The Big Chili – thoughts after reading

The Big Chili

Author: Julia Buckley

Publisher: Berkley

Edition: Paperback

The Big Chili is the first book in Julia Buckley’s Undercover Dish Mystery series. In Pine Haven, any meal could have been made by Lilah Drake, a local woman who (secretly) delivers covered dishes to clients who can claim her cooking as their own.

Lilah dreams of owning her own catering company and things are going well, seemingly looking up for her, until the chili that she drops off for a client is tampered with, causing a woman to drop dead.


  • When I purchased The Big Chili, it wasn’t because I was intrigued by the synopsis, or pulled in after reading the first page. I bought this book because my husband had been craving and endlessly talking about chili. What can I say? The world heard and the shelves delivered.
  • Starting a new series is fun, but the series isn’t always fun, you know? Am I making sense? Either way, I’m usually a little nervous when I start reading something new, but I wasn’t disappointed.
  • Lilah Drake isn’t my favorite main character of all time, but I do appreciate her sense of humor, and most of all, her dog, Mick.
  • Speaking of Mick, he nods his head when Lilah vents to him, or asks him questions. The most precious thing in this world? Probably. I would put my life on the line for this (fictional) dog.
  • The story takes place around Halloween, so I couldn’t have read this one at a better time. If you’re looking for a new series or book, The Big Chili would be perfect for October.
  • While seemingly suspicious, I love Pet Grandy. The sweat suits and sweet tooth won me over.
  • “I probably have sweets three times a day. My doctor told me I’m lucky I don’t have diabetes. But I crave it all the time!” — Perpetua Grandy, a relatable, modern day woman.
  • I didn’t know who was responsible for poisoning parishioners, so I was content to sit back and investigate with Lilah Drake.
  • I’ll definitely be reading the next two books in the Undercover Dish Mystery series. See you in Pine Haven!

Rating: 4/5