Grilling the Subject – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars.


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Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

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As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of her father’s neighbors is found the next morning smoldering in a bonfire, the rodeo revelry is extinguished.

Sylvia Gump had acquired plenty of enemies with her practice of illegally encroaching on her neighbors’ properties—including Jenna’s dad, who was off fishing by himself and has no alibi for the murder. Now it’s up to Cary Hart’s dutiful daughter to clear his name before the real killer turns up the heat and rakes someone else over the coals…

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I recently finished a few books that I had for review, including “Grilling the Subject”, the 5th book in the Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber. This was actually the first one of that series that I had read, but I enjoyed it so much that I have since gone back and read the other four books in the series.

When I first started this book, I was immediately hooked by Jenna, Bailey, Katie, Aunt Vera, Rhett and the whole cast of characters. They’re wonderful! They’re well-rounded individuals, they have their ups and downs like anyone, they’re realistic and they’re fabulous.

This particular book finds our group and the town of Crystal Cove hosting the Wild West Extravaganza, a family-friendly, animal-friendly, Wild West style festival. While the festivities and the barbecue-themed foods occupy our heroine in her store and within the town, the murder in this book takes place away from the festival and its festivities, and once again has Jenna out looking for a murderer, this time because her own father has been accused at being at the scene!  On top of all that, Jenna has her own surprise to deal with. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s a doozy! It shakes up life for Jenna and her friends for a good chunk of the book.

This book kept me riveted. It had a fast-paced, well thought out plot line, enough surprises to keep you on your toes but not so many that you end up in a constant state of suspense, and fabulous characters. I had no idea who the killer was until just before the author revealed it, even then, I only had an inkling and still wasn’t completely sure, until it was revealed and solved.

I highly recommend this book to any cozy mystery reader! Enjoy it!

[I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my fair and honest review. My review was not influenced by this, nor was I compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own.]

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Murder is Binding & Bookmarked For Death – REVIEWS

3 out of 5 stars for both

Purchase Links for Murder Is Binding: AmazonB&NKobo

Purchase Links for Bookmarked for Death: AmazonB&NKobo

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Synopsis for Murder is Binding

The streets of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are lined with bookstores…and paved with murder.

When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn’t killing by the book.


Synopsis for Bookmarked for Death

What do a stone book and a stabbed cake have to do with Zoë Carter’s death?

Once a struggling town, Stoneham, New Hampshire is now enjoying a renaissance–thanks to booksellers like Tricia Miles, proprietor of Haven’t Got a Clue. It’s a great place to find a good mystery to read–or to solve ….

To celebrate her bookstore’s anniversary, Tricia Miles hosts a book signing for bestselling author Zoë Carter. But the event takes a terrible turn when the author is found dead in the washroom. Before long, both police and reporters are demanding the real story. So far, the author’s obnoxious assistant/niece is the only suspect. And with a sheriff who provides more obstacles than answers, Tricia will have to take matters into her own hands–and read between the lines to solve this mystery….

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Review for both books

Murder is Binding & Bookmarked for Death both by Lorna Barrett are the first and second books in her Booktown Mystery series.  I’m doing them both together because I felt much the same about both so I figured I’d save people reading two posts with the same basic review.

These two books were okay. I really enjoy the main character of the series, but some of the characters are really annoying. The plots are not very complex and I figured out the villain fairly easily in both books.

I don’t know how I really feel about the series. I do like some of the characters, including the main character, but the plot line being so easy to figure out detracts from the enjoyment. I think I’ll keep reading the series for now and hope that they get better than these two.