Hot Dish Heaven

"...a delicious culinary mystery, complete with recipes
for hot dish, bars, and Jell-O salads."

In the first book of this new cozy mystery series, cub newspaper reporter Emerald Malloy is assigned to travel from Minneapolis to a small, rural community in the Red River Valley of northwestern Minnesota to gather church-food recipes from the owner of Hot Dish Heaven, a local café. Upon her arrival, she learns of an old, unsolved murder. Confident that solving the case will catapult her from newspaper “gopher” to investigative reporter, a/k/a heralded woman sleuth, Emerald questions the quirky townspeople while attending a benefit dinner-dance at the VFW. 

By the end of the night, she has consumed lots of “funeral food” while talking to an array of colorful characters, from the Irish-Catholic priest who lives among these Scandinavian-Lutheran farmers to the café owner’s eccentric aunts. She has also met–and fallen for–a hunky deputy sheriff. And she’s even learned some tough life lessons about herself. But the question remains, Will she live long enough for any of it to matter? 

This book is a delicious culinary mystery, complete with recipes for hot dish, bars, and Jell-O salads. It also serves up nicely as a contemporary romance that features a sharp-tongued, yet endearing, young female sleuth who’s smitten with the local deputy sheriff. And when it’s all said and done, this story will leave you, the reader, certain you weren’t offered leftovers but, instead, were provided–as the humble Scandinavians would say–a “pretty darn good” humorous mystery about life in rural Minnesota. Oh, yah, you betcha!

Lois Greiman, author of the zany and highly acclaimed Chrissy McMullen mystery series, says of Hot Dish Heaven: A Murder Mystery with Recipes, “It’s chockablock full of Garrison Keillor type characters and tasty Midwest flavor. Ms. Cooney’s novel, complete with must-try recipes, will keep you intrigued from start to finish.”

G. Carlson
April 24, 2019

A fun book to read with great recipes at the end!

Holly Giese
September 8, 2014

Love the book and recipes!

Kent Peterson
March 13, 2014

My wife is a great cook and was born and raised in rural North Dakota, where hot dishes are served as often as milk. She loves the book.

Virginia Schnabel
January 14, 2014

This is a perfect snowed-in kind of book to have on hand now. In the summer it would be great by the lake also. It's one of those easy going reads that leaves you with a smile on your face. And the recipes!! An unexpected bonus for the reader. Can't wait to bring one of the hot dishes to the next church pot luck dinner. Thanks, Jeanne Cooney, for the day brightener book.

January 14, 2014

Keeps you interested to the end, giving one as a gift. Many great ideas in this book and keeps you on top of things.

January 7, 2014

Loved this book. With being from Minnesota, the land of hotdish, it was a blast to read it but I think anyone would enjoy it.

December 30, 2013

I bought this as a gift and it was a hit. I am also going to read it myself! Also waiting on the author's next mystery!

December 30, 2013

This was a Christmas gift from my nieces, and I enjoyed every word of it and look forward to the next installment.

Rose J
December 29, 2013

Read the book from cover-to-cover today. So much fun. Parts made me LOL - literally. Couldn't put it down as the mystery was all coming together and the real truth was coming out. Can't wait for the next mystery to unfold!

Julie yeager
December 21, 2013

Ms. Cooney does a great job creating characters that are fun, multiple dimensional, and real. Without creating caricatures. she's created a real depiction of the intersection of a young, smart city reporter with the folks of a northern Minnesota town, unfolding the differences until the commonality remains . Can't wait to read the next adventure. Thanks Jeanne!

December 15, 2013

Fun! Love the setting and characters! The murder mystery weaves into the story beautifully. A must read, and the receipes are true to tradition!

December 12, 2013

Fun to read and get hotdish recipes from the local area. This was really different. I thought it was going to be a book of all hotdish recipes.

Jill F.
November 20, 2013

I love murder mysteries. I love books where the action takes place in Minnesota. I love hotdish. That's why Hot Dish Heaven rates a five star with me. This is a "Minnesota Nice" murder mystery with a lot of humor and not a lot of blood and gore. Emerald Malloy is a reporter for the food section of the Minneapolis paper but she wants to do more "important work." Not especially pleased to be sent to northwestern Minnesota to collect recipes from a local restaurant, she begrudingly does her job while talking to the locals and tasting the local fare. Gradually she warms up to the people and the food. But when she hears whispers about a recent unsolved murder, she decides solving the murder will be her ticket to bigger and better assignments. As she seeks out clues to the murderer, her inexperience in criminal investigation gets her into more than a little trouble, including falling for the hometown sheriff. The characters are quirky and likeable. The recipes are great. Looking forward to the next book in this series.

October 6, 2013

Emme, a food reporter for a Minneapolis newspaper, is assigned to write a story about a small town cook's recipes. When she arrives in northern Minnesota, she becomes fascinated by an unsolved murder. Emme meets so many unique people in this small community, but which one is involved in murder? Should she even investigate or just write the story to which she was assigned? The characters are fun and quirky, and the reader also learns quite a bit about Emme who is seeking her real place in the world. This was a very enjoyable book, and I look forward to book two.

Rosie H
August 20, 2013

'Hot Dish Heaven' is a perfect book for light reading, a little mystery, and humor. It is localized to the Upper Midwest region and anyone living here will pick up on the Scandinavian humor and jokes. Would make a great gift for friends and family. Looking forward to the next installment. Rosie H.

July 24, 2013

Just finished reading this quirky mystery, I love meeting the characters! It was fun reading about recipes and then being able to go to the back of the book and actually look them up. I'm usually pretty good at guessing the ending of mystery books but this one kept me questioning the killer til the end, thrilling!

July 24, 2013

I enjoyed this book very much! Those from smaller communities will enjoy. Jeanne has a great writing style. Looking forward to the "second helping"!

More By Jeanne Cooney

Book Details
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ North Star Press of St. Cloud; 1st edition (June 1, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 284 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0878396454
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0878396450
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.71 x 9 inches
E-Book Details
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01LCHCC0K
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ North Star Press of St. Cloud
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 1, 2013
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 11104 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 293 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled

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Hot Dish Heaven