Home of the sweetest and hottest….Sweet Pepper Hero ~ Cozy review and Giveaway

Posted: January 8, 2016 in Cozy Mystery, giveaways, reviews, Series
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Sweet Pepper Hero

by J.J. Cook

sweet peppet hero
Sweet Pepper Hero: A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Penguin Random House, LLC.
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279236

My Review

Even though this is the fourth book in the series and I haven’t read the others, it was easy to pick up and could be read as a stand alone book.

Someone has kidnapped fire chief Stella’s ghost. Well, Eric’s not technically her ghost. He came with the cabin. Before he passed on, he was once the first fire chief in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, home of the sweetest, hottest peppers in the world. Stella and Eric became good friends and she’s been searching for him for months. Many of the town folk believe Eric is real and are willing to help in her search.

Besides being good friends and missing his company, Stella sure could use Eric’s help. She’s been tasked with choosing the recipes for the annual recipe contest. That means cooking each recipe and sampling it. Stella can’t cook to save her life, and Eric would have come in handy.

On top of that, there seems to be a whiskey war brewing in her town. Someone is targeting the stills, setting them on fire. The case heats up and Stella has so much on her plate, but the arson case must take center stage before someone , or Stella, winds up dead.

One thing I always enjoy about cozies is the theme. There’s ones about sewing, cooking, scrapbooking, and many more. Sweet Pepper Hero has at least two. There’s the cooking. And then there’s the fire dogs.

I love it when animals have their own roles. What’s a fire station without Dalmatians! Hero and his mother, Sylvia, are part of the fire station family. Hero took to his certification like a duck to water. But Sylvia has failed yet again. They won’t give up on her and she’ll always have a home. I feel Sylvia has a special part to play.

Something else I look forward to in a cozy mystery is the characters. There’s always a mixed bag of quirky ones. You’ve got the town gossips, the mysterious recluses, and more than one ghostly resident in this series. What’s better than a cozy mystery with a paranormal theme.

There are numerous characters I really liked. Too many to mention individually. Stella has some good friends. She comes from a long line of firefighters, and is the first woman in her family to become one. A tough Harley riding lady.

With so many things happening at once, there’s never a dull moment. The pace is fast, the mystery isn’t easily solved, and there’s plenty of fun. Even though I mentioned you could read this without having read the other books, I plan to go back and start from the beginning to see what other fun I missed.

Oh, there are some yummy recipes included so be sure to check them out.

4 Stars



Old rivalries heat up in the fourth Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade mystery from the national bestselling author of In Hot Water.

Fire chief Stella Griffin has been put in charge of judging the annual recipe contest, but Eric—her resident ghost and true culinary genius—has vanished. Before she can track down his latest haunt, she’s called in to investigate a local moonshine distillery that was set ablaze, making her realize there’s more than pies and cakes cooking in Sweet Pepper.

As rumors of a revived whiskey war ignite, Stella turns to the town’s elders to help her find answers. The past might have some clues as to what has sparked the present fires. But when following a lead lands her in buried rubble, Stella realizes she must extinguish this case fast or she might be going down in flames.

About The Authors

J. J. Cook is a pseudonym for a married couple who writes mysteries, mostly set in the South, with a touch of paranormal and romance.

Author Links:

Webpage       Facebook      Twitter

Purchase Links:
Amazon     B&N     Google Play


giveaway photo: Giveaway Banner for 42nd giveaway.png

I have one print copy to give away.

Entry is easy. Please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win and answer this question:

“What’s your favorite cozy theme?”

Giveaway ends January 21st.


Follow the tour for more fun posts.

January 5 – A Chick Who Reads – Review

January 6 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Interview

January 6 – View from the Birdhouse – Spotlight

January 7 – The Book’s the Thing – Review

January 7 –  Christa Reads and Writes – Spotlight

January 8 – fuonlyknew – Review

January 9 – Laura’s Interests – Review

January 10 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review

January 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight

January 11 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review

January 12 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review

January 13 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview

January 14 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review

January 15 – Readsalot – Spotlight

January 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review

January 17 – Island Confidential – Spotlight

January 18 – Brooke Blogs – Review

January 19 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Review

January 20 – Book Babble – Review
January 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – Review

January 21 – Queen of All She Reads – Spotlight


Counts toward my Cruisin Through The Cozies Challenge and Alphabet Soup Challenge.

  alphabet 2016

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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  1. Jen says:

    I enjoy so many cozy themes but I guess my favorites are pets and food.
    Thank you for the giveaway.
    myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Mary Preston says:

    I love them all, but baking and crafts are fun.


  3. clickclickmycat says:

    My favorite cozy theme is winter, with a fireplace lit, and snow coming down.

  4. I really enjoy them with animals.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  5. Terri Crossley says:

    I love a cozy mysteries and to just pick one theme is hard. I definitely love the quirky characters and the recipes! Thanks for the chance!

  6. Terri Crossley says:

    I forgot to leave my email

  7. Goodness, I don’t think I really have a favorite but I like crafting, books and ones with pets, but I like them all…lol. Not heard of this one so first one going on the list. :) booklady2007 at gmail dot com

    • fuonlyknew says:

      You might recognize these authors, Stormi. It’s Jim and Joyce Lavene. I love their books!

  8. Anita Yancey says:

    I enjoy the ones with dogs or food the most, but great characters really help too.


  9. Karen B says:

    I haven’t read a cozy with a theme I didn’t like but I especially like those with older citizens and odd occupations.


  10. Peggy Hyndman says:

    I love all cozy themes, but especially the ones that include crafts

  11. joab4424 says:

    I like cozy mysteries with groups of senior sleuths. They have lots of time and interest in solving the crime and are usually funny too.


    • fuonlyknew says:

      I almost forgot about those. I’ve read several that were in my age group and really connected with the characters. LOL

  12. Anne says:

    Cozies which have food related themes and animals are lovely. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway.

  13. Judy Weaver says:

    I love them all, but really like ones with animals and crafts in them.

  14. kentuckygal50 says:

    Had to stop by and read another review! Mine is written and comes out next Wednesday! Maybe Sylvia saves Hero one day so he can continue the work he appears to love?! A book doesn’t get from concept to published by one person (or one dog) *lol*. What I mean to say is, if one part falters another can build it up and that makes that action important!

  15. Linda May says:

    I love all the cozy themes, can’t pick a particular one. Thanks for this awesome chance, I do appreciate it.

  16. robeader says:

    I am one who love an assortment of cozies. I’m drawn to books with cats, book stores, and even a witch or two. Thanks for the giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

  17. My favorite cozy theme is anything to do with the water or the beach. I am a bit partial to doggie tales too.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  18. Kathleen Costa says:

    I am such a fan of Joyce and Jim Lavene and whatever incarnation… kat8762@aol.com

  19. I like book related ones; and food; and crafts; and ALL of them!

  20. kayekillgore says:

    I love all the cozy themes, but the cooking (with recipes) and animal themed ones seem to win.

    kaye dot killgore at comcast dot net

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I have a cat, a dog, and a parrot so I lean towards critters. The food ones make me hungry. LOL

  21. Lola says:

    That cover is so cute! What I like about cozies is how each of them deal with a different topic, job or hobby. It’s fun learnign mroe about other professions or hobbies. Although so far my favourite cozy mysteries had to do with food. The themes of this one with the food and fire dogs sound interesting. I also like the mix of quirky characters in cozy mysteries and how there are animals in most as well and they play a part in the story as well and have their own personalities.

    This one sounds fun with the recipe contest and the paranormal element. I like how you sya there isn’t a dull moment and the mystery isn’t easily solved. Even though it can be read as a standalone I probably would still start at the first book. Great review!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I forgot to mention the trivia. I learn all kinds of fun facts! I’m addicted to cozies. They are fun light reads with such delightful characters.

  22. Meg C says:

    I tend to gravitate overall towards the ones with cats, books, and anything to do with houses as part of their themes. Food, crafts, other animals, and fashion comes in right behind them. The rest all seem to fall into place somewhere beyond that, barring a couple of series that seem to shoot to the top of my list (sometimes even over those themes I listed first). Thanks for the chance to win.


  23. Meredith Miller says:

    Coffee shop or craft cozies are my favorites.

  24. Meredith Miller says:

    Coffee shop or craft cozies are my favorites. meredithfl at gmail dot com

  25. peggy clayton says:

    craft cozies and also the coffee shop also gift shops just any cozy is my fav i just love them !

  26. peggy clayton says:

    oops in my excitment to tell you i forgot to give you email it is ptclayton2@aol.com