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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Potter begins her crime solving activities, April 3, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cooking School Murders (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the first in a very special series of mysteries. Mrs. Genia Potter could be your aunt or the lovely widow lady next door. Before you have finished this book, you feel like she is a member of your family. Virginia Rich does a fine job of developing her characters and moving the reader along with her enticing plot. The recipes are delicious too. Thank goodness Nancy Pickard has picked up the series and Mrs. Potter is able to continue solving her little mysteries. Thank you ladies for these delightful books. I look forward to more stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful debut of Eugenia Potter series, May 10, 2010
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This review is from: The Cooking School Murders (Mass Market Paperback)
Eugenia Potter has returned to the small town in which she grew up. At once she is a stranger to the place as well as intimately familiar with the people with whom she grew up. Potter finds herself contacting a visiting celebrity chef and convincing him to hold a cooking class while he's in town. She's relieved when she meets her commitment to get 12 students for the class, but that doesn't last long when not one, but three, of the students are found dead the next morning -- one an apparent murder, one an accident and one a suicide? Small town law enforcement (Pete and the twins) mean well but could be in over their heads, so Mrs. Potter decides to do a little investigating of her own ....

What sets this cozy mystery apart is the writing. The chronology is more complex than usual and the writing, both for content and style, is terrific. Much is revealed as we observe through our protagonist's eyes; we are simultaneously knowledgeable about these interesting characters, and surprised by them. I look forward to others in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great series of books for winter or summer reading, January 24, 2010
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these books are a gem! great characters, no wild bedroom scenes, just good old fashioned detective work by a 60 something year old woman who knows how to entertain her friends. Great development of scenes in 2 states. enjoyable. i re-read her books every year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read!, May 23, 2011
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I am so sad that Virginia Rich is gone. She wrote this book, the BEST of the cozy mysteries. Mr. Rich was an excellant writer and I miss her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lesson in Knives leads to Murder, June 24, 2010
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This review is from: The Cooking School Murders (Mass Market Paperback)
Eugenia Potter is "at home" in Iowa where a famous food expert is in residence writing a new cookbook. She organizes a diversion for her friends in THE COOKING SCHOOL MURDERS, but three murders ruin the evening in a small town where murder never happens.
Virginia Rich created the fun and easy to identify with sleuth of Eugenia Potter and was the first to include recipes in her mysteries. The series by Mrs. Rich consists of three books, but was continued by Nancy Pickard.
An excellent choice of an anytime read and experimenting in your own kitchen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Try the recipes!, July 20, 2013
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I read this book years ago and wanted to reread it. I first quality mystery with great recipes to boot;)
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excllent beginning for the series, July 4, 2013
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I only wish Ms. Rich had lived to continue this series! I have read all of this series which features a mature sleuth, Eugenia Potter. Although Virginia Rich passed away after beginning this most excellent series, author Nancy Pickard continued Ms Potter's mysteries, and so seamlessly.

Eugenia Potter is a 60-something year old widow who divides her time between a working Arizona ranch, a Maine cottage, and her childhood home in Iowa. Returning from her ranch to the small town she grew up in, Genia is reunited with her high school friends, who form the core of the town's movers & shakers. She forms an adult education course for cooking when a renowned chef comes to stay with friends. The first night's class finds all the old gang plus Genia's nephew and a few other young folks attending the chef's demonstration of knife skills and poaching chicken breasts. Overnight, 3 of the cooking class attendees are found dead--1 by 'accident', 1 by 'suicide' and 1 by murder! Eugenia refuses to accept the suicide of her close friend and begins her own investigation. Mrs. Potter is a sharp but well liked lady who has no problem getting people to talk to her...until the killer apparently decides she is getting too close to the truth!
An extremely well written novel with complex characters and many storylines cohesively crafted into one plot. Ms. Rich's writing was and is superb in this novel as well as the others she wrote bwfore she died. I highly recommend reading this series, beginning with The Cooking School Murders, the introduction to Mrs. Eugenia Potter. Recipes are included in each book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cooking Is Dangerous, February 4, 2013
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This review is from: The Cooking School Murders (Mass Market Paperback)
I very much enjoyed this the first time I read it some years ago. That's why I wanted a copy of my own to reread.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great story, December 10, 2012
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This review is from: The Cooking School Murders (Mass Market Paperback)
I have all the Virginia Rich and Nancy Pickard books in this series. Cozy, yet current. Wonderful Christy-like plots and good continueing characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing First Book of Culinary Mystery Series, September 7, 2012
This review is from: The Cooking School Murders (Mass Market Paperback)
Mrs. Rich was from a much different era than we live in now, and it shows in her marvelous culinary crime mystery series. The Cooking School Murders was the first of the three that Virginia Rich wrote. After her death her family asked Nancy Pickard to complete the series from research notes they found, and Pickard wrote three more.

This first novel sets the style of the series. Eugenia Potter was a resident of Tucson, Arizona, but visiting her parents old home in Harrington, Iowa where she grew up. She was instrumental in setting up the new cooking school class at the community health center. Shortly after, the body count began to rise. As the amateur detective tried to find out who was committing the crimes, she found her own life on the line.

Rich was a food writer and editor for a long time. Her novels are written in precise detail and include numerous references to food and recipes as well as the interesting crimes her heroine is attempting to solve.

This first of the three books in the original series sets the style and pace for those that follow.
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The Cooking School Murders
The Cooking School Murders by Virginia Rich (Mass Market Paperback - November 12, 1986)
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