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A food writer must investigate the death of an old enemy in this witty and exciting new cozy mystery series set in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, known for seafood, sand, surf, and, now...murder. Samantha Barnes was always a foodie. So when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple. Soon the young c A food writer must investigate the death of an old enemy in this witty and exciting new cozy mystery series set in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, known for seafood, sand, surf, and, now...murder. Samantha Barnes was always a foodie. So when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple. Soon the young chef is a rising star in the city’s food scene—until a feud with another chef (her ex) boils over and goes viral. So when Sam inherits her Great-Aunt Ida’s house on the Cape and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, it seems like the perfect pairing. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot. The dilapidated house comes with an enormous puppy. Her new boss is, well, bossy. And the town’s new harbormaster is none other than her first love. Nonetheless, Sam’s looking forward to testing her inner food critic at the Bayview Grille—and indeed the seafood chowder is divine. But the body floating in the pond outside the eatery was not on the menu. Though the drowning is called an accident, Sam is certain it's murder. And as she begins to stir the pot, it becomes terrifyingly clear that she may be writing the recipe for her own untimely demise.


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A food writer must investigate the death of an old enemy in this witty and exciting new cozy mystery series set in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, known for seafood, sand, surf, and, now...murder. Samantha Barnes was always a foodie. So when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple. Soon the young c A food writer must investigate the death of an old enemy in this witty and exciting new cozy mystery series set in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, known for seafood, sand, surf, and, now...murder. Samantha Barnes was always a foodie. So when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple. Soon the young chef is a rising star in the city’s food scene—until a feud with another chef (her ex) boils over and goes viral. So when Sam inherits her Great-Aunt Ida’s house on the Cape and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, it seems like the perfect pairing. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot. The dilapidated house comes with an enormous puppy. Her new boss is, well, bossy. And the town’s new harbormaster is none other than her first love. Nonetheless, Sam’s looking forward to testing her inner food critic at the Bayview Grille—and indeed the seafood chowder is divine. But the body floating in the pond outside the eatery was not on the menu. Though the drowning is called an accident, Sam is certain it's murder. And as she begins to stir the pot, it becomes terrifyingly clear that she may be writing the recipe for her own untimely demise.

30 review for A Side of Murder

  1. 4 out of 5

    Krista Davis

    A delicious mystery lovingly set in Cape Cod featuring a cast of charming characters. Amy Pershing writes with a fresh fun voice that will delight cozy fans. Chef turned restaurant critic Samantha Barnes proves a clever sleuth whose helpful cooking tips will be a big hit with culinary readers.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cozy Reads

    Samantha has recently moved back to Fair Harbor, a delightful little town in Cape Cod. Recently divorced and jobless (in a rather interesting and viral way) she inherits her Great Aunt’s house and starts a new job at the local paper writing restaurant reviews. Her first restaurant review comes with more than just a good meal... a dead body. The victim is someone from her past and the new harbormaster called to the scene is her former first love. Sam does not think the drowning was an accident, Samantha has recently moved back to Fair Harbor, a delightful little town in Cape Cod. Recently divorced and jobless (in a rather interesting and viral way) she inherits her Great Aunt’s house and starts a new job at the local paper writing restaurant reviews. Her first restaurant review comes with more than just a good meal... a dead body. The victim is someone from her past and the new harbormaster called to the scene is her former first love. Sam does not think the drowning was an accident, but murder. Maybe it’s her family roots in reporting but Sam is determined to investigate and solve the crime. Can she solve the mystery and survive her new life back in Fair Harbor? I really enjoyed this book! Samantha is a fun, feisty main character. I like the authors writing style and the story flowed smoothly. I was able to easily visualize each detail, the food described and the town. Sam’s amateur sleuthing and the mystery kept me hooked until the end! I look forward to reading more books in this series and by Amy Pershing. - This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Amy Pershing gets the credit for my first book hangover of 2021. I started reading and just couldn’t stop. Samantha Barnes was a rising star in the New York food scene but one little pesky argument, okay, one big argument that was caught on video and uploaded on YouTube with her ex, also a notable chef has left her without a job. Then her Aunt Ida passes away and leaves her a home on the Cape. The home also comes with a very large puppy dog named Dioge (D-O-G). A friend has taken Dollycas’s Thoughts Amy Pershing gets the credit for my first book hangover of 2021. I started reading and just couldn’t stop. Samantha Barnes was a rising star in the New York food scene but one little pesky argument, okay, one big argument that was caught on video and uploaded on YouTube with her ex, also a notable chef has left her without a job. Then her Aunt Ida passes away and leaves her a home on the Cape. The home also comes with a very large puppy dog named Dioge (D-O-G). A friend has taken over the editor position at the local paper, once held by Sam’s father. She gives Sam a job reviewing local restaurants. Sam also gets back in contact with some old friends. She almost doesn’t have time to miss her life in New York, but she does. She steps outside of a restaurant she is reviewing, one where she used to work, to contemplate her life when she notices a body floating in the water. An accidental drowning? Sam sure doesn’t think so. She may land herself in hot water but it can’t hurt to ask a few questions, can it? I loved everything about this story starting with protagonist Samantha Barnes. She shows immediately she is not a woman to be messed with. She is tall, (very tall), smart, brave, and caring and she is not only fun but funny with a fantastic sense of humor. The author surrounds her with a stellar supporting cast including her first love, Jason, who now happens to be the harbormaster, her aunt’s friend and neighbor who quickly becomes a true friend of Sam’s, her friends she has known forever, and one huge, lovable dog. Her parents have retired to Florida but they are just a phone call away. These characters have so much depth for the first book in the series. I felt like I personally knew every one of them. All are very realistic, their dialogues ring true, including Sam’s inner dialogues which I really enjoyed. I also fell in love with Aunt Ida’s home with a spectacular view. I loved that when the house got too big for Ida to handle she added an ell to the main home. A little mother’s cottage or aunt’s cottage in Ida’s case. Space for everything she needed and perfect for one person and their dog. Perfect for Sam now too because she can use space in the main house for when she wants to entertain like for her traditional Sunday meal with friends. I wish I had a place like Aunt Ida’s, it would be perfect for me too. The mystery was so well-plotted and written. Filled with an abundance of twists and turns there was always something happening. The author really shows her writing chops. For example, I have never been in a sailboat but her dramatic detailed account of Sam’s heart-pounding adventure transported me out of my chair and onto that lake, moving my feet, stretching my body, and tilting side to side as I participated from my easy chair. The entire book was like that. I really felt like I was there for each and every scene. The food prepared, eaten, and delightfully described tempted my taste buds the entire story. The author’s tips included added a nice touch. Amy Pershing has written a spectacular cozy mystery. I was totally captivated and entertained from the first page to the last. So much so I want to shout about it from the rooftops! Daily life, suspense, comedy, and a touch of romance come together to make A Side of Murder a must-read for all cozy lovers!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Samantha Barnes, Sam to her friends, grew up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but left to go to culinary school and become a famous chef. Thanks to an inheritance and a new job writing about food in the area for a local paper, she is back. Her first assignment is to review a new restaurant in town, but the good food is quickly forgotten when she finds a dead body floating in the water next to the restaurant. The police think it was an accident. After all, the victim was a known drunk, so she could ha Samantha Barnes, Sam to her friends, grew up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but left to go to culinary school and become a famous chef. Thanks to an inheritance and a new job writing about food in the area for a local paper, she is back. Her first assignment is to review a new restaurant in town, but the good food is quickly forgotten when she finds a dead body floating in the water next to the restaurant. The police think it was an accident. After all, the victim was a known drunk, so she could have easily fallen in and drown. Sam thinks something more sinister is happening. Can she prove it? There is a good mystery here, and I enjoyed seeing how Sam figured everything out. Unfortunately, there is just as much set up, introducing us to the people in Sam’s life and filling us in on her past. The result was a pace that was uneven. I did still enjoy it since I liked Sam and the supporting characters. We saw hints of the depths to the characters that I’m sure we’ll see more of in future books in the series. I was bothered by a cliché that several of the characters fell into, however, especially since it doesn’t fit one of the characters at all. The book ends with recipes for a suggested four-course casual dinner with friends. Overall, I enjoyed this virtual vacation debut. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Burdette

    Very enjoyable start to a new cozy mystery series. The highlights include an exquisite Cape Cod setting, a shamed but resilient chef, murderous secrets, and a long-buried but still steaming romance… Amy Pershing’s debut mystery will leave you longing for a seaside vacation, complete with fried clams and the next book in her charming series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    After living on Cape Cod for 10 years, I always enjoy reading a book set there. A Side of Murder is a fun start to a new cozy mystery series by Amy Pershing. Returning to her aunt’s home and to her family roots has Samantha feeling a bit out of sorts. Add in the condition of her aunts home, a new puppy, and an old flame, and you have the makings of a fun story. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Edith Maxwell

    Amy Pershing delights and thrills with this debut cozy mystery set on iconic Cape Cod. Sam Barnes is a reluctant sleuth at first - in a reluctant return to the Cape - but she musters verve, bravery, and sailing prowess to outwit more than one villain. If love comes with her victory, so much the better. The plot is deliciously twisty, the food mouth-watering, and the supporting cast charming and loyal. This book is a must-read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sue Em

    Delightful new cozy that takes the "cozy tropes" of woman returning to hometown after some diasterous event in the big city and makes them seem fresh and relevant. Delightful new cozy that takes the "cozy tropes" of woman returning to hometown after some diasterous event in the big city and makes them seem fresh and relevant.

  9. 5 out of 5

    K.A. Davis

    A SIDE OF MURDER is the first book in the brand new Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series by Amy Pershing. Starting an inaugural book of a new series sometimes leaves me with trepidation since I don’t know the characters and often there’s too much backstory which can slow down the plot. However, Ms. Pershing hit this one out of the ballpark and I was captivated from the very first page! The author exhibits a great sense of timing with her zingy one-liners and the humor starts from the opening scene. Pr A SIDE OF MURDER is the first book in the brand new Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series by Amy Pershing. Starting an inaugural book of a new series sometimes leaves me with trepidation since I don’t know the characters and often there’s too much backstory which can slow down the plot. However, Ms. Pershing hit this one out of the ballpark and I was captivated from the very first page! The author exhibits a great sense of timing with her zingy one-liners and the humor starts from the opening scene. Protagonist, trained chef Samantha Barnes, who loves to laugh, made me laugh right alongside which quelled any trepidation I might have had before starting the book. Fleeing New York after an altercation with her ex went viral on YouTube, Samantha returns to her childhood home of Cape Cod. Moving into the falling down house she’s inherited from her Aunt Ida… along with a huge, untrained puppy named Dioge (D-O-G), she tries to decide what to do with her life. Her good friend (who’s editor of the Cape Cod Clarion) ropes Samantha into writing a restaurant review column. I love that Samantha’s parents were the editor-in-chief and senior journalist for the paper before they retired to Florida. This allows the reader to get a glimpse into her family even if they appear offstage. The setup also showcases the town and contributes to the appealing setting of Cape Code. Since Samantha grew up in the area, she still has close friends. They are equally well-developed, including Dioge, with their own quirks adding to the humorous interaction. Samantha discovers the body of a former waitress (and all around mean person) at the restaurant she’s reviewing. She doesn’t believe law enforcement’s theory that it was an accidental drowning. Appearing on scene and giving support to her observations is the handsome harbormaster (and teen crush), Jason. Except he doesn’t want her to get involved so she channels her mother’s journalistic skills and ignores him. As evidence and clues pile up, the suspect list gets longer and longer. Ms. Pershing does an admirable job providing plenty of red herrings that kept me off track and guessing as the story progressed. With the final suspenseful reveal, all the clues popped into place and left me with a satisfied grin on my face! Being a Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series, you can count on there being loads of food mentioned. What I enjoyed even more was the author’s tips interjected on dishes the protagonist fixed and ate during the book. The tips are helpful and are provided in a breezy manner that made me feel like I was sitting in the kitchen watching a friend cook. Ms. Pershing also includes several recipes at the back of the book. I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    M. Reads Often

    I thought this was going to be more of my thing, but I was let down by the end. I think the way the book was set up just made it hard for me to follow along. This sets up the series, but there was a lot of extraneous information I started to get lost along the way. I know the author meant well, but I was disappointed by this story. It seemed like less of a mystery and more of a way to talk about the beach setting and whatnot. I did like the cozy part, but the rest fell flat for me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    It was interesting to watch Sam's inner battle with herself from the minute she got back to Cape Cod having inherited her aunt's little cottage and apparently her aunt's not-so-little puppy, Diogi (pronounced D O G, clever huh? I thought it was a fun name!). Sam was in a constant tug of war with her feelings over her old crush Jason and the whole "am I staying" conflict she was having. I could tell she mostly wanted to settle back there and be with her old friend Jenny and her bossy friend who w It was interesting to watch Sam's inner battle with herself from the minute she got back to Cape Cod having inherited her aunt's little cottage and apparently her aunt's not-so-little puppy, Diogi (pronounced D O G, clever huh? I thought it was a fun name!). Sam was in a constant tug of war with her feelings over her old crush Jason and the whole "am I staying" conflict she was having. I could tell she mostly wanted to settle back there and be with her old friend Jenny and her bossy friend who was now her boss, Krista. They were both good friends in their own ways with Jenny being the ahem, less vocal of the two, lol. I just loved Sam's next-door neighbor Helene. She was a great one to sleuth with (and a cheerleader for wanting Sam to stay), and even Jenny's somewhat stuffy husband Roland (or Rolly when you go drinkin' with him) turned out to be just the legal ally Sam needed. He and Jenny seemed to discover each other as far as their marriage was concerned which was a good thing and something else that Sam had been worried about. I have a feeling that Sam's gonna definitely end up back with Jason since they did have a nice talk toward the end after the showdown. Since there ended up being a couple of mysteries going on and I don't want to spoil anything, let's just say that each of those respective showdowns was exciting and ended well as long as you weren't the perp! I was happy to be asked to review the next book in this series, so since I'd bought this one a while ago, I thought it'd be a smart idea to read it and be caught up on the characters. I'm eager to read the next after seeing a little preview of it in the author's newsletter!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing is the debut of A Cape Code Foodie Mystery series. Samantha “Sam” Barnes is a chef who is returning home to Fair Harbor, Massachusetts. Sam’s professional and personal life in New York City derailed after a passerby posted a video on You-tube of an argument between Sam and her fiery tempered husband. When she learns she has inherited her Great-Aunt Ida’s home, Sam decides to head back to Cape Code temporarily. She gets a job at the Cape Cod Clarion writing restau A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing is the debut of A Cape Code Foodie Mystery series. Samantha “Sam” Barnes is a chef who is returning home to Fair Harbor, Massachusetts. Sam’s professional and personal life in New York City derailed after a passerby posted a video on You-tube of an argument between Sam and her fiery tempered husband. When she learns she has inherited her Great-Aunt Ida’s home, Sam decides to head back to Cape Code temporarily. She gets a job at the Cape Cod Clarion writing restaurant reviews and food features. Her first assignment takes Sam and her friends to the Bayview Grille. After dinner, Sam takes a walk outside where she finds Estelle Kobolt dead in the water. The death is ruled accidental, but Sam’s instinct tells her it is murder. Sam decides to do a little digging on her own to see who wished Estelle dead. A Side of Murder is easy to read with mixed pacing. The author took the time to establish the setting of Fair Harbor in Cape Code. There are beautiful descriptions of the beach plus detailed word images of the food, Great-Aunt Ida’s house, and Diogi. We get to meet Sam’s childhood friends, Miles and Jenny along with the editor-in-chief of the Cape Cod Clarion, Krista Baker and Sam’s neighbor, Helene Greenberg. The mystery was straightforward with a couple of suspects, misdirection, and subtle clues. I would have liked more time devoted to the mystery and for it to be more complex. The whodunit is focused on more in the latter half of the book. My favorite phrase from A Side of Murder is, “Danger Will Robinson” when Krista charms Sam into taking the job at the paper. There is romance for Sam in the form of an old crush. They are attracted to each other and there is chemistry between them. A Side of Murder is a breezy cozy mystery with fine food, a cute canine, an insistent editor-in-chief, fun friends, a gone guzzler, a hunky harbormaster, and a beautiful beach.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This is the first in the Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series. Samantha Barnes is in New York feeling sorry for herself as her marriage ended (which is not a bad thing) and her Chef career is a bust because of a you tube video which has gone viral with her ex-husband. Sam receives a phone call from her best friend Jenny’s husband Roland who is lawyer in Cape Cod and he tells her that she has inherited her Aunt Ida’s house. Sam thinks this is a great time to take a break from New York and lay low in Ca This is the first in the Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series. Samantha Barnes is in New York feeling sorry for herself as her marriage ended (which is not a bad thing) and her Chef career is a bust because of a you tube video which has gone viral with her ex-husband. Sam receives a phone call from her best friend Jenny’s husband Roland who is lawyer in Cape Cod and he tells her that she has inherited her Aunt Ida’s house. Sam thinks this is a great time to take a break from New York and lay low in Cape Cod for a few weeks and sell her Aunt’s house while she tries to get a new job back in the city. Her friends Jenny and Miles pick her up at the airport and drive her to her new home where she meets her Aunt’s neighbor Helene (who is the town Librarian) and learns she also inherited a puppy named Diogi. The editor of the local paper and her friend Krista calls and asks her to fill in at the paper and write lifestyle and food stories. Sam takes along Helene, Miles and Jenny and they have a great dinner at the new Bayview Grill which is the former Logan Inn that Sam worked at one summer when she was a teenager. Sam decides to take a walk and is remembering a time from ten years ago when she had a huge crush on the bartender Jason and Estelle one of the other waitresses interrupts her first kiss with Jason. Just as she is thinking about this she sees a body floating in the water and it is none other than Estelle. Sam goes in the water and confirms she is dead and then freaks out. She gets out of the water runs back into the restaurant and the Harbormaster is called. Sam is shocked to learn that the Harbormaster is none other than her teenage crush Jason who is all business with her. This was a good solid mystery with great characters that is a quick read. I read this is less than one day and I cannot wait for the next installment

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Fantastic start to a new series! I'm looking forward to reading the next book! Fantastic start to a new series! I'm looking forward to reading the next book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    A decade ago, Sam left Cape Cod for New York City, working toward her dream of owning a restaurant in the big city – until she unwittingly stars in a viral video that she fears has ruined her chances. When she inherits a house on the Cape, she figures Aunt Ida's house, as run-down as it is – will be a good place to regroup while she licks her wounds. She lands a temporary job writing restaurant reviews and things seem to be looking up. But when she finds a body while on her first assignment, she A decade ago, Sam left Cape Cod for New York City, working toward her dream of owning a restaurant in the big city – until she unwittingly stars in a viral video that she fears has ruined her chances. When she inherits a house on the Cape, she figures Aunt Ida's house, as run-down as it is – will be a good place to regroup while she licks her wounds. She lands a temporary job writing restaurant reviews and things seem to be looking up. But when she finds a body while on her first assignment, she isn't convinced that it was an accidental death and decides to look into things herself. This is the first book in a new series by a debut author, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I needn't have worried! The book did not suffer from so many of the problems common in many of the first-in-series books I've read, which was a refreshing change of pace. The characters in the story are well-drawn and (most of them) seem like people I would want to spend time with. It will be fun watching relationships and circumstances change and develop as the series progresses. I grew up in a small community, so I know what it's like to have everyone know what's going on to/with everyone else, and how rumors can spring up in no time at all. I would love to live on the water, but would have to learn a whole lot more about tides and currents if I did :) The mystery was good, with quite a few potential suspects. I was sure I knew who the guilty party was, though – and I couldn't have been more wrong! I look forward to reading the next book in this series Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    After the first chapter, I knew that I should have put this book down, but against my better judgment, I continued. From restaurant guide, to a dead body, to a travelogue of the Cape, back to the dead body, to unrequited love, maybe touching on the body again, to a sailing lesson, to a restaurant critique, maybe the body again, then a hodge-podge of who the killer might be, to possibly other killers, to crushing on the Harbormaster, then finally tying up to the book but realizing that there was After the first chapter, I knew that I should have put this book down, but against my better judgment, I continued. From restaurant guide, to a dead body, to a travelogue of the Cape, back to the dead body, to unrequited love, maybe touching on the body again, to a sailing lesson, to a restaurant critique, maybe the body again, then a hodge-podge of who the killer might be, to possibly other killers, to crushing on the Harbormaster, then finally tying up to the book but realizing that there was more to tell, which wasn’t as focused as it might have been because the last 20% may well have ended at any time, yet continued on and on with proverbial rabbits being pulled out of the hat. This first in a series book could have been further fine-tuned without so many tangents and unnecessary fluff. If you are going to tell a mystery, tell a mystery. If you are going to write about travel, with restaurant reviews and the sailing tips, write that book, but meshing the two genres together, at the depth they were, didn’t work for me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I have heard so many great things about A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing, so I finally decided to check it out, and I was not disappointed! The first book in A Cap Code Foodie Mystery was fantastic. I was blown away by the detail that Pershing went into in regards to the Cape Cod area and the food. You can feel the love Pershing has for the area, and I felt like I was right there with her enjoying all the community has to offer. For that alone I would recommend A Side of Murder, but add in very w I have heard so many great things about A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing, so I finally decided to check it out, and I was not disappointed! The first book in A Cap Code Foodie Mystery was fantastic. I was blown away by the detail that Pershing went into in regards to the Cape Cod area and the food. You can feel the love Pershing has for the area, and I felt like I was right there with her enjoying all the community has to offer. For that alone I would recommend A Side of Murder, but add in very well developed characters and A Side of Murder is a perfect cozy mystery. Sam’s group of friends all have such unique personalities. Her next door neighbor, Helene, is a librarian with a rich past, and might be my favorite. I’m excited to find out more about the previous lives she has lived. And Diogi, her rambunctious puppy, is so cute. Pershing gave the reader plenty of red herrings and twists, and the final showdown was like something out of a thriller. Add in the great support of all Sam’s friends and it was a wonderful conclusion to A Side of Murder. I am looking forward to book two, An Eggnog to Die For, which comes out at the beginning of November 2021.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lena H.

    The main character, Samantha Barnes, suffers a fall from grace. After losing everything she built for herself in New York City, she returns to her childhood home of Cape Cod, Mass. with her proverbial tail between her legs. Waiting for her there are her old friends, an old house, and an old flame, along with a new neighbor, a new job, and a new dog. While Sam tries to put her feet back under her, she makes an unsettling discovery - the body of an old nemesis. There were several points in the sto The main character, Samantha Barnes, suffers a fall from grace. After losing everything she built for herself in New York City, she returns to her childhood home of Cape Cod, Mass. with her proverbial tail between her legs. Waiting for her there are her old friends, an old house, and an old flame, along with a new neighbor, a new job, and a new dog. While Sam tries to put her feet back under her, she makes an unsettling discovery - the body of an old nemesis. There were several points in the story where I felt like I had things figured out, there are several times where Sam and Jason, old flame and harbormaster, think they've solved the crime, but we were all wrong. There are so many twists and turns, this book keeps you guessing up to the very end. The trajectory of the story is a bit different from the standard cozy, a bit more action-packed. Of course the setting, Cape Cod, was wonderful and the characters were all authentic and appealing. I'm very much looking forward to reading the next in this series! Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nora-adrienne

    Having an adopted kid who is a C.I.A. Graduate I really enjoyed this story. I'm a self trained "chef" who worked hard to gain my wicked knife skills. It kept the clients in line while I was actually in their kitchens. LOL I love the location of the story. When we vacation on the Cape we also stay in the elbow, a town called Orleans. The story just jumped out at me and pulled me right into it. The action, the characters and the number of possible miscreants brought me to the edge of my seat. I ca Having an adopted kid who is a C.I.A. Graduate I really enjoyed this story. I'm a self trained "chef" who worked hard to gain my wicked knife skills. It kept the clients in line while I was actually in their kitchens. LOL I love the location of the story. When we vacation on the Cape we also stay in the elbow, a town called Orleans. The story just jumped out at me and pulled me right into it. The action, the characters and the number of possible miscreants brought me to the edge of my seat. I can't wait to see what this crew ends up in the middle of in their next adventure.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Almada

    This was an awesome debut. I really enjoyed this book a great deal. The setting on Cape Cod is great, the Foodie aspect is really enjoyable, love the friends and puppy. All the characters had some depth to them. The mystery combines past and present and it was kind of nice not to have the heroine be the suspect as is often the case in new series. There are quite a few good twists and turns, the mysteries not easily solved but satisfactorily so. Can see great outlines for more adventures for this This was an awesome debut. I really enjoyed this book a great deal. The setting on Cape Cod is great, the Foodie aspect is really enjoyable, love the friends and puppy. All the characters had some depth to them. The mystery combines past and present and it was kind of nice not to have the heroine be the suspect as is often the case in new series. There are quite a few good twists and turns, the mysteries not easily solved but satisfactorily so. Can see great outlines for more adventures for this group, looking forward to more!!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    AngryGreyCat

    A Side of Murder is the first in a new cozy series set in New England. A somewhat disgraced chef returns home to a small town to her inherited property and dog. Her first night out at her new restaurant review job, she finds a body floating in the water behind the restaurant. From then on she is immersed in the mystery, involving developers, restaurants, blackmail and murder. A well done cozy mystery. I will read another in this series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Berger

    Wonderful new series Hooked! Wonderful characters and intriguing mystery. I recommend this book for those who love a mystery rooted in a fully realized place (rural Cape Code), with interesting characters that surround the mystery, and crisp, insight writing! Oh, and fun cooking tips!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Frazier

    Loved it! Looking forward to the next one

  24. 4 out of 5

    Colette Murphy

    Foodie Mystery with history For those who crave foodie cozy mysteries, small towns, and two main characters with a long complicated history this book is for you.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne-Marie

    First I would like to thank NetGalley and Berkley Books for allowing me to read an advanced digital copy A great addition to the mystery genre....I loved every page of the book. I didn't want it to end. Set in Cape Cod it would be hard for you to guess that it has a culinary flare with recipes at the end. The first book in the series and I can't wait to read the second one....which I see the author has planned the next one. The characters are lovable and the storyline flowed right to the end. I'm no First I would like to thank NetGalley and Berkley Books for allowing me to read an advanced digital copy A great addition to the mystery genre....I loved every page of the book. I didn't want it to end. Set in Cape Cod it would be hard for you to guess that it has a culinary flare with recipes at the end. The first book in the series and I can't wait to read the second one....which I see the author has planned the next one. The characters are lovable and the storyline flowed right to the end. I'm not one to give away a story so I will leave that to other reviewers. You can read the synopsis on the book to see if it is something you would like but trust me when I say this that it is extremely well written and it has a few surprises that will shock you. A Side of Murder was excellent and I highly recommend!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kwoomac

    A fun Cape Cod mystery. I really enjoyed the author’s take on the Cape. Lots of references to mud season. I’d never heard that regarding the Cape. Vermont, sure. I liked protagonist Sam Barnes. She’s a chef so there are lots of wonderful references to food. She has a great big goofy dog. She bumps into a crush from her high school years. And then there’s a murder. This is the first in a series. I’m not sure how many murders she can stumble upon on Cape Cod. We’ll see.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lori Holuta

    New York chef Samantha Barnes is an unintentional YouTube star, thanks to an argument that got way out of hand (giving a whole new meaning to 'flipping the finger'). She needs to get out of town for while, and as luck would have it, she's just inherited her Aunt Ida's run-down house on Cape Cod and the biggest puppy in town, punfully named Diogi. She's also been handed the tasty job of writing restaurant reviews for the Cape Cod Clarion. What, as they say, could possibly go wrong? But when Sam d New York chef Samantha Barnes is an unintentional YouTube star, thanks to an argument that got way out of hand (giving a whole new meaning to 'flipping the finger'). She needs to get out of town for while, and as luck would have it, she's just inherited her Aunt Ida's run-down house on Cape Cod and the biggest puppy in town, punfully named Diogi. She's also been handed the tasty job of writing restaurant reviews for the Cape Cod Clarion. What, as they say, could possibly go wrong? But when Sam discovers the body of a locally-infamous retired waitress floating just outside the Bayview Grill, the plot thickens faster than cornstarch in gravy. Author Amy Pershing combines foodie fun with small town life in a boiling pot of intrigue. A Side of Murder is peppered with eccentric locals, quirky-fun friends—and teenage Sam's romantic crush, now all grown up. I will admit that after a year of living in Covid-induced isolation, I enjoyed living vicariously through Sam and her friends. I envied her intimate dinner parties, warm hugs and other instances of meaningful (and sometimes malevolent!) human contact. The plot certainly has a lots of twists and turns, and there's plenty of action, both on land and sea. The author hasn't scrimped on descriptive prose either—If I could walk into this little Cap Cod community for real, everything would seem familiar. The story is told from a Sam-centric point of view, unfolding through her eyes and mind. We are eavesdroppers on her hopes, fears, memories, emotions, and thought-processes. This first venture into what will become the Cape Cod Foodie Mystery Series will appeal to anyone who's in touch with their inner Nancy Drew—and Julia Child. I enjoyed the little cooking tips sprinkled throughout the story, and I know I'll be trying the recipe for Beach Shack Onion Rings, one of three recipes enjoyed by characters in the story and included for the readers. I'll serve them with a good bottle of chardonnay, of course. Thank you to author Amy Pershing, NetGalley, and Berkley Publishing Group for allowing me to read a digital advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sam Sigelakis-Minski

    Very cute new cozy with a fun cast of characters. Sam is delightful, despite the first person narration. My only gripes are the heavy handed foreshadowing throughout, and the puzzling ageism- not a single person over 50 in this book knows anything about technology. Also, little interludes and "helpful hints" that break up the story. Clearly meant well, but heavy handed. UPDATE: Full review at Sam's Beach Reads. What I Liked: The Cast of Characters Sam (best name ever, obviously) is a pluc Very cute new cozy with a fun cast of characters. Sam is delightful, despite the first person narration. My only gripes are the heavy handed foreshadowing throughout, and the puzzling ageism- not a single person over 50 in this book knows anything about technology. Also, little interludes and "helpful hints" that break up the story. Clearly meant well, but heavy handed. UPDATE: Full review at Sam's Beach Reads. What I Liked: The Cast of Characters Sam (best name ever, obviously) is a plucky, good food eating, wine drinking, loud laughing chef who stands out in every crowd. Her friends are tight knit and loving, all with their own quirks and life paths. I especially love Miles, the sassy gay organic farmer farmer who does random acts of kindness, and Sam’s quirky older neighbor Helene who offers comfort, wisdom, and wine, whichever is called for. Helene and Diogi the dog (D-O-G) may be my favorite sidekick-dog pairing, and they save Sam’s bacon on more than one occasion. I love that none of the characters veer into trope territory, and each have a strong individual presence. The Cape Cod Setting. A great cozy always has a very strong sense of setting, and A Side of Murder is no exception. Cape Cod is clearly a gorgeous place – I live a little further down the coast on Long Island, so I am intimately familiar with beach life. What I was not familiar with, and now am very intrigued by, is the very cool coves, lakes, and marshes in the Cape Cod area. Sam and her beau Jason are avid boaters, and we got to see a whole bunch of scenes on the bay and in the marshes. I loved that part of the mystery is an evil developer that ignores environmental impacts (this is something that happens WAY too often by me also), and Pershing’s description of the winter versus summer crowd. This definitely makes me want to explore Cape Cod off season. The Mystery. To be honest, often the murder feels sort of ancillary to a lot of cozies. Not here. Pershing never lets you forget that A Side of Murder is foremost about a murder, with great characters putting their heads together to solve it. The murder victim Estelle is disliked by basically everyone in town, so there is no lack of suspects. I didn’t guess the murderer until the end (though the reveal had its own problems), and there was a lot going on to keep you guessing. What I Wasn’t Thrilled With: The Foreshadowing. This is a personal gripe, and other readers may not mind as much, but I am not normally a fan of heavy foreshadowing. A Side of Murder was replete with it. Since it is Sam narrating in the past tense, she makes way more references to what she would have done or felt “if only she’d known” that a future event was going to happen. This foreshadowing began quick, within the first chapter, and it remained annoying throughout the first half of the book. The Lowkey Ageism. It is a shame that this was evident, because generally Amy Pershing writes really rich and non-stereotypical characters. However, every single one of the characters over the age of 50 were luddites to the point of being ignorant. Not only is this insulting to older people, it also just true. My 70 year old dad regularly schools me in tech knowledge. So seeing the otherwise brilliant and sophisticated Helene, or Sam’s parents who are both sharpshooting journalists all seem unable to handle a cell phone or questioning what “the Youtube” is just felt ingenuine and an easy mark. The Culinary “Asides.” I am a fan of cooking being a part of cozies, as long as it is subtle – setting in a restaurant, or great food descriptions incorporated into the narrative. However, Sam’s constant “tips and tricks” on cooking that are peppered into her stream of consciousness, some with essentially no context, was jarring and not helpful to the plot. It kept taking me out of the story, which is a shame because I did like the fact that Sam is a chef., just didn’t need every single one of her helpful chef tips in the midst of a thrilling murder investigation.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

    Who killed Estelle Kobolt! Estelle was a piece of work. Nobody liked her, and anybody could have done her in. But when Samantha Barnes finds her face up, obviously drowned, she is sure it is murder. Even though her death is listed as accidental. Sam, taking a break from the food scene, as she wields a knife against her ex goes viral on YouTube, finds refuge in the house her great aunt Ida left to her on the Cape. And ends up writing restaurant reviews for the Cape Cod Clarion. Samantha narrates Who killed Estelle Kobolt! Estelle was a piece of work. Nobody liked her, and anybody could have done her in. But when Samantha Barnes finds her face up, obviously drowned, she is sure it is murder. Even though her death is listed as accidental. Sam, taking a break from the food scene, as she wields a knife against her ex goes viral on YouTube, finds refuge in the house her great aunt Ida left to her on the Cape. And ends up writing restaurant reviews for the Cape Cod Clarion. Samantha narrates the book, and with the witty dialogue you can't help but get wrapped up in all the characters. There were a lot of twists and turns, which kept my interest. This is a cozy mystery, fast paced and fun. And you will never guess who the murderer is until the very end. This is Amy Pershing's debut novel, and I think she did a great job with the setting, characters and dialogue. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series. I received a complimentary ebook copy from the publisher, through Net Galley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Homerun2

    3.75 stars Samantha Barnes, trained chef, has returned to her Cape Cod roots after a failed marriage and a lost job. She has inherited an old house from an aunt, and originally plans to just go long enough to fix up and dispose of it and think about her next chapter. But being back feels better than expected. An old high school friend offers her a temporary job as a restaurant reviewer and Sam starts to get settled. She has baggage from her past, an unrequited crush on the man who is currently the 3.75 stars Samantha Barnes, trained chef, has returned to her Cape Cod roots after a failed marriage and a lost job. She has inherited an old house from an aunt, and originally plans to just go long enough to fix up and dispose of it and think about her next chapter. But being back feels better than expected. An old high school friend offers her a temporary job as a restaurant reviewer and Sam starts to get settled. She has baggage from her past, an unrequited crush on the man who is currently the Harbor Patrol chief. But all that goes out the window when she discovers a dead body one night under the dock. She knew the woman and doesn't believe that this was a natural death. Sam is determined to investigate despite the fact that the local police don't believe it was murder. Nice local setting, a few plot twists, and a good ensemble cast of friends. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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