Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Review - Cook the Books by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant

Title:  Cook the Books (Gourmet Girl Mystery #5)
Author:  Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant
Publisher:  Berkley Publishing
ISBN:  9780425232460

Synopsis:  Chloe Carter desperately needs a job, so she takes one assisting a cookbook writer. Unfortunately it stirs up painful memories of her ex- boyfriend Josh, who left her for Hawaii. While compiling a book of recipes from Boston's top chefs, she comes in contact with one of Josh's friends, Digger. Chloe manages to stay cool until later she finds Digger's apartment charred-with Digger in it.

Not believing that an expert chef would die from a grease fire, she sets about looking for Digger's killer. But things get sticky when the tragedy brings Josh back to Boston-and back into Chloe's life.

My thoughts:  I enjoyed this latest installment of the Gourmet Girls Mystery series.  Chloe and her friends have matured a great deal throughout the course of this series, which is a welcome change.  I found the murder mystery interesting and it kept my attention.  After reading this entire series, I realize that I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the main character, Chloe, was involved somewhat in solving the murers, but was not all of a sudden an expert investigator and solving every mystery in town as in other cozy series I have read.

I recommend this series for a fun, simple, relaxing read with a culinary twist!

My Rating:  :) :) :) :)  Liked it!

And Remember,
Books Are Life,

Book Review - Fed Up by Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant

Title:  Fed Up (Gourmet Girl Mystery #4)
Author:  Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant
Publisher:  Berkley Publishing Group
ISBN:   9780425225981

Synopsis (from  In Conant-Park and Conant's cute fourth Gourmet Girl mystery to feature Chloe Carter (after 2008's Turn Up the Heat), Josh Driscoll, Chloe's chef boyfriend, unwittingly serves up some poisoned lamb on a Boston cable reality TV show, Chefly Yours. Both Josh and Chloe fall ill, but it's Francie, a randomly chosen shopper at the gourmet store Natural High, who eats too much of the digitalis-laced dish and doesn't recover. Was Francie the intended victim or just unlucky? Suspects range from Josh's fellow contestants competing for a new eight-part cooking show to some pranksters who may have taken a joke too far. Preparations for the wedding of Chloe's very pregnant best friend distract social work's answer to Nancy Drew from her sleuthing, but not for long. Recipes, some by pro chefs, round out this delectable chick lit cozy, which ends on an emotional cliffhanger for Chloe.

My Thoughts:  Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant return for their 4th book in the Gourmet Girl Mystery Series.  I enjoyed this installment of the series, much better than the last book where it appeared as if the murderer came out of nowhere.  I enjoyed the developing relationship between Chloe and Josh as the series continues.  I also am enjoying that the series is having Chloe come into her own and finding her way as a social work student rather than portraying her only as Josh's girlfriend. 

Again, I found this book a fast, fun summer read!  Enjoy!

My rating:  : )  :)  :)  :)  I liked it! 

And remember,
Books Are Life,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Book Review - Turn Up the Heat by Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant

Title:  Turn up the Heat (Gourmet Girl Mystery #3)
Author:  Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Park
Publisher:  Berkeley Crime Press
ISBN:  9780425219478

Synopsis:  Chloe Carter is helping her chef boyfriend with his new restaurant on Boston’s posh Newbury Street, when a crabby waitress is found dead in a fish truck. Was this a prank gone awry? Or did somebody want her to sleep with the fishes?

My Thoughts:  I thought summer was supposed to be the time of year when there was more time to relax and more time to READ!  I feel busier than I was when I was in grad school - geez.  Anyway, I finally got back to my cozy series and book #3 in the Gourmet Girl Mystery Series.  I loved getting back to Chloe Carter, struggling social work grad student, her boyfriend Josh, chef at the restaurant Simmer, her friend Ade, pregnant with her first child, and Ade's 'almost' fiance, Owen who now is a fresh fish purveyor (he has had multiple very interesting jobs to say the list). 

I read quite a few reviews on this book before I picked it up and I must say they weren't stellar.  People were up in arms about a brief mention of a line of cocaine in the bathroom and the mentions in the book of the restaurant staff frequently stealing from the restaurant.  I have to say I wasn't bothered at all by these elements of the book.  It is not like it was the theme of the entire book. 

The book was a fast read, nothing ground-breaking, but a fun summer read!  I'm not looking for deep plots and character developments in my cozies :)

I will admit that the "murderer" and the motive for murder was a bit out of the blue as if the authors simply got to the end of the book and had to pick a murderer,  Not their shining moment. 

I'm moving on to #4 in the series - Fed Up!!! 

Rating:  :)  :)  :)  It was ok!

And remember,
Books Are Life,

Book Blogger Hop!!

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list below!!
The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don’t have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event! And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added! We get over 200 links every week!!

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

1. Post about the Hop on your blog (feel free to grab the logo at the top of the post!)

Spread the word about the book party! The more the merrier!

In your blog post, answer the following question (new question each week!).

This week’s question comes from Sue who blogs at Cookie’s Book Club ! Thanks for submitting a question for our Hoppers, Sue! Be sure to visit her blog and tell her thank you!

What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?

I will definitely keep reading a book if there is a gruesome murder in the first few pages (I admit, I love my serial killer books). 
If the book is a period piece or set in Britain/London, I will put it back immediately.  I just can't get into it!

And remember,
Books Are Life,