The Agatha Award–winning author of Grilling the Subject returns to the Cookbook Nook in Crystal Cove, where the annual Renaissance Fair serves up a helping of crafty courtiers, damsels in distress, and medieval murder . . .
As the annual Renaissance Fair comes to Crystal Cove, Jenna Hart’s Cookbook Nook is packed with tasty treats and all things medieval, while her pal Bailey is ready to swoon over her upcoming nuptials at a local vineyard. But when the two friends discover the body of the vineyard’s owner bludgeoned by a winepress, all their merriment fades, along with their hopes for a vintage year.
Which churlish varlet did the deed? Was it the victim’s errant brother, who stood to inherit the vineyards? Or the owner’s crestfallen ex-girlfriend? Mayhap it was the newly arrived comely wench, or her jealous husband. Fie on them all! Verily, Jenna can’t rest until justice is served, and she vows to track down the killer. But can she sniff out the truth before the villainous culprit strikes again?
Includes tantalizing recipes!
Praise for Daryl Wood Gerber and the Cookbook Nook Mysteries:
“There’s a feisty new amateur sleuth in town and her name is Jenna Hart. With a bodacious cast of characters, a wrenching murder, and a collection of cookbooks to die for, Daryl Wood Gerber’s Final Sentence is a page-turning puzzler of a mystery that I could not put down.” —Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author of the Cupcake Mysteries and Library Lovers Mysteries
“In Final Sentence, the author smartly blends crime, recipes, and an array of cookbooks that all should covet in a witty, well-plotted whodunit.” —Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries
“Readers will relish the extensive cookbook suggestions, the cooking primer, and the whole foodie phenomenon. Gerber’s perky tone with a multigenerational cast makes this series a good match for Lorna Barrett’s Booktown Mystery series . . .” —Library Journal
“So pull out your cowboy boots and settle in for a delightful read. Grilling the Subject is a delicious new mystery that will leave you hungry for more.” —Carstairs Considers Blog
About the Author:
Agatha Award–winning and nationally bestselling author Daryl Wood Gerber is the author of the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, the French Bistro Mysteries, the Cheese Shop Mysteries (as Avery Aames), and stand-alone suspense thrillers. Little known facts about Daryl are that she’s jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, has hitchhiked around Ireland by herself, and has appeared on an episode of Murder, She Wrote. She loves to read, cook, and golf, and has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!
Customer ReviewsSee All
Renaissance and Murder!
With Bailey and Tito's wedding quickly approaching, Jenna is helping them with last minute details, including finalizing details at Baldini Vineyards, the venue for the reception. But when they receive a cryptic message from Nick Baldini on Bailey's voice mail, Jenna and her friends rush up to the vineyard where they discover Nick's dead body. Despite all of her friends warning her to stay out of it, Jenna begins questioning several of the potential suspects. Unfortunately, she learns that Nick recently had verbal altercations with many of those same people, leaving her with too many suspects and too many motives. The twists and turns in the story kept the reader guessing through to the end, though I did have a sense of who the killer might be earlier. Nonetheless, it did not detract from reading about Jenna's mind set in solving the murder. The Renaissance Fair background also provided an interesting backdrop to this story. Throughout the fast-paced story, there are detailed descriptions of many of the stalls with their crafts and activities that make the reader feel as if they are actually part of the story. There are also delectable descriptions of Renaissance food, such as a meat pasty, with the recipes included at the end of the story. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing this Advanced Reading Copy.
What a fun mystery!
There’s a lot of exciting events happening in Crystal Cove in the coming weeks. The Renaissance Fair is about to begin and Jenna has a lot of activities scheduled in the store plus has plans to participate at the pier with Rhett. Also in few weeks Bailey and Tito are getting married at Nick Baldini’s vineyard. Everyone is having fun dressing in costume and conversing in “fair speak”, but Bailey cannot shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen. Even Bailey's mother said she has a vibe of something coming. One evening after having fun at the Ren Fair the two couples (Jenna & Rhett and Bailey & Tito) go to discuss some wedding plans with Nick at the Vineyard only to stumble on his bludgeoned body. Police Chief Pritchett gives Jenna orders to stay out of the investigation but with Bailey’s wedding on the line, Jenna can’t help herself.
This book was so much fun to read. I’ve never been to a Ren Fair and reading this book makes me want to go to the next one in my area. I think it would be a lot of fun to dress in costume and speak the renaissance dialect. The plot of the murder mystery was expertly woven with twists and turns in the secondary storylines of Bailey’s wedding and Jenna and Rhett’s relationship. The characters are wonderfully entertaining and complex. The setting of the Ren Fair was a perfect compliment to Bailey’s upcoming wedding at the vineyard. This is book 6 in the series but can definitely be enjoyed as a stand-alone mystery. This is a very well written cozy with an entertaining plot and characters. I recommend this book and look forward to reading more of this series.
I was provided with an ARC of this book with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Sixth book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series
Pressing the Issue by Daryl Wood Gerber is the sixth book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series. Jenna Hart is busy getting the Cookbook Nook ready for the Crystal Cove Renaissance Fair. Bailey Bird, though, is of little help since she is out of sorts. Bailey is getting married in two weeks to Tito Martinez at Baldini Vineyard. Lola Bird has not helped matters by telling Bailey that she has a bad vibe about the nuptials. Bailey receives a cryptic message from Nick Baldini and it sounds like he is in trouble. Jenna and Bailey rush to his home to find him on the floor with blood coming from a head wound. They check for a pulse and find their King of the Renaissance Fair, Nick is dead. Jenna quickly contacts Police Chief Cinnamon Pritchett who warns Jenna to stay out of the investigation. The murder weapon turns out to be a winepress that Nick had shown them earlier in the day. Bailey is thrown into a tailspin. What will happen to her wedding? Jenna quietly (does not want to incur Cinnamon’s wrath) begins asking questions to find out more about Nick and who could have wished him harm. Time is running out because soon the Renaissance Fair visitors will be departing, and the killer could be hiding among them. Who could have committed this dastardly deed? Will Bailey and Tito have their wedding?
Pressing the Issue can be read alone. Everything a reader needs to know is included in the book. Returning to Crystal Cove is like visiting old friends. It is a charming town with welcoming townspeople, a beach, and inviting shops. The main characters are warm, friendly and relatable. It was lovely to catch up with Jenna, Bailey, Kate, Rhett and Aunt Vera. The descriptions of the Renaissance Fair are vivid. I enjoyed reading about the costumes, food and activities (the Renaissance Fair speak was entertaining and amusing). It felt like I was there enjoying it with them. There are delightful book descriptions (cookbooks and some cozy mysteries). The tantalizing food narratives will have your mouth watering (recipes included at the end of the book). I appreciated how the author incorporated Charlotte Bessette of Fromagerie Bessette into the story (from the Cheese Shop Mystery series written under her Avery Aames pen name) and her mention of Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes). The mystery was enticing, but avid cozy mystery readers will find it child’s play to solve. There are several suspects and some good misdirection that will lead readers down the wrong path. I do wish that Police Chief Pritchett would start working with Jenna on the investigations. Cinnamon knows that Jenna’s natural curiosity will not keep her away from looking into a case and Jenna is good at ferreting out information. I found the ending to be endearing. I am rating Pressing the Issue 4 out of 5 stars.