5 out of 5 stars.
Kale to the Queen is the first book in the Kensington Palace Chef Mystery series by Nell Hampton and it is absolutely delightful!
Chef Carrie Ann Cole is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime–an assignment as the new Personal Chef to the Royal Family at Kensington Palace. But no sooner has Carrie Ann touched down across the pond and donned her apron than a dead body crops up beneath the royal kale beds.
With one assistant dead and the other soon under suspicion for his murder, Carrie Ann is scrambling to keep her kitchen up and running. Not to mention she gets off to an immediate bad start with the tempestuous Royal Chef Butterbottom, who has a bitter taste in his mouth since the prestigious position in the Royal Family’s kitchen was given to an “over-privileged, under-educated American chef.”
But the Royal Family’s appetites wait for no one, and Carrie Ann must solve the murder and still get supper on the table on time–even with the annoyingly handsome Head of Security Ian Gordon tracking her every move like an MI6 agent. Suspects abound as an American chef adds a bit of spice to the traditional royal household in the first in Nell Hampton’s charming and tasty Kensington Palace Chef Mystery series, Kale to the Queen.
When I first saw this title offered on NetGalley, I thought it sounded interesting. Then, the other night I was going through my backlist of books for review, looking for one to start reading. I kept simply dismissing things thinking, “No, that doesn’t sound good right now” and things of that nature. When I came across this one in my list, I thought, “Eh, this did sound interesting, let’s give it a try.” I’m really glad that I did! It was absolutely delightful and fun to read! In fact, I stayed up and read half of it that night!
The cast of characters in this series is rather fascinating. We have the combination of “proper protocol” followers and those who don’t care about that rubbish (that’s their attitude, not my feelings on protocol!). We have well-rounded, complex characters that you can tell we’re just starting to get to know. We have some background on some of the characters, but you can tell we’ll be learning more about them in future books.
The descriptions of the settings are adequate. I probably could have used just a little bit more detail, but I was still able to imagine most of the rooms/places where the scenes took place.
Our plot line moves along at a steady pace. I did figure out who the villain was before he/she was exposed, but it wasn’t too long before the exposition, so I wasn’t too disappointed.
I highly recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers, especially foodie cozy mystery lovers! It’s terrific and I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out!!
*** Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions and conclusions are my own. ***