Inherit the Word (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
by Daryl Wood Gerber
Cover Artist: Teresa Fasolino
Review by Sherry Lilley
Berkley Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425258071
Date: 04 March 2014 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Jeanna Hart moved from San Francisco to Crystal Cove to start over. Recently widowed, she has decided to help her aunt run the culinary bookshop, The Cookbook Nook, and café, Nook Café, in her hometown. It's a very different life for her in a quieter, smaller community, with good friends and family nearby. She can get on with her life. Her job, running the bookstore, is very different from her high pressure advertising job in the big city. Life should be wonderful. But there are these pesky minor interruptions, like murder.
During the annual Grill Fest, held this year at The Cookbook Nook, one of the contestants is murdered. The first suspect is Lola. Yes, the competition is fierce. And yes, the murdered contestant and Lola, who was also a contestant, did have an argument shortly before the first round of competition. But Jenna loves Lola, who was as much a mother to her as her own after Jenna's mother died. And Lola is Bailey's mother, and Bailey is Jenna's best friend. Jenna, can't let Lola be accused, much less convicted, of a crime Jenna knows she could not possibly commit. So Jenna and Bailey, and Katie, the chef at the Nook Café and another close friend of Jenna’s, decide to do some looking around.
Adding to this little mystery is a surprise left behind by Jenna's deceased husband. The surprise is a cache of gold coins stashed in a statue of cat. Jenna found the surprise when her new kitten pushed the statute off a shelf and it broke. Where did the coins come from? And where, oh where, is her husband? His body was never found.
I don't care what name she writes under, it's always worth taking the time to read Ms. Greber's work. The setting is gorgeous, the characters are interesting, and the mystery is well done. The little bit of romance thrown in is enough to add interest to the characters, and not enough to be annoying. There is a little "woo woo" added in by Jenna's aunt who reads tarot cards and palms, and is a believer in the power of crystals.
One caution: the food she writes about will make you hungry. Fortunately, she provides a few recipes at the end of the book, as well as a few culinary hints throughout the book.