Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review: Cooking the books by Bonnie S. Calhoun

304 pages
Published April 2nd 2012 by Abingdon Press

ISBN: 1426733887 (ISBN13: 9781426733888)
edition language: English
From the publisher:

After her mother dies from a heart attack, Sloane Templeton goes from Cyber Crimes Unit to bookstore owner before she can blink. She also "inherits" a half-batty store manager; a strange bunch of little old people from the neighborhood who meet at the store once a week, but never read books, called the Granny Oakleys Book Club; and Aunt Verline, who fancies herself an Iron Chef when in reality you need a cast iron stomach to partake of her culinary disasters. And with a group like this you should never ask, “What else can go wrong?”

A lot! Sloane begins to receive cyber threats. While Sloane uses her computer forensic skills to uncover the source of the threats, it is discovered someone is out to kill her. Can her life get more crazy?

Poor Sloane, it's bad enough losing her mother but to inherit a bookstore in which she has no interest in running doesn't make her day a happy one. Just let her be with her computers; in her former life she was a forensic cybercrime investigator. She's not a bibliophile nor is she really a "people-person", but now she has to deal with both every day and it's making her cranky!

"What was I, an idiot? I had to will my foot to descend to the next step. At the moment, my feet were apparently smarter than I was. They knew danger. A smart person would turn around and go back upstairs, through the apartment and down the front stairs. But no, I apparently didn’t emanate from that smart gene pool. If something could be considered dangerous or reckless, my name was probably attached somewhere."

I love a mystery with a sense of humor and this one has plenty of it. Some of the characters, particularly those in the Granny Oakley's Book Club were laugh out loud funny. I think I'd like to know them in real life, not while they are packing heat, though.   And Aunt Verline? If she asks you to dinner, make sure you have other plans or you eat before you get there. You sure don't want to break bread with this lady and her crazy culinary concoctions!

Meanwhile, back at the bookstore, between dealing with her crazy manager, run-ins with her abusive ex-boyfriend, dealing with an ex-hubby who wants half her inheritance, Sloane has to also fend off a zealous realtor who wants her building. And now the straw that almost breaks the camel's back- some one is threatening her!

Calhoun has cooked up quite a mystery in her debut novel. There are lots of things going on in this story; maybe one too many. I don't think the inclusion of the abusive ex-boyfriend helped the story line along at all but other than that, this is a good first book with some solid characters and plenty of humorous situations and dialogue.Be prepared for a few twists along the way. A reader's guide is included at the end.  3***

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Abingdon Press/ Netgalley in exchange for
my honest opinion.


  1. Sounds like a fun book. I can't wait to read it!

  2. I love it when there is a good dollop of humor.

  3. Could you imagine inheriting a bookstore! I would love that to happen to me! This sounds wacky and fun. I love characters that make me laugh and want to be friends with them too!

  4. Thank you all for the fun comments, and thank you for hosting me!

  5. I would also love to inherit a bookstore, though it might be tough to let all those books go home with other people, and not take then home myself! This does sound like an interesting little cozy, and I would love to find out how it all turns out. I am off to see if I can find this one at the library!

  6. humor...a bookstore...well, that sounds appealing!


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