Grilling the Subject Book Review

Grilling the Subject Book Review

Title: Grilling the Subject
Author: Daryl Wood Gerber
Published: August 2, 2016, Berkley
No. of Pages: 304
Cover Price: $7.99 Paperback, $7.99 Kindle

Small towns tend to have celebrations that are “outside the box” for mainstream cities, and Jenna Hart, part owner of The Cookbook Nook in the tiny town of Crystal Cove, California, is gearing up for the extra tourist business, as well as the upcoming fun festivities. In the fifth installment of The Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber, Grilling the Subject, Sylvia Gump, a neighbor of Jenna’s Dad, is found burned to death. Sylvia was hated by almost everyone, since she violated homeowner rules in her neighborhood and encroached on her neighbor’s land; she was also pretty nasty. Jenna’s Dad, Cary, is the main suspect, since he was fishing at the time, and has no alibi. Jenna has very little time to clear her father and prepare for the influx of tourists; will she be able to find the real murderer before it’s too late?

Cozy mysteries, are at the bottom rung of the suspense genre (regarding the amount of suspense only – not the quality or fun). And while the suspense isn’t overwhelming, it is there, especially when the protagonist discovers “who done it.” Jenna is a likeable character, and as is often the case in cozies, someone similar to a real-life acquaintance who has real-life challenges. She is an amateur sleuth, but does pretty well.

Gerber’s book keeps the interest of readers by adding secondary characters who bring different focus to Jenna, and there is plenty of reference to food, including several recipes which technically make this a culinary mystery. The recipes are good, too, and ones that readers will want to make.

In keeping with the genre, Gerber has excluded sex, profanity, and graphic violence. It is a light-hearted mystery, with a bit of suspense, and the victim certainly is someone who falls into the category of “some people are alive only because it is against the law to kill them!” This is not only a fun book; it is a light and well-written series.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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