The Fragrance of Death
by Leslie Karst

Restaurateur Sally Solari has a nose for trouble, but when her sense of smell goes missing, it’s not just her career on the line . . . it’s her life.

Restaurateur Sally Solari is a champion, both in the kitchen and on the case, but after getting mixed up in one too many murders, she’s noticed her nonna’s friends have now taken to crossing themselves when they see her in the street. Adding to her woes, a sinus infection has knocked out her sense of smell, making cooking on the hot line difficult, indeed. Nevertheless, Sally is determined to stay out of trouble and focus on her work.

But then her old acquaintance Neil Lerici is murdered at the annual Santa Cruz Artichoke Cook-Off, and her powers of investigation are called into action once more. Could Neil have been killed by the local restaurant owner who took his winning spot at the competition? Or maybe by one of his siblings, who were desperate to sell the family farm to a real estate developer?

Sally plunges headfirst into the case, risking alienating everyone she knows – including the dapper Detective Vargas, who finds her sleuthing both infuriating and endearing. And soon it’s not only her restaurant and tentative new relationship that are on the line – it’s her life . . .

The Fragrance of Death is a non-stop fun cozy mystery that will keep your mind buzzing and your mouth watering, and contains a selection of delicious recipes to cook at home.


“Lots of suspects and even more food”

Kirkus Reviews

“Foodies and fans of cozy mysteries will both love the latest installment in Karst's series . . . this tale will have readers of Rita Mae Brown and Darci Hannah dining out on a delicious mystery”

Booklist on Murder from Scratch

“Cover-to-cover fun for culinary cozy fans”

Publishers Weekly on Murder from Scratch

“A tasty combination of culinary tidbits, an unusual motive for murder, and appended recipes for ambitious cooks”

Kirkus Reviews on Death al Fresco

“Cozy fans should have fun”

Publishers Weekly on Death al Fresco

“Engaging characters, terrific writing, and a savory blend of musical and culinary erudition . . . Karst is a dab hand with the red herrings”

Publishers Weekly Starred Review of A Measure of Murder

“Fans of Joanne Fluke, Edith Maxwell, and Lucy Burdette will savor this food-oriented debut, seasoned with well-done plotting and characters, complete with tasty recipes”

Library Journal on Dying for a Taste

Leslie Karst

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst waited tables and sang in a new wave rock and roll band, before deciding she was ready for a ‘real’ job and ending up at Stanford Law. It was during her career as a research and appellate attorney in Santa Cruz County that she discovered a passion for food and cooking, and she once more returned to school – this time to earn a degree in culinary arts.Now retired from the law, she spends her time cooking, singing alto in her local community chorus, gardening, cycling, and of course writing. Leslie and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawaii.

View author page


The Fragrance of Death by Leslie Karst is available in the following formats

Hardback97814483090302nd August 2022145 X 225mm224$29.99
Hardback97814483090302nd August 2022145 X 225mm224£20.99
Ebook97814483090472nd August 2022N/A224$14.99
Ebook97814483090472nd August 2022N/A224£7.99
Paperback978144830928325th April 2023139 X 217mm224$18.99
Paperback978144830928323rd February 2023139 X 217mm224£13.99
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