Book Review: Charred by G.P. Gottlieb

Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery by G.P.  Gottlieb

Publisher:  DX Varos Publishing (February 21, 2023)
Category: Cozy Mystery, Culinary Mystery
ISBN: 978-1955065672
Available in Print and ebook,320 pages



Alene Baron is dealing with frustrated employees, closed schools, and a homeless man who harasses customers outside the door of her café.

Then, two dead bodies turn up in the burned remains of buildings owned by the husband of Alene’s best friend and pastry chef, Ruthie. Both bodies are wearing jackets that once belonged to Ruthie and crumbled in the pockets are the café’s distinctive wrappers. At the same time, Alene’s uncle, a convicted felon, has resurfaced after disappearing for 22 years. It’s all too much for the owner of the Whipped and Sipped Café.

DX Varos Publishing

Guest Review by Sal

“Normally, the Whipped and Sipped Cafe would have been bustling, the nearby sidewalks filled with people, and the streets packed with cars and bicycles. Now the cafe was barely getting by.”  

The year is 2020, and the Coronavirus pandemic has the world firmly in its clutches. And perhaps there is nowhere in Chicago that this is more evident than inside of the Whipped and Sipped Cafe.  

Although business has been good with online and takeout orders, the owner, Alene, misses the day when customers were allowed to come inside the cafe and sit for a while, while enjoying her carefully crafted food.  

Now, the only people spending any time inside of Whipped and Sipped are the employees, an eclectic group of characters who, although they may bicker and sometimes fight, always ultimately have each other’s backs. And, in that interest, when one of Alene’s employees, Kacey, comes to her with a problem, Alene is compelled to help.  

But the problem is far from a simple one. See, earlier that day, Kacey’s gregarious boyfriend, Kofi, was searching the remains of a burned building to find materials for his artwork when he accidentally stumbled across a dead body. Kofi asked Kacey not to tell anyone, but she feels that she must confess to Alene, despite knowing that her boss is dating a police officer.  

Kacey begs Alene not to tell her boyfriend, Frank, but luckily Frank finds out himself when the body is found by two young boys and he is assigned to the case. Soon, the case develops and another body is found, shedding a whole new light on just what type of crime they might be looking at.  

Alene has to find it in herself to deal with not only the struggles of the pandemic affecting her business but the double murder case that seems to be taking an interest in her even as she tries to stay away from it.  

The writing is excellent, and the quirky characters are so memorable. They will stay with me for a long time to come! This is a fun novel that is well worth the read and one that you should add to your TBR immediately if you enjoy cozy mysteries!  

About the Author

G.P. Gottlieb has been a musician, a teacher, and an administrator, but she’s happiest when she’s writing recipe-laced murder mysteries. GP Gottlieb has always experimented in the kitchen and created her own delicious vegan cookies and cakes. She is also an interviewer for the New Books in Literature podcast channel.

Gottlieb is the mother of three grown children and lives with her husband in Chicago.


Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Feb 1 Kickoff & Interview

Leslie StoreyBook Reviews Feb 2 Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Feb 6 Review & Guest Post

DT  Amazon & Goodreads Feb 7 Review

Lisa’s Writopia Feb 8 Guest Post

Suzie My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews Feb 9 Review & Excerpt

Bee Book Pleasures Feb 10 Review

Blue North A Room of Books Feb 13 Review

Mark Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Feb 14 Guest Review

Lisa’s Writopia Feb 15 Review

Sal Bound 4 Escape Feb 17 Guest Review

Larry Reflections Feb 21 Review & Interview

Denise Amazon & Goodreads Feb 22 Review

Missi Cozy Mystery Book Reviews Feb 23 Review

Laura Lee Celticlady’s Reviews Feb 24 Guest Review & Excerpt

Praise Whipped and Sipped Mysteries Series by G.P.  Gottlieb

“Readers looking for mysteries well steeped in both culinary traditions and realistic conflicts between career and family will relish this multifaceted investigative piece, which draws readers in from the start with its realistic balance of intrigue and life challenges.-D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“If you are looking for a slightly different take on a culinary cozy mystery, this is the debut to read.”-Carstairs Considered

“Warm and cool, sassy and savvy, GP Gottlieb has written a murder mystery that is as interesting as the family dynamic itself — exploring its alliances, intrigues and the possibility of how people can protect, surprise, and, quite literally — kill each other. A fun, delicious read!”- Marcy Heisler, theatrical lyricist

‘Gottlieb sets the stage beautifully for readers and with providing the list of characters in the beginning, you have your own little cheat sheet of sorts.  And with all the twists and turns in Smothered you will be grateful to have the list so that you can keep track of everyone and check off those you believe are innocent.  However, when the real killer is revealed I’m sure you will be as shocked as I was because I’m certain they weren’t even on your radar.”- Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

Smothered won the silver medal in the mystery category from the CIPA Evvy Awards!


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Charred by G.P. Gottlieb

  1. deanne01 February 17, 2023 / 6:21 pm

    I love these blog tours and this one sounds like an intriguing read.


    • sleepygirl2 February 17, 2023 / 6:36 pm

      It does sound good. I think I have to add it to my TBR list.


  2. deanne01 February 17, 2023 / 6:53 pm

    My tbr list is overflowing but I’m always adding more. I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

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