Food critic and blogger Tiffany Austin has the best job in the world: she gets to eat for a living. At least, she hopes she has a job. Her trial period at Southern Style magazine is up—and rumors are swirling that management is making a choice between Tiffany and a rival columnist: the ambitious Jenny Lee Plumm.
Former chef Tiffany knows she has a battle on her hands…but she didn’t realize it was to the death! When her rival’s body is discovered after the two have a very public argument, Tiffany finds herself the prime suspect in a murder investigation.
“Easy enough to appeal to a variety of cozy palates” ― Kirkus Reviews
“Captivating characters and plenty of intrigue . . . Delightful” ― Publishers Weekly
“This light-hearted series debut has oodles of charm, mouth-watering descriptions of southern cuisine, and a sassy, savvy heroine” ― Booklist
“It’s sure to satisfy fans of Lucy Burdette’s ‘Key West Food Critic’ mysteries” ― Library Journal
T. C. LoTempio recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, EAT, DRINK AND DROP DEAD.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I had just finished watching that Julia Roberts movie where she’s a food critic and I thought ‘that’s a great job. I should have done something like that.” So then I started thinking – what if an ex-chef took a job as a food blogger, and stumbled upon a dead body? And Tiffany Austin was born.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
I played the track from the Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore movie Music and Lyrics which is one of my favorites. I mean, who knew Hugh Grant could sing?
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I hope they take away a greater appreciation for food and for the people who create it. I know I have in recent years especially from watching the Food Network.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
Next up is Nick and NOra number seven, and Tiffany Two, A CRUST TO DIE FOR, will be out either late 2023 or early 2024. NIck and NOra is a Halloween mystery; Tiffany runs across a dead body at a pizza bakeoff and her BFF’s sister is the number one suspect.
Toni (T.C.) LoTempio is the author of the Nick and Nora mysteries as well as the Pet Rescue Mysteries and the Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries. She lives in Arizona with her two cats, ROCCO and Maxx. ROCCO, who writes his own blog, prides himself on being the inspiration for the Nick and Nora series. Her latest series, Tiffany Austin, food blogger, debuted in April of 2023 with the first volume, EAT, DRINK AND DROP DEAD.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.