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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Review - A Cookbook Conspiracy

I have been following this series for a while.  I have reviewed #6 Peril in Paperback (click here), #4 One Book in the Grave (click here), and #3 The Lies That Bind (click here).  This week we return to San Francisco and our brave book restorer in a celebrity chef murder.

Author: Kate Carlisle

Copyright: April 2013 (NAL/Signet) 320 pgs

Series: 7th in Bibliophile Mysteries series

Sensuality: n/a

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy

Main Characters: Brooklyn Wainwright, expert book binder and restorer

Setting: Modern day, San Francisco

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

Savannah, Brooklyn’s sister, graduated from the prestigious Cordon Bleu school in Paris. Savannah and her old classmates have gone on to successful careers, particularly the superstar Baxter Cromwell -- Savannah’s ex-boyfriend.

Baxter invites the group of old friends to his new restaurant’s spectacular opening in San Francisco.  Savannah asks Brooklyn to restore a very old cookbook, once a gift from Baxter, for a present for Baxter. Brooklyn realizes the book is a rare find and probably valuable.  Derek notices strange notes and symbols scrawled in the margins of the book as being a code and his brother Dalton can’t resist coming to the States to see the code…and Brooklyn.

Shortly after Savannah presents Baxter with the gift, Baxter is dead, with Savannah found kneeling over him with the bloody knife.  The rare cookbook has disappeared as well. Of course Savannah didn’t kill Baxter.  So, Brooklyn is determined to figure out who the killer is and get the cookbook back. Fortunately, Brooklyn had made a copy of the cookbook and Dalton works on the code.

Brooklyn is becoming more secure in her relationship with Derek with this book.  Derek is right beside Brooklyn rather than nagging to not get involved, which makes the book enjoyable.  Gabriel is a no-show is this addition to the series, so Gabriel fans take note.  Savannah is developed far more than in past books and proves to be quite interesting.  Dalton, Derek's brother, adds some fun to the storyline, and some romance for Savannah.  I have to mention Brooklyn’s mom is getting to be caricature more and more, thus loosing the quirky charm and just being insulting.

San Francisco was not used much itself, mostly the posh restaurant.  The reader spends more time in Baxter's restaurant and Brooklyn's apartment with an outing to her parents place.  The plot is classic cozy with a handful of suspects and clues scattered throughout.  The killer confrontation had some twists and was emotional.

This is a classic cozy mystery with an interesting plot and varied characters that present an entertaining puzzle. This series is always a winner for an enjoyable mystery.

Ratings: Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list

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