Red Hot Murder

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
267 Pages
Reviewed on 04/22/2023
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

A USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author, Michele taught herself to read at 3 years old because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but now she does spend much of her time writing stories. Mystery stories, to be exact. They're clean and twisty, and range from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn't enough, she posts lots of fun things on her blog, including short stories, puzzles, recipes and more, at

Michele grew up in Wisconsin, (hence why all her books take place there), and still visits regularly, but she herself escaped the cold and now lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

When she's not writing, she's usually reading, hanging out with her dog, or watching the Food Network and imagining she's an awesome cook. (Spoiler alert, she's not. Luckily for the whole family, Mr. PW is in charge of the cooking.)

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mimie Odigwe for Readers' Favorite

Red Hot Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek is a murder mystery as cozy as sipping a hot cup of Charlie Kingsley’s famous tea. Charlie is well-known in Redemption, Wisconsin, for her tea and prowess in cracking crimes. But her reputation and tea business are about to be jeopardized when one of her customers drinks a cup of Charlie's tea and wakes up to find her fiancé, Marcus, dead in her kitchen, and with no recollection of the night before. As all fingers point to Charlie and her tea, Charlie delves into the chaotic lives of Cherry and her circle of friends to clear her reputation and learn the truth.

Red Hot Murder is the perfect cozy mystery. I enjoyed Charlie’s baking, tea, and the lovely dogs, and I can't wait for Michele Pariza Wacek to develop Charlie’s relationship with Wyle. As amateur sleuths, Charlie Kingsley and her friends, Pat and Tilde, provided me with tricky clues and twists as they drew me into the sordid life of Marcus and his friends. This circle of close friends is rife with accusations, betrayals, unhealthy obsessions, and hidden secrets too dirty to dig up. The novel is fast-paced and clean, validating Pat’s opinion that you will never be everyone’s cup of tea. So grab a copy and a steaming mug of tea for a delectable murder mystery you won't be able to put down. Fortunately, for all murder sleuths, this book is part of a series!

Alma Boucher

Red Hot Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek is set in Redemption, Wisconsin. Charlie Kingsley runs a tea business out of her home, and she grows the herbs and flowers used in her blends in her backyard. Some of Charlie’s customers want specialized blends, and Charlie believes that the right tea can pretty much cure anything. One night, one of Charlie’s customers wakes up and finds her fiancé dead. She has no memory of what happened but remembers drinking a cup of Charlie’s tea. The customer ordered her special blend from Charlie the previous day. Everyone is blaming Charlie, and some even believe that she cast a spell on her customer to kill the fiancé. Charlie is determined to find the truth behind this mysterious death and prove her innocence.

Red Hot Murder is fast-paced and jam-packed with action. Michele Pariza Wacek took me on a rollercoaster ride of secrets, lies, and betrayal. I could not put it down, and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. The mystery surrounding the murder and the intriguing leads were interesting. It had me hooked from the start, and I was drawn into this murder mystery experience. The characters were brilliantly developed. The assortment of characters gave Charlie a range of suspects. Each character has a solid personality and is unique. I enjoyed the dynamic between Charlie, a sleuth who wants to solve mysteries, and Brandon, the police officer. The story was well-written and engaging. The ending was unexpected and a big surprise.

Natalie Soine

Red Hot Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek is set in the 1990s in the town of Redemption, where Charlie Kingsley is renowned for her delicious teas and amateur sleuthing abilities. Charlie’s customer Cherry calls Charlie for help when her fiancé Marcus is attacked. Officer Brandon Wyle investigates, and Charlie puts her skills to good use to solve this complicated case featuring an unusual crime scene. Faced with more questions than answers, Charlie, her friend Pat Barrone, and Brandon sift through the evidence, but Charlie soon experiences a surprise betrayal. Tilde Tillerson, owner of the Redemption Detective Agency, steps in unexpectedly and poses more questions involving Billy Winthrop, Marcus’s biggest business rival, as well as his roommate Caleb and friends Lola, Sage, and Fynn. Could one of them be the perpetrator?

Michele Pariza Wacek's Red Hot Murder is a suspenseful mystery, with just enough romance and supernatural twists to make it intriguing and suspenseful, as well as an enjoyable read. This book is suitable for all ages as there are no profanities or love scenes, one of the reasons I enjoyed reading it. The environment is perfectly described, making it easy for the reader to picture the crime scene. Each character has an unusual personality and interesting quirks. This crime mystery is well-paced with a clearly defined plot, so it keeps the reader enthralled from the beginning. This book would make a perfect gift for someone who enjoys a good mystery with twists, turns, and surprises.

Nino Lobiladze

Red Hot Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek, the sixth installment in a series, welcomes us to Redemption, Wisconsin, a small town with an intricate history and a dark side. Charlie Kingsley runs a tea business there. She considers Redemption her home, but some of her neighbors are unhappy. Nevertheless, Charlie has friends and loyal customers in Redemption. So when one of them, a girl named Cherry, calls her late at night, asking for help, Charlie rushes to the rescue. It turns out that Cherry's fiancé, Marcus, a handsome star of the local political arena, was murdered in Cherry's house. Charlie sees a messy crime scene, and bewildered Cherry, who suffers from memory loss, can't tell what has happened to her and Marcus. Soon, Charlie finds out that her tea is involved in the crime seriously enough to make her a suspect. Will Charlie unravel this complicated case in time to save her reputation?

Red Hot Murder impresses with tight intrigue and precise logic. Michele Pariza Wacek pays excellent attention even to the tiniest detail of the story, and I was immediately pulled in as soon as I opened the cover. Red Hot Murder is a character-driven story, and Wacek introduces a range of complex characters. Charlie is smart, independent, and strong. She is ready to fight for her friends or her business, which are dear to her. Also, Charlie has a kind and forgiving heart and is eager to help Cherry despite the latter's claims about Charlie putting a spell on her! Marcus is attractive, but his handsome facade hides many secrets. Wacek explores the traits of human nature through the example of a close circle of Marcus' friends. Despite a limited number of suspects, I couldn't figure out the murderer until the end. Offering a slight hint of a paranormal side of Redemption, Michele's beautiful writing style and subtle humor add excitement to this delightful mystery. I highly recommend it to mystery, suspense, crime dramas, and classic detective novels fans.

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Charlie Kingsley is a kind woman who wants to do two things; have a simple, honest life, and provide her customers with the best tea possible. So she moves to the small town of Redemption to have a good, simple life until a batch of tea goes bad, literally! A customer makes an emergency request for tea, and later that evening, she wakes up with her apartment crashed, her fiance dead, and a drugged cup of tea in her kitchen. Suddenly, Charlie is under suspicion of murdering somebody she never even met. So when a newspaper article accuses her of witchcraft, she's desperate to prove her innocence with the help of a loyal friend, her cute puppy, and a wannabe investigator who knows the rumors around town that the murdered man wasn't as fabulous as he seemed. So what happened, and why was Charlie framed? Find out in Red Hot Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek.

I loved Red Hot Murder. It's a suspenseful mystery that intrigued me from page one. I love mysteries in small towns, especially ones that reveal such an intricate web of friendships, deceit, deception, and double lives. Charlie is a realistic character that I could imagine being friends with, and I wished I could step into the role of Pat, her sidekick and friend, in uncovering the truth. However, as the story unfolds, you discover that friendship becomes complicated in young adulthood, sometimes leading to crossing lines you can't uncross. Michele Pariza Wacek has created a world I'd love to visit again. If you love mysteries, then you'll like this one. I'm glad I picked it. Highly recommended!