kind of enforced sabbatical. I figured it was wise not to ask him what happened on that front. Anyway, I’m trying to pretend that I’m not in the least attracted to him at the moment. He is very cute though. Guess we’ll just have to see how things go ...
Who or what is your nemesis these days?
I inherited a recipe book from my Aunt Molly and she used to bake and sell the best cakes in the whole of the Lake District. I’d love to be able to create cakes like she did but so far my attempts have all ended in disaster. I blame the ancient Aga in the kitchen at the farmhouse – I’m sure it has a mind of its own and my cakes seem to end up raw inside or burnt! One day, I’ll win the battle with it and manage to bake an edible cake. Fingers crossed!
Be sure to grab your copy of Murder on the Menu today and join me on an action-packed, romance filled, feel-good amateur sleuth adventure!

About the Author
I write romantic comedy mysteries and when I’m not writing I can be found gardening (trying to grow tomatoes in the British climate is a major challenge!) walking the dogs or reading.
I’m a former therapist, a fan of the great outdoors - especially Scotland, the Lake District and Derbyshire's Peak district - and also something of a dreamer!
Home is a village on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border in the UK with my husband, our 4 Labrador dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.
At every opportunity I can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel I'm working on and I love it when the characters in my work in progress novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!

Enter the Big 4th of July Giveaway for a chance to win $210 in Amazon gift cards and 21 ebooks by 21 authors, including Murder on the Menu by Zanna Mackenzie (ends 4 July).

Click here or on the image below to get a FREE copy of On Trial by Zanna Mackenzie.