Liver Let Die by Liz Lipperman.*
Jordan McAllister always wanted to be a sportswriter. But after graduating from journalism school, she followed her boyfriend to Dallas, where she was unceremoniously dumped. Wanting to get away from him, she took a job writing personal ads for the newspaper in tiny Ranchero, Texas, "just until something more suitable turned up".
The paper's resident food critic has an accident, and Jordan is "called up" to cover for her. The only problem is that Jordan knows nothing about food. Has first assignment is to review an upscale local restaurant. She allows the waiter to convince her to order the foie gras, even though she has no idea what it is. Reluctant to eat it, she stuffs it into the lovely evening bag she's borrowed from her landlady.
Late the following night, she gets a phone call from the waiter asking if he can come over to talk about something. She falls asleep while waiting for him, and only realizes that he hasn't turned up when the police knock on her door wondering why a young man found murdered outside her apartment has her contact information in his pocket.
This is a promising start to a darkly comic small-town mystery series. Jordan is a smart, tough protagonist who, like many sit-com characters, doesn't let lack of knowledge about a subject keep her from tackling it.
The book closes with some of the recipes Jordan uses in her food column.
*FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes.