What if your sister asked you to repair a valuable antique for her ex-boyfriend, who was a total jerk? Would you do it? Brooklyn, professional bookbinder and book restorer, reluctantly agrees to repair the 250-year-old The Cookbook of Obedience Green so her sister Savannah can give it as a gift. Being invited to a fabulous restaurant opening gala might have had a little something to do with Brooklyn's decision.
I don't mind admitting I'm a little obsessed with food. A childhood spent competing with five brothers and sisters at the dinner table will do that to you. I grew up loving good food as much as I love old books, which is saying a lot since I'm a bookbinder and old books are my life's blood.—The Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate Carlisle (Penguin Random House / Obsidian, 2014, p. 1)
- Setting: San Francisco & Sonoma wine country; modern times
- Circumstances: During the highly touted opening of his Mission District restaurant, Baxter Cromwell is found dead in his kitchen, Savannah is found holding a bloody knife, and the rare cookbook is nowhere to be found. Can Brooklyn clear her sister's name and track down the book before someone else is killed or Savannah goes to jail?
- Characters: Brooklyn Wainwright, bookbinder and amateur sleuth; Brooklyn's sister Savannah, professional chef and restaurant owner; Brooklyn's live-in boyfriend, Derek, who works in security; Baxter, chef, Savannah's ex-boyfriend, victim; Derek's brother, Dalton, who likes solving puzzles; various chefs and restauranteurs; Brooklyn's family members and friends in the book world
- Genre: Cozy mystery
- All the good: I loved the great combination of books and food. Poor Brooklyn: she loves to eat but can barely boil water; it's fun to watch her try to learn to cook following Obedience Green's handwritten recipes. This book has a murder mystery and a puzzle associated with the missing rare book; I enjoyed trying to solve them and figuring out if they were connected. I also liked the food and wine descriptions; very tasty reading.
- Who would like this book: food lovers; book lovers; mystery lovers; anyone looking for a good, light read
- General thoughts: The Cookbook Conspiracy had everything a good cozy mystery should have: lots of suspects, a good puzzle, a plot with surprises, and a great main character
- What you need to know: This is the seventh installment in the Bookbinder series, but it was my first introduction to Brooklyn Wainwright. Carlisle provided enough background so I didn't feel lost, but now I want to read the series from the beginning. Don't miss the recipes at the back of the book, they look good and are connected to the story. This book was published in hardcover last year.
Thanks to the good people at Obsidian, I have one copy of The Cookbook Conspiracy to giveaway to one of my readers. All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is to have a U.S. mailing address and to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner via random number generator on May 16. Once the winner has been confirmed, I'll delete all personal information from my computer. Good luck!