Cheddar Off Dead by Korina MossCheddar Off Dead by Korina Moss
Narrator: Erin Moon
Series: The Cheese Shop Mysteries #1
Published by Blackstone Publishing on March 29, 2022
Source: Purchased
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 7 hrs 45 mins
Pages: 296
Format: Audiobook
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In Korina Moss's cozy series debut, Cheddar Off Dead, cheesemonger Willa Bauer discovers that her new home in a small Sonoma Valley town is ripe for murder... something here stinks to high heaven, and Willa knows it's not the cheese.

Cheesemonger Willa Bauer is proving that sweet dreams are made of cheese. She’s opened her very own French-inspired cheese shop, Curds & Whey, in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. The small town of Yarrow Glen is Willa's fresh start, and she's determined to make it a success – starting with a visit from the local food critic. What Willa didn’t know is that this guy never gives a good review, and when he shows up nothing goes according to plan. She doesn’t think the night can get any worse... until she finds the critic’s dead body, stabbed with one of her shop’s cheese knives. Now a prime suspect, Willa has always believed life’s problems can be solved with cheese, but she’s never tried to apply it to murder…

Cheddar Off Dead is the first of the Cheese Shop Mysteries and it was fun. Willa has recently opened her cheese shop, Curds & Whey, and is hoping a good review from the local food critic, Guy Lippinger. His visit to her shop does not go well though. Even worse, later that evening, Willa finds him dead in his car, stabbed with a knife from her shop. When Willa realizes the cops are looking at her as a viable suspect, she starts poking around on her own.

We have all the typical cozy mystery ingredients – amateur sleuth with an interesting job, in this case a cheesemonger; a pet fish; a small town – Yarrow Glen; quirky friends; and an attractive detective. I liked Willa. She is not great at the whole sleuthing thing yet, but she’s nice, makes delicious cheesy recipes, and is someone I can root for. I don’t love the potential love triangle that’s developing – those always annoy me. Why do authors use them so often?

The mystery itself was fine. Lippinger was not well-liked, so we have several potential suspects and a fair number of secrets are revealed, including ones Willa’s love interest, Roman, didn’t share with her.

The book is told from Willa’s point of view and the audiobook narrator did a good job. Her tone matched Willa’s emotions well and kept the book light and fun. It will leave you craving cheese though. Luckily, it has recipes in the back.

About Korina Moss

KORINA MOSS is the author of the Cheese Shop cozy mystery series set in Sonoma Valley, including the Agatha Award winner of the Best First Novel, Cheddar Off Dead. Her books have been featured in USA Today, PARADE Magazine, Woman’s World Magazine, AARP Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She loves creating quirky characters who live in idyllic small towns. She grew up on a healthy dose of Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie novels, which developed her passion for solving mysteries and eventually writing her own. She lives in a small New England town with its own share of quirky characters.

Korina is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She blogs on Writers Who Kill.

For the past several years, Korina has been on her own Eat, Pray, Love journey, which seems to have stalled at the Eat phase. When not writing or sampling new cheeses (a perk of the job), she can be found with a new favorite cozy, doing jigsaw puzzles, or discovering new travel destinations. She has an affinity (some might say ‘addiction’) to coffee mugs, loves cats, and can’t pass up a new notebook or journal with all those fresh, empty pages.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


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