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A Side of Murder

(Cape Cod Foodie Mystery #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A food writer must investigate the death of an old enemy in this witty and exciting new cozy mystery series set in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, known for seafood, sand, surf, and, now...murder.

Samantha Barnes was always a foodie. So when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple. Soon the young c
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 23rd 2021 by Berkley Books
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Krista Davis
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A delicious mystery lovingly set in Cape Cod featuring a cast of charming characters. Amy Pershing writes with a fresh fun voice that will delight cozy fans. Chef turned restaurant critic Samantha Barnes proves a clever sleuth whose helpful cooking tips will be a big hit with culinary readers.
Cozy Reads
Samantha has recently moved back to Fair Harbor, a delightful little town in Cape Cod. Recently divorced and jobless (in a rather interesting and viral way) she inherits her Great Aunt’s house and starts a new job at the local paper writing restaurant reviews.
Her first restaurant review comes with more than just a good meal... a dead body. The victim is someone from her past and the new harbormaster called to the scene is her former first love. Sam does not think the drowning was an accident,
Mark Baker
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2021
Samantha Barnes, Sam to her friends, grew up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but left to go to culinary school and become a famous chef. Thanks to an inheritance and a new job writing about food in the area for a local paper, she is back. Her first assignment is to review a new restaurant in town, but the good food is quickly forgotten when she finds a dead body floating in the water next to the restaurant. The police think it was an accident. After all, the victim was a known drunk, so she could ha ...more
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2021
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amy Pershing gets the credit for my first book hangover of 2021.
I started reading and just couldn’t stop.

Samantha Barnes was a rising star in the New York food scene but one little pesky argument, okay, one big argument that was caught on video and uploaded on YouTube with her ex, also a notable chef has left her without a job.

Then her Aunt Ida passes away and leaves her a home on the Cape. The home also comes with a very large puppy dog named Dioge (D-O-G). A friend has taken
Lucy Burdette
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable start to a new cozy mystery series. The highlights include an exquisite Cape Cod setting, a shamed but resilient chef, murderous secrets, and a long-buried but still steaming romance… Amy Pershing’s debut mystery will leave you longing for a seaside vacation, complete with fried clams and the next book in her charming series.
Lisa Morin
After living on Cape Cod for 10 years, I always enjoy reading a book set there. A Side of Murder is a fun start to a new cozy mystery series by Amy Pershing.
Returning to her aunt’s home and to her family roots has Samantha feeling a bit out of sorts.
Add in the condition of her aunts home, a new puppy, and an old flame, and you have the makings of a fun story.
I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.
M.  [storme reads a lot]
I thought this was going to be more of my thing, but I was let down by the end. I think the way the book was set up just made it hard for me to follow along.

This sets up the series, but there was a lot of extraneous information I started to get lost along the way. I know the author meant well, but I was disappointed by this story. It seemed like less of a mystery and more of a way to talk about the beach setting and whatnot.

I did like the cozy part, but the rest fell flat for me.
K.A. Davis
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A SIDE OF MURDER is the first book in the brand new Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series by Amy Pershing. Starting an inaugural book of a new series sometimes leaves me with trepidation since I don’t know the characters and often there’s too much backstory which can slow down the plot. However, Ms. Pershing hit this one out of the ballpark and I was captivated from the very first page! The author exhibits a great sense of timing with her zingy one-liners and the humor starts from the opening scene. Pr ...more
A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing is the debut of A Cape Code Foodie Mystery series. Samantha “Sam” Barnes is a chef who is returning home to Fair Harbor, Massachusetts. Sam’s professional and personal life in New York City derailed after a passerby posted a video on You-tube of an argument between Sam and her fiery tempered husband. When she learns she has inherited her Great-Aunt Ida’s home, Sam decides to head back to Cape Code temporarily. She gets a job at the Cape Cod Clarion writing restau ...more
A decade ago, Sam left Cape Cod for New York City, working toward her dream of owning a restaurant in the big city – until she unwittingly stars in a viral video that she fears has ruined her chances. When she inherits a house on the Cape, she figures Aunt Ida's house, as run-down as it is – will be a good place to regroup while she licks her wounds. She lands a temporary job writing restaurant reviews and things seem to be looking up. But when she finds a body while on her first assignment, she ...more
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is the first in the Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series. Samantha Barnes is in New York feeling sorry for herself as her marriage ended (which is not a bad thing) and her Chef career is a bust because of a you tube video which has gone viral with her ex-husband. Sam receives a phone call from her best friend Jenny’s husband Roland who is lawyer in Cape Cod and he tells her that she has inherited her Aunt Ida’s house. Sam thinks this is a great time to take a break from New York and lay low in Ca ...more
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-2021
First I would like to thank NetGalley and Berkley Books for allowing me to read an advanced digital copy

A great addition to the mystery genre....I loved every page of the book. I didn't want it to end.
Set in Cape Cod it would be hard for you to guess that it has a culinary flare with recipes at the end.
The first book in the series and I can't wait to read the second one....which I see the author has planned the next one.
The characters are lovable and the storyline flowed right to the end.
I'm no
Chloe Berger
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful new series

Hooked! Wonderful characters and intriguing mystery. I recommend this book for those who love a mystery rooted in a fully realized place (rural Cape Code), with interesting characters that surround the mystery, and crisp, insight writing! Oh, and fun cooking tips!
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it
After the first chapter, I knew that I should have put this book down, but against my better judgment, I continued. From restaurant guide, to a dead body, to a travelogue of the Cape, back to the dead body, to unrequited love, maybe touching on the body again, to a sailing lesson, to a restaurant critique, maybe the body again, then a hodge-podge of who the killer might be, to possibly other killers, to crushing on the Harbormaster, then finally tying up to the book but realizing that there was ...more
Lori Holuta
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
New York chef Samantha Barnes is an unintentional YouTube star, thanks to an argument that got way out of hand (giving a whole new meaning to 'flipping the finger'). She needs to get out of town for while, and as luck would have it, she's just inherited her Aunt Ida's run-down house on Cape Cod and the biggest puppy in town, punfully named Diogi. She's also been handed the tasty job of writing restaurant reviews for the Cape Cod Clarion. What, as they say, could possibly go wrong? But when Sam d ...more
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Who killed Estelle Kobolt! Estelle was a piece of work. Nobody liked her, and anybody could have done her in. But when Samantha Barnes finds her face up, obviously drowned, she is sure it is murder. Even though her death is listed as accidental.

Sam, taking a break from the food scene, as she wields a knife against her ex goes viral on YouTube, finds refuge in the house her great aunt Ida left to her on the Cape. And ends up writing restaurant reviews for the Cape Cod Clarion.

Samantha narrates
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3.75 stars

Samantha Barnes, trained chef, has returned to her Cape Cod roots after a failed marriage and a lost job. She has inherited an old house from an aunt, and originally plans to just go long enough to fix up and dispose of it and think about her next chapter.

But being back feels better than expected. An old high school friend offers her a temporary job as a restaurant reviewer and Sam starts to get settled. She has baggage from her past, an unrequited crush on the man who is currently the
Megan W. (pnwbookworm)
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun cozy mystery. I loved the setting of Cape cod and the descriptions of the area. I thought the mystery was well done and kept me guessing, there were also a couple of well done twists I didn't see coming. There were a couple of clichés in there but nothing that distracted me from the story. I enjoyed the main characters and all of the side characters and felt they were well done. I hope that house renovations are in the future because I love those storylines in cozy mysterie ...more
Lena H.
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
The main character, Samantha Barnes, suffers a fall from grace. After losing everything she built for herself in New York City, she returns to her childhood home of Cape Cod, Mass. with her proverbial tail between her legs. Waiting for her there are her old friends, an old house, and an old flame, along with a new neighbor, a new job, and a new dog. While Sam tries to put her feet back under her, she makes an unsettling discovery - the body of an old nemesis.

There were several points in the sto
KKEC Reads
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Published: February 23, 2021
Berkley Books
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you to Ms. Pershing and her publishing team for the opportunity.

“You’re charming and hot,” I’d shot back. “I’m goofy and look like Big Bird.”

Amy Pershing has been a lifelong wordsmith. She had precious worked as an editor, journalist, and restaurant reviewer. She worked in the financial industry, and once she was able to pay off her school loans decided to pursue her passion f
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Samantha Barnes thought she escaped Cape Cod for good when she moved to New York to follow her dream as a big city chef. After graduating from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) she landed a job as a chef and got married. When her now ex-husband’s temper flew out of control an incident occurred that was unfortunately filmed and uploaded to YouTube by a passerby. That ended her coveted job. So, when her aunt passed away, Samantha came home to Cape Cod to lick her wounds and regroup to get he ...more
Patricia Romero
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery #1

A food writer must investigate the death of an old enemy in this witty and exciting new cozy mystery series set in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, known for seafood, sand, surf, and, now…murder.

Samantha Barnes loves food. Instead of heading off to college, she headed off the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and left the Cape for New York City. After working hard, she is a rising star in the food arena. Unfortunately, her feud with another chef, also her ex, gets
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the inaugural book in a series and I would say it is going to be a great success! The author has crafted interesting characters with a storyline that contains the right amount of intrigue, suspense and romance. It has the reader guessing right up until the last chapters.

A young chef, Samantha Barnes, escapes her life in New York City when she inherits her Great Aunts house, and her dog, on Cape Cod. She returns to her hometown to claim the house and begins work at the local newspaper as
Sam Sigelakis-Minski
Very cute new cozy with a fun cast of characters. Sam is delightful, despite the first person narration. My only gripes are the heavy handed foreshadowing throughout, and the puzzling ageism- not a single person over 50 in this book knows anything about technology. Also, little interludes and "helpful hints" that break up the story. Clearly meant well, but heavy handed.

UPDATE: Full review at Sam's Beach Reads.

What I Liked:

The Cast of Characters Sam (best name ever, obviously) is a pluc
Noreen Trotsky
Feb 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021, cozy, mystery, fiction
I had some trouble getting into this mystery, as I felt it was jumping all over the place at first. There was no need for asides about cooking tips, this was very annoying. We get that the protagonist is a chef, but this is not a cookbook. Recipes after the story work just fine. Sometimes her thoughts came off as juvenile, but otherwise the dialogue was fairly solid.
As the book moved on, the author seemed to find her rhythm and the plot felt more like a mystery. There are a good cast of characte
Feb 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2021
Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review.

This was a fine start to a new series. There was definitely an excess of foreshadowing, and the main character struck me as pretty prickly at first (not my favorite trait in a cozy character), but she grew on me. The community around her was entertaining, and I really enjoyed the romance element between main character Samantha and her onetime teenage crush, harbor master Jason. There was a lot of potential here, an
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Food, seafood and water!

Witty, enjoyable read like a cozy mystery book should read. Characters who make you laugh, you find relatable and enjoy their story make it that much more enjoyable. This series doesn’t disappoint.
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing is the beginning of the Cape Cod Foodie Mysteries. Samantha Barnes grew up on the cape and after high school went to culinary school in New York City. She got a great job, but a not so great husband and they divorced. While trying to decide what to do, she inherits her aunts house back in her hometown. Once she arrives, she discovers her aunt also left her a puppy and she meets a neighbor who wasn't there before who becomes her friend and she also reconnects with ...more
Amanda S.
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I typically love cozy mysteries, but this one left me wanting more.

I did love the setting, but I did not feel connected to the characters in the story. I was, ultimately, surprised by the ending so I liked that it wasn’t predictable!

Thank you to Berkeley Publishing and NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest review.
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Cape Cod Foodie Mystery is a great new cozy mystery series with likable interesting characters, friendship, potential romance, and an intriguing cozy mystery. Samantha Barnes is a chef in NYC but she gets in a feud with her ex and it goes viral. So when Sam inherits her Great Aunt Ida's house on Cape Cod and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, she decides a change would be ideal. The house she inherits needs some work plus it comes with a large rambunctious puppy. Her high school crush, ...more
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Amy Pershing is a lifelong mystery lover and wordsmith. She was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before heading employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago she waved goodbye to Wall Street to write full time (and spend more time sailing on the Cape!).

A Side of Murder is the first book in the Cape Cod Foodie mystery series featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but r

Other books in the series

Cape Cod Foodie Mystery (2 books)
  • An Eggnog to Die for (Cape Cod Foodie Mystery #2)

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