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If You Can't Stand the Heat (Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop, #1)
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If You Can't Stand the Heat (Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop #1)

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3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  594 ratings  ·  109 reviews

Poppy Markham practically grew up at the family restaurant in Austin, Texas, and, until recently, worked as a sous chef under her surly stepsister, Ursula. Poppy's not sure if her dad will ever forgive her for leaving the family business to become a public health inspector-the most reviled figure in the restaurant industry-but when he asks her back into the kitchen to help

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Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 8th 2011 by Midnight Ink
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One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukePleating for Mercy by Melissa BourbonA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonHer Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
First books of some good cozy series
106th out of 310 books — 374 voters
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Mysteries in Good Taste!
151st out of 283 books — 244 voters


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Community Reviews

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Melinda Freeland
Jul 16, 2011 Melinda Freeland rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes humor and has lived in Austin, Texas
Recommended to Melinda by: Tye Preston Memorial Libray Newsletter
This book made me smile several times - loved the writer's "voice" and especially loved her descriptions. Several times author Robin Allen used food-related descriptions, such as "His bright red chef's coat made him look even more like raw poultry." Another description I liked was: "The rubber mats stood on the end near the back door. Rolled up and secured with bungee cords, they looked like sushi for a T-rex."

Now, I usually don't read mysteries, but this book piqued my interest for several rea
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Diane ~Firefly~
Pretty good start to a new mystery series. I like the setting and a health inspector is certainly a new take for an occupation - although as little as she worked (and how she used the title for things) I'm amazed she still has a job.

What I enjoyed:
* Poppy was likeable overall and very realistic in her struggles with her ex
* Markham's was a good setting for the book
* Doesn't look to be a love triangle in sight
* John With and Without were interesting and I hope they show up again
* Jamie

What could
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Oddmonster
I hate favors. I hate doing them and I hate asking for them. They always sound so quick and innocent at first. A favor. Like a squeeze. But favors replicate, taking on a life of their own. Lending a hand in the kitchen for a few hours turns into a murder investigation, and then one night your house is set on fire. But how could I refuse after what they had done for me?


Synopsis: Poppy Markham caused a rift in her family when she left their Austin restaurant to become a health department inspector
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Elizabeth
If You Can't Stand the Heat kept me out of my kitchen and on the couch. A delicious read with a spunky character named Poppy. Her similes made me laugh sillier than a clown on helium. I must admit that now I know what goes on behind the scene in restaurants, I'm a little leery of eating out! The ending was tied up a little too neatly and quickly for my taste, however I will be looking forward to the next entree!
Julie
Pageturner. Poppy Markham, Chef turned Health Inspector, is a most fun character. I appreciate her sense of humor. Not usually a mystery reader, but I certainly enjoyed this culinary adventure.

I look forward to the next in this series. Most fun I've had in a restaurant in a long time.
Stephen
This first novel will appeal to those who suffer from the twin disabilities of enjoying murder mysteries and enjoying foodie fiction. It is perhaps a bit more likely to appeal to female than to male readers. The protagonist, Poppy Markham, is a professional chef who left the industry (and her father's upscale restaurant in Austin, Texas) to become a food inspector for the health department. In the restaurant business, this would be considered a defection to the enemy. The author has a good feel ...more
Dalene
Review originally posted at A Date with a Book .

I was able to snag book two, Stick a Fork In it, from this series off Netgalley in the early summer and after reading it, decided I needed to read book one. It didn’t disappoint either. Check out my review of Stick a Fork In It.

I thought I would be met with a lot of details and set up as usually comes with first books of a series, but that definitely was not the case. There were a few new details that I learned, but these are definitely cozies that
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Judy
Poppy Markham grew up in Austin, Texas working at Markham's, her family's restaurant. But after working unhappily as sous chef under Ursula, her stepsister, she leaves Markham's to become a public health inspector. When Markham's was renovated and was preparing for their grand opening, she agrees to come back to help in the kitchen for opening night. Unfortunately, Poppy's father also brought celebrity chef, Evarista Bontecou with his Michelin star, into the restaurant with his over the top pers ...more
Kathy Davie
First in the Poppy Markham, Culinary Cop mystery series revolving around Poppy who is fascinated by food with a deep appreciation for it and a good red wine.


My Take
This was good! Allen writes a good story with an interesting cast and a heroine who doesn't take the easy, or expected, path. I almost want to say this was an intellectual book, but, in reality, it's simply good writing with an obvious background working in restaurants and bars. Allen takes us behind the scenes in this mystery and we
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Carlee
The guest chef at Markham's Bar and Grille, Evariste Bontecou, is found dead behind the dumpster, with a knife sticking into his heart. And not just any knife - but one that belonged to head chef, Ursula York! The police arrest Ursula and it's up to her stepsister, Poppy Markham, to find the real killer.

This book was a fun read - as a cozy mystery (although it's set in Austin, TX which isn't exactly SmallTown, USA), there isn't any violence (except for the murder and an incident of arson). The
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L.W.
This was another new adventure for me as I picked it up after reading the flap, but having no other recommendation. I wasn't disappointed. I liked the character development. If I can't relate to something about the characters I read about, I find it hard to get into the book.

These characters were for the most part very human, although I think they were better behaved than anyone in real life. They had flaws galore, which makes the read more entertaining. The plot was well thought out and dare I
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Kathy
Good job, Robin Allen, on your first book. Poppy Markham is the daughter of a restaurant owner who is just on the back side of several major changes in her life: Her dad has remarried, she gained a stepsister in the marriage package...who then became her boss in the restaurant's kitchen, she learned her boyfriend had cheated on her, her new job as a restaurant inspector includes a micromanaging supervisor. As her dad relaunches the newly remodeled restaurant with an internationally-known guest c ...more
❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes)
This was a good, solid cozy mystery. Lots of suspects and a few red herrings. I wasn't able to guess who the murderer was until the end. I give this three stars because I didn't really establish a relationship with the main character - a bit too much angst, and a whole lot too much family dysfunction - something I'd rather not read about in my cozies unless the dysfunction is of the eccentric, quirky variety. I didn't really find much to connect with the secondary characters either. I did like t ...more
Kim
Nice start to a new mystery series. This mystery is set in/around a restaurant but there is less attention to food and more to the business side of the restaurant biz itself. So, as a person who dislikes cooking, not a foodie at heart - I still enjoyed the book for it's great characters and interesting mystery. That is not saying that a true foodie would not get good enjoyment out of this, as I'm certain they would. There are lots of dining experiences and wine appreciation.

Still, a charming, no
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Crystal
I got this book as a freebie for the Kindle simply because it was labelled a mystery and because one of my dreams has always been to own a restaurant. The mystery was intriguing and for awhile I couldn't make up my mind which of the possible suspects committed the crime. I did finally guess it right about 63% of the way through the book. I enjoyed that the author included some taboo subjects such as same sex relationships and home schooling families. I can't wait to read the other books in this ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This was the debut book in a new series with a good premise. The sleuth is the daughter of a famous restaurant owner and has shucked the family business to become a rival. Oh, not in the normal sense but as a public health inspector. The book explains why this career change happens.

Life interferes and Poppy Markham agrees to help her Father with a re-opening night that becomes a nightmare as the guest chef is stabbed.

This book is far more complex than the cover leads one to believe. There are s
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Tara Gabor
Poppy is a "culinary cop" helping her father at the family restaurant which involves working with both her unlikeable step-sister head chef as well as an equally unlikeable visiting celebrity chef. When the visiting chef is found stabbed to death with the step sister's knife, the police arrest her for the murder. More mayhem ensues as Poppy launches her own investigation into the misdeed. This is a fun debut novel. I certainly hope Poppy shows up frequently in more adventures.
Candace Davidson
This is the second book I've read of Robin Allen's though it is the first of her 2 books. Again, just like the other book Stick a Fork in it. I really enjoyed this book as well. Robin does a great job at hinting at other "suspects" so you don't fiqure out "who done it" until the end of the book. With me I am never good at fiquring out "who done it" in any book I read, which is good. I don't want to be able to fiqure out the plot before I finish reading it.
Eleonara
May 12, 2011 Eleonara marked it as to-read
I won this book as a First Reads Giveaway on Goodreads and am really exited to read it. I currently have about 50 books to read (a couple of them free computer eBooks), and I will post a review on this book as soon as possible. I will be sure, however, to put this book near the top of my "to-read" list, because it sounds like something I'll like
thanks,
Goodreads and Robin Allen for getting this book to me.
Kara Rutledge
I choose this book because it made me think of the t.v. shows "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares". The book started out and ended really well, but it dragged in the middle a little. I would've liked the ending to not have been wrapped up so quickly but extended a little bit more after they found out who the killer was. This is a fast read and perfect to read at the beach, lake, or pool.
Stacy
A freebie I got for my Kindle and really, really enjoyed! I love cozies, since the violence is not gruesome and the language is not bad. This was a great cozy, probably just one or two curse words if any, and a good plot. I loved the characters and would definitely read more in this series if I could find them free or discounted. I believe this is the first one, and it was good :)
Kayla Christine
Loved it. There was one mistake I wish the editors had caught. Uh the beginning, Poppy mentions the name of someone who "left" the restaurant and her. I think that it was meant to be about Jamie, but the name that was used was Drew. All through the rest of the book I kept expecting more about this mysterious person, but to no avail.
Kathleen Kurlin
This book combined two of my great loves: murder mysteries and cooking! This is a story about a chef who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and stumbles upon a murder committed in her family restaurant. Very quick read. I would definitely read other books by this author.
Lidia
Nice reading if not look too to plot, because there situations that aren't coherent or normals. Poppy is very cute but I think too mistreated from its father and stepmother and also betrayed from boyfriend. So I think that she is too good with all:not my favorite heroine.
Christine
Not bad for a free Kindle download from Amazon. I randomly chose this one from the way too many books on my Kindle and it just happened to be based in Austin. I'm not sure if this author has any other books, but if she does I would probably read another one.
Jim Sampson
Everything I enjoy in a cozy. Easy reading, a good mystery and more than all great characters. Poppy has a lot on her plate when her fathers and family restaurant becomes involved in a murder mystery after a world famous chef is found dead. A fun and easy read.
Erin
It was.... Fine. I was totally on board until the extremely abrupt ending. I was also perturbed that so many story lines didn't get wrapped up (like why was her stepmother keeping her away from her dad?) I would read others in the series though- I like the characters.
Michelle
I really enjoyed this mystery. It was fast paced and kept me guessing until the very end. But it wasn't one of those where I felt cheated when the villain was revealed (I hate it when you aren't ever given any clues that would cause you to suspect the solution).
Laughingbluedog
Fresh, quirky and entertaining. The perfect sit-by-the-pool in the Texas Hill Country book that will make you avoid eating out for at least a few weeks, for fear of murderers or food poisoning. Looking forward to the next course...a la Stick a Fork in It.
Megargee
The first mystery in a humorous new culinary detective series set in Austin, TX. Poppy Markham's position as a restaurant health inspector gives her access to kitchens all over Austin, a position that she uses (and abuses) to investigate the fatal stabbing of an egotistical and obnoxious visiting French chef in her father's heavily mortgaged upscale restaurant. A full cast of characters in the kitchen and the front of the house have reasons to hate the victim and rivalries and issues abound wit ...more
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4708282
I am the author of the clean, humorous Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop mystery series that features an Austin, TX public health inspector and lots of behind-the-scenes information about the restaurant industry.

I hold a BA degree in English which qualifies me to work as the following: food server, cocktail waitress, bartender, barista, sales rep, marketing director, freelance writer, technical writer,
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More about Robin Allen...
Stick a Fork In It (Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop, #2) Out of the Frying Pan (Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop, #3)

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