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Grilling the Subject

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Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of Fudging the Books.   As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of Fudging the Books.   As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of her father’s neighbors is found the next morning smoldering in a bonfire, the rodeo revelry is extinguished.   Sylvia Gump had acquired plenty of enemies with her practice of illegally encroaching on her neighbors’ properties—including Jenna’s dad, who was off fishing by himself and has no alibi for the murder. Now it’s up to Cary Hart’s dutiful daughter to clear his name before the real killer turns up the heat and rakes someone else over the coals...


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Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of Fudging the Books.   As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of Fudging the Books.   As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of her father’s neighbors is found the next morning smoldering in a bonfire, the rodeo revelry is extinguished.   Sylvia Gump had acquired plenty of enemies with her practice of illegally encroaching on her neighbors’ properties—including Jenna’s dad, who was off fishing by himself and has no alibi for the murder. Now it’s up to Cary Hart’s dutiful daughter to clear his name before the real killer turns up the heat and rakes someone else over the coals...

30 review for Grilling the Subject

  1. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    The best thing about this series is that whoever the murderer is, or how easy was it to guess correctly the culprit's identity, it does not spoil the enjoyment of the series. It took me time to go through this particular book, but whenever I came back to the novel, it was as if there wasn't a break in the reading experience. The most frustrating aspect of the books were the recipes. Half the ingredients in the recipes cannot be readily found in my country. These 3 stars, that I award my beloved co The best thing about this series is that whoever the murderer is, or how easy was it to guess correctly the culprit's identity, it does not spoil the enjoyment of the series. It took me time to go through this particular book, but whenever I came back to the novel, it was as if there wasn't a break in the reading experience. The most frustrating aspect of the books were the recipes. Half the ingredients in the recipes cannot be readily found in my country. These 3 stars, that I award my beloved cosies, are positive ratings. Please bear that in mind. The heroine has little clues going on but the wrongdoer helped her in a comically transparent manner. That was funny. I strongly recommend this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James

    Grilling the Subject is the fifth book in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries written by Daryl Wood Gerber. I've read several other series by the author, plus the previous books in the series, and I'm planning to catch up to the current one before this fall. In this latest installment, Jenna Hart, a California coastal town bookshop/cafe owner, solves crimes in her spare time. When her father is accused of murder after a ruthless property owner tries to cause problems for a group of neighbors, Jenna want Grilling the Subject is the fifth book in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries written by Daryl Wood Gerber. I've read several other series by the author, plus the previous books in the series, and I'm planning to catch up to the current one before this fall. In this latest installment, Jenna Hart, a California coastal town bookshop/cafe owner, solves crimes in her spare time. When her father is accused of murder after a ruthless property owner tries to cause problems for a group of neighbors, Jenna wants to clear him of any suspicion. Sylvia Gump, what a name for the dead woman, was obnoxious, but apparently some men (not withstanding her husband) found her attractive enough to fool around with. Realtors were trying to get her out of the neighborhood. Neighbors didn't like the secrets she kept about them. Which person finally had enough and killed her, then tried to cover it up with the beginnings of a fire? Definitely not Jenna's dad, but too many people look guilty. Jenna weeds her way through the details, all the while supporting the Wild West Festival that's come to town. Plus, someone from her past with a terrible tragedy, knocks on her door unexpectedly. Oh, there were a few tears in this book. I really enjoyed the shock that came this time. I knew it would happen at some point, but I hadn't expected it in such a complex story already happening with the murder mystery. It all comes to a complicated conclusion, but it really helps transition the book and Jenna toward her future. I'm excited to see what happens in the next installment, and I've already ordered a copy. Onward we go...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I gorged myself on this latest installment in the Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber. But it didn't fill me up; I want more! Our heroine Jenna Hart is hard at work getting her specialty bookstore ready for the Wild West Extravaganza in the charming Californian town of Crystal Cove. Quickly things turn deadly, and with no alibi AND an ax to grind against the victim, Jenna's father is the prime suspect. It's up to Jenna to clear her father's name and find out who really did the dirty deed. I gorged myself on this latest installment in the Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber. But it didn't fill me up; I want more! Our heroine Jenna Hart is hard at work getting her specialty bookstore ready for the Wild West Extravaganza in the charming Californian town of Crystal Cove. Quickly things turn deadly, and with no alibi AND an ax to grind against the victim, Jenna's father is the prime suspect. It's up to Jenna to clear her father's name and find out who really did the dirty deed. I love cozy mysteries like this: lots of subtle clues that keep you guessing, interesting and quirky characters, just the right amount of romance, and lots of yummy food! Rich and witty and light on the fluff, Grilling the Subject checks all my cozy boxes. It's full of detail and charm and suspense. This is my first trip to the charming Crystal Cove but it won't be my last. I usually read cozy series in order but I made an exception since I was lucky to win a copy of this book from the author (*Thank you, Daryl! Truly wonderful read!*) I'm glad I jumped head first into this series and now I want all the back story! In fact I've already ordered up the first book in the series, Final Sentence. I highly recommend this one to all cozy mystery fans or anyone looking for a good, tasty, satisfying read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I must be honest and admit that the Wild West theme in Grilling the Subject did not excite me, but the Cookbook Book Nook Mysteries being one of my favorite series, I had to read it. All the barbecue and ranch style food that chef Katie was cooking up in the The Nook Cafe kitchen had my mouth watering not to mention the the Grilling themed cookbook titles mentioned that were on display in the Cookbook Nook Shop, had me salivating Jenna Hart helps her aunt Vera run a culinary cookbook shop in Crys I must be honest and admit that the Wild West theme in Grilling the Subject did not excite me, but the Cookbook Book Nook Mysteries being one of my favorite series, I had to read it. All the barbecue and ranch style food that chef Katie was cooking up in the The Nook Cafe kitchen had my mouth watering not to mention the the Grilling themed cookbook titles mentioned that were on display in the Cookbook Nook Shop, had me salivating Jenna Hart helps her aunt Vera run a culinary cookbook shop in Crystal Cove California, The Cookbook Nook. Everyone is excited for the Wild West Extravaganza complete with horse races, rope jumping and more. Shane Maverick used to work with Jenna in advertiseing before she came to Crystal Cove. He is now a promoter for the Wild West Extravaganza. He is in a property dispute with a local named Sylvia after Shane had moved across the street from her from the local land owner. Sylvia is murdered after her house caught on fire and she was stabbed with a implement sold at her shop. Sylvia was not well liked among the locals in the area including Jenna's father,Cary after he complained about loud noise from one of Sylvia's many parties. When Cary is accused of the murder Jenna stops at nothing to try to rope in the killer even with a chilling secret coming back to haunt her that could possibly jeprodize her relationship with her current boyfriend, Rhett. I always antisipate the themes in every Cookbook Nook mystery although this one didn't thrill me the BBQ dishes and the murder never failed to keep me interested. The unbeliveable drama in Jenna's life along with the murder made Grilling the Subject a page turner, Shane was a new down right arogoant character that you love to hate. I look forward to reading and reviewing the next book in this series. FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author or Net Galley for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book are our own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    I am enjoying this cozy series by Ms. Gerber. The setting in the small beach community is a delight and the characters are likeable. I'm patiently waiting for my library to get the next book in the series. I am enjoying this cozy series by Ms. Gerber. The setting in the small beach community is a delight and the characters are likeable. I'm patiently waiting for my library to get the next book in the series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chatting About

    In the fifth book in this mouthwatering cozy series, Jenna, owner of The Cookbook Nook, has stocked the shelves with books themed for the local Wild West Extravaganza and they're selling like hotcakes. Barbeque, grilling, smoking--any kind of cowboy recipe is available. Jenna's father, Cary, retired FBI man; is on the outs with a neighbor, Sylvia Gump, who insists on throwing frequent outdoor cookouts with loud music despite the protests of himself and several other close neighbors. After Cary a In the fifth book in this mouthwatering cozy series, Jenna, owner of The Cookbook Nook, has stocked the shelves with books themed for the local Wild West Extravaganza and they're selling like hotcakes. Barbeque, grilling, smoking--any kind of cowboy recipe is available. Jenna's father, Cary, retired FBI man; is on the outs with a neighbor, Sylvia Gump, who insists on throwing frequent outdoor cookouts with loud music despite the protests of himself and several other close neighbors. After Cary and Sylvia have a heated argument, Sylvia's body is found skewered and smoking in her own backyard, and her husband insists he saw Cary running from the scene. Author Daryl Wood Gerber knows how to pen a lively and engaging plot from page one. The foods sampled by the characters throughout the story will make your tummy growl and recipes at the end of the book are an added bonus just for you. Lasso your copy of this book for several hours of reading entertainment! FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Crystal Cove is celebrating all things western, and Jenna and the Cookbook Nook are joining in by promoting BBQ. However, things take a tragic turn when one of Jenna’s father’s neighbors turns up dead in a bonfire. With her father a prime suspect, Jenna must find a way to clear his name. I truly love the different themes we get in this series, each one adds a unique flavor to the story. The characters are fabulous as well, and they definitely feel like old friends here. Toss in a plots with plent Crystal Cove is celebrating all things western, and Jenna and the Cookbook Nook are joining in by promoting BBQ. However, things take a tragic turn when one of Jenna’s father’s neighbors turns up dead in a bonfire. With her father a prime suspect, Jenna must find a way to clear his name. I truly love the different themes we get in this series, each one adds a unique flavor to the story. The characters are fabulous as well, and they definitely feel like old friends here. Toss in a plots with plenty of suspects and twists and you’ve got the recipe for another winner. NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carmen Slaughter

    I received a copy of this release in exchange for a book review. I had not read any of the previous titles in the series so I was intrigued by the premise but anxious about diving in at book five. The author does a great job of including enough backstory to make the characters familiar without spoiling the potential to revisit the earlier books. In this outing, the residents of Crystal Cove are participating in the Wild West Extravaganza. Jenna is looking forward to the festivities and the food I received a copy of this release in exchange for a book review. I had not read any of the previous titles in the series so I was intrigued by the premise but anxious about diving in at book five. The author does a great job of including enough backstory to make the characters familiar without spoiling the potential to revisit the earlier books. In this outing, the residents of Crystal Cove are participating in the Wild West Extravaganza. Jenna is looking forward to the festivities and the food but can’t shake a feeling of menace in the air. Her father is one of several neighbors at odds with Sylvia Gump because of her obnoxious behavior and unscrupulous business dealings. When she is murdered Jenna’s dad is one of the suspects and she is determined to prove his innocence. There is also a subplot regarding Jenna’s past and her current romance which kept me engaged. This was a fun read with just the right blend of humor and suspense. The relationships between the characters is believable and I got hungry several times with the great culinary descriptions. I really enjoyed GRILLING THE SUBJECT and I am thrilled there are four other titles for me to read while I wait for another entry into this fun series!

  9. 4 out of 5

    AngryGreyCat

    This is book number 5 in the Cookbook Nook Mystery Series, Grilling the Subject. The sleuth, Jenna Hart, finds herself investigating the death of an obnoxious neighbor to clear her father. Along with the murder investigation, a Wild West Extravaganza is in town adding to the drama, Bailey is in the midst of wedding planning, Jenna and Rhett’s own relationship is heating up, and finally, is someone following Jenna? If so, why? The murder plot is well done and has plenty of suspects and clues to ke This is book number 5 in the Cookbook Nook Mystery Series, Grilling the Subject. The sleuth, Jenna Hart, finds herself investigating the death of an obnoxious neighbor to clear her father. Along with the murder investigation, a Wild West Extravaganza is in town adding to the drama, Bailey is in the midst of wedding planning, Jenna and Rhett’s own relationship is heating up, and finally, is someone following Jenna? If so, why? The murder plot is well done and has plenty of suspects and clues to keep you guessing, but Jenna’s personal life is equally important in this outing in this series. Jenna Hart has shown a great deal of character growth since this series began, as have some of the other recurring characters. It has been a lovely series to read and get to know the characters over the course of time. Highly recommended cozy mystery read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Taryn

    A Wild Ride Ride along with Jenna Hart while she delights in the Wild West Extravaganza, tries to solve a murder, and works through some relationship issues. This 5th book in Gerber's Cookbook Nook series is a definite page turner that keeps you on your toes the whole way through. Jenna is such a down to earth character you will treasure getting to know her and through her, some fantastic friends and family. This lovely series is filled with a huge variety of cookbooks, eccentric characters, tast A Wild Ride Ride along with Jenna Hart while she delights in the Wild West Extravaganza, tries to solve a murder, and works through some relationship issues. This 5th book in Gerber's Cookbook Nook series is a definite page turner that keeps you on your toes the whole way through. Jenna is such a down to earth character you will treasure getting to know her and through her, some fantastic friends and family. This lovely series is filled with a huge variety of cookbooks, eccentric characters, tasty recipes, plus an awesome cat named Tigger. Gerber has yet to disappoint and I always look forward to her next story!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Baker

    Jenna Hart is excited about the upcoming Wild West Extravaganza that is coming to her home of Crystal Cove, CA. With food and activities galore it promises to be a fun time but when her father's neighbor is murdered and he becomes a suspect Jenna turns her focus to clearing his name. Once you get into this story you won't be able to but it down. All the twists and turns and a BIG surprise will keep you enthralled to the very end. This is book #5 in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series but could be rea Jenna Hart is excited about the upcoming Wild West Extravaganza that is coming to her home of Crystal Cove, CA. With food and activities galore it promises to be a fun time but when her father's neighbor is murdered and he becomes a suspect Jenna turns her focus to clearing his name. Once you get into this story you won't be able to but it down. All the twists and turns and a BIG surprise will keep you enthralled to the very end. This is book #5 in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series but could be read as a stand alone.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    : The theme of this book was the wild west and all things barbecued. Jenna's father is accused of murder when a witness swears they saw him running away from a fire where a body was found. Jenna investigates to try and prove her fathers innocence. She also deals with her former advertising coworker who had a dispute with the victim. This wasn't one of my favorites from the cookbook nook series. I had a hard time getting into it and the mystery aspect didn't really hold my attention. I was more i : The theme of this book was the wild west and all things barbecued. Jenna's father is accused of murder when a witness swears they saw him running away from a fire where a body was found. Jenna investigates to try and prove her fathers innocence. She also deals with her former advertising coworker who had a dispute with the victim. This wasn't one of my favorites from the cookbook nook series. I had a hard time getting into it and the mystery aspect didn't really hold my attention. I was more interested in what was going on with Jennas personal life.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    It's Wild West Extravaganza days in Crystal Cove, and The Cookbook Nook Cafe is participating with a host of wonderful "Cowboy Food" items! However, when a rather nasty woman turns up dead in a bonfire, and Jenna's father is the chief suspect, the party is over so far as Jenna is concerned. She WILL find out who this killer is, and clear her father's name! It's Wild West Extravaganza days in Crystal Cove, and The Cookbook Nook Cafe is participating with a host of wonderful "Cowboy Food" items! However, when a rather nasty woman turns up dead in a bonfire, and Jenna's father is the chief suspect, the party is over so far as Jenna is concerned. She WILL find out who this killer is, and clear her father's name!

  14. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    http://openbooksociety.com/article/gr... Grilling the Subject Cookbook Nook Mystery, Book #5 By Daryl Wood Gerber ISBN13: 9780425279410 Author website: http://www.darylwoodgerber.com Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt Synopsis: Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of Fudging the Books. As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite fo http://openbooksociety.com/article/gr... Grilling the Subject Cookbook Nook Mystery, Book #5 By Daryl Wood Gerber ISBN13: 9780425279410 Author website: http://www.darylwoodgerber.com Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt Synopsis: Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of Fudging the Books. As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of her father’s neighbors is found the next morning smoldering in a bonfire, the rodeo revelry is extinguished. Sylvia Gump had acquired plenty of enemies with her practice of illegally encroaching on her neighbors’ properties—including Jenna’s dad, who was off fishing by himself and has no alibi for the murder. Now it’s up to Cary Hart’s dutiful daughter to clear his name before the real killer turns up the heat and rakes someone else over the coals… Review: Daryl Wood Gerber has another hit on her hands. Grilling the Subject is jam packed with suspects, shocking surprises and loads of cowboy fun. Crystal Cove, California is hosting the Wild West Extravaganza and things are about to get wild. Jenna Hart and her friends are ready to put on their spurs, practice their yeehaws and enjoy some serious grilled and barbecued treats. Before the festival starts though, it seems there is some trouble brewing in Jenna’s dad’s picturesque neighborhood. Sylvia Gump’s encroaching on Cary (Jenna’s dad) and the others and that is not even the half of it. Realtor Ava is trying to rally the troops to put a stop to it and Cary is all for it. Someone however puts a stop to Sylvia all together with. Unfortunately, Cary is a suspect and he does not have any witnesses to his alibi. Even though Jenna has no desire to get involved in the murder investigation, she does not see much progress from Cinnamon and the Crystal Cove police force. What’s a daughter to do? Sylvia was not well liked so there are suspects aplenty. Add in affairs, possible blackmail and more and Jenna is faced with more questions than answers. Jenna also thinks someone is following her. Is she just imagining things? Fires are not limited to the grills either Things get scary and heated and the suspect list is still full. Sylvia’s personality definitely did not make her any friends, at least not any female ones. Aunt Vera does a tarot card reading on Jenna, whether she wanted it or not. Let me just say, Vera is good. A real shocker comes in play and turns Jenna’s life on end. No spoilers here, but hang on to your cowboy hats. That just complicates matters for Jenna in her hunt to prove her dad’s innocence. The suspect list seems to grow instead of getting shorter the more she learns about the deceased and her life. I was well and truly shocked by some things in the latest installment of “Cookbook Nook Mysteries”. Grilling the Subject is as enjoyable as a deliciously marinated and well grilled steak. Hot off the grill, this read is fun, fast paced and full to the brim with enjoyment. I love the characters and the friendships. The story is exceptionally well written and the mystery kept me guessing. I do not think you have to read the others in this series to enjoy this one, but read them too. They are all wonderful. I would recommend this cozy to any foodies and lovers of a fun mystery. Jenna is a great protagonist and her family and friends are always entertaining. Sink your teeth into Grilling the Subject and be ready for a spicy treat! *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber is the fifth book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series. Jenna Hart and the town are getting ready for the Wild West Extravaganza that is coming to Crystal Cove. All the shops have decorated to reflect the wild west theme including Jenna’s The Cookbook Nook. Then Jenna finds out that the Shane Maverick is now running the WWE. They used to work together at Taylor and Squib Advertising in San Francisco. Shane is a type of guy that reminds you of a snake oil sa Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber is the fifth book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series. Jenna Hart and the town are getting ready for the Wild West Extravaganza that is coming to Crystal Cove. All the shops have decorated to reflect the wild west theme including Jenna’s The Cookbook Nook. Then Jenna finds out that the Shane Maverick is now running the WWE. They used to work together at Taylor and Squib Advertising in San Francisco. Shane is a type of guy that reminds you of a snake oil salesman (just what they do not need). Cary Hart, Jenna’s father and the other homeowners in the his neighborhood have been having difficulty with Sylvia Gump over some land. Sylvia is trying to take over other people’s property. Sylvia has taken to throwing loud parties (bands with electric guitars) and has even erected an ostentatious fountain (along with hedges and fences). Cary has a loud argument with Sylvia on the phone when she is setting up for another party. The next morning Sylvia is found dead by her fountain. Cary was out fishing at the time (by himself, of course) which means he has no alibi. Jenna will do whatever is necessary to clear her father off the suspect list (which considering Sylvia is quite long). Will Jenna be able to wrangle the real killer? Jenna has felt that someone is following her. She has only been able to see a shadowy figure. Who is it and why are the following her around town? Jenna is in for the shock of a lifetime when she discovers the individual’s true identity. Join Jenna as well as her family and friends for barbecue, iced tea, and other delectable delights in Grilling the Subject. Grilling the Subject is an entertaining novel. It has developed characters, a gorgeous setting in sunny California, and great descriptions of cookbooks. The book is easy to read and has a good pace. The book is 277 pages long and has some recipes from Katie, Jenna, and Bailey at the end (with their comments). I give Grilling the Subject 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). The mystery will lead you on a merry chase, but I thought it was easy to solve (I read a lot of mysteries and love solving them). I was surprised by the person who is following Jenna. It was a great twist. While this is the fifth book in the series, it can be read alone (the author gives the reader’s Jenna’s backstory to catch them up). I do, though, highly recommend you go and read the other four books when you get a chance (if you have not enjoyed them yet). I look forward to the next A Cookbook Nook Mystery (and any other books by Daryl Wood Gerber). I received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review. The opinions and comments expressed above are strictly my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Welcome to Crystal Cove! Just in time for the Wild West Extravaganza! Jenna is excited about all the tourists arriving and the new people coming into the Cookbook Nook. But grilling isn’t only happening at the festival. Sylvia Gump has been found dead in a bonfire on property shared with her neighbors. Including Jenna’s dad! He was seen in the area and is the prime suspect. Jenna is burning around town trying to prove what everybody knows, that he is no killer! She intends to Dollycas’s Thoughts Welcome to Crystal Cove! Just in time for the Wild West Extravaganza! Jenna is excited about all the tourists arriving and the new people coming into the Cookbook Nook. But grilling isn’t only happening at the festival. Sylvia Gump has been found dead in a bonfire on property shared with her neighbors. Including Jenna’s dad! He was seen in the area and is the prime suspect. Jenna is burning around town trying to prove what everybody knows, that he is no killer! She intends to grill anyone that could have killed the woman. Lord knows she had plenty of enemies! Another spectacular addition to this series! Daryl Wood Gerber creates such wonderful characters. They are fun, engaging and so entertaining. I love the way the couples are evolving but this time a surprise visitor to Crystal Cove could throw a huge twist into one of the relationships. I don’t want to spoil anything but the author had my emotions running out of control from mad to sad, and everywhere in between. I even had to reach for a tissue. To me that is the test of a great story. It is more than following the clues and figuring out the guilty party. If the story really makes you feel something, it is a story that will hold you beyond the final page. It is for this reason I recommend this series be read in order. You need to see how everything began. That being said the mystery part of this story is well written and plotted as well. So many suspects and so many people withholding bits and pieces of the truth. As the pages continued I thought “Are we ever going to pin the right person down?” Then there was the “aha moment” and I realized I had missed some key clues. This author is a master at doing that to me. I hone on something so interesting that I forget to keep track of the details. One part of this book that I really enjoyed is the location and not just sunny California. Jenna’s father and his neighbors all own a small piece of property that connects their lots. It is a place to gather and enjoy each other’s company. Sadly Sylvia Gump didn’t realize what a treasure this was and abused it terribly. Others also didn’t appreciate it fully either. This is a fantastic idea and I wish more communities would have places like this. In the days when everyone want to put up fences and walls it is refreshing to have community places like this. Years ago I lived in a place where there was a park complete with playground equipment where the neighbors would congregate while their children played, even having cookouts and picnics. What a great way to build a true friendships both for the adults and the kids. I loved everything about this story! The worst part is now waiting for the next book in the series. Write fast Daryl!! I can hardly wait!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    “Grilling the Subject” is the 5th book in the Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber. This was actually the first one of that series that I had read, but I enjoyed it enough that I have since gone back and read the rest of the books in this series. Once again, I find myself wishing Goodreads and Amazon and some of the others would allow additional 1/2 star ratings. I would actually classify this book as a 4.5 out of 5. When I first started this book, I was immediately hooked by Jenna, Bailey, “Grilling the Subject” is the 5th book in the Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber. This was actually the first one of that series that I had read, but I enjoyed it enough that I have since gone back and read the rest of the books in this series. Once again, I find myself wishing Goodreads and Amazon and some of the others would allow additional 1/2 star ratings. I would actually classify this book as a 4.5 out of 5. When I first started this book, I was immediately hooked by Jenna, Bailey, Katie, Aunt Vera, Rhett and the whole cast of characters. They’re wonderful! They’re well-rounded individuals, they have their ups and downs like anyone, they’re realistic and they’re fabulous. This particular book finds our group and the town of Crystal Cove hosting the Wild West Extravaganza, a family-friendly, animal-friendly, Wild West style festival. While the festivities and the barbecue-themed foods occupy our heroine in her store and within the town, the murder in this book takes place away from the festival and its festivities. This murder once again has Jenna out looking for a murderer, this time because her own father has been accused at being at the scene! On top of all that, Jenna has her own surprise to deal with. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s a doozy! It shakes up life for Jenna and her friends for a good chunk of the book. This book kept me riveted. It had a fast-paced, well thought out plot line, enough surprises to keep you on your toes but not so many that you end up in a constant state of suspense, and fabulous characters. I had no idea who the killer was until just before the author revealed it, even then, I only had an inkling and still wasn’t completely sure, until it was revealed and solved. I highly recommend this book to any cozy mystery reader! Enjoy it! ** I received a free ecopy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review. My opinions and views are my own and were not influenced by this. ** Originally posted on: Valerie's Musings

  18. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Grilling The Subject is the fifth book in the A Cookbook Nook Mystery series. Jenna Hart is out for a power walk when she sees people pointing and waving their arms. When she follows where they are pointing to, she notices that something is on fire and once she gets her bearings, she realizes that is quite near where her father lives. Arriving at her father’s she sees that it is a fire pit, on property whose ownership is under dispute, and the firemen find the body of Sylvia Gump. The night befor Grilling The Subject is the fifth book in the A Cookbook Nook Mystery series. Jenna Hart is out for a power walk when she sees people pointing and waving their arms. When she follows where they are pointing to, she notices that something is on fire and once she gets her bearings, she realizes that is quite near where her father lives. Arriving at her father’s she sees that it is a fire pit, on property whose ownership is under dispute, and the firemen find the body of Sylvia Gump. The night before, Cary Hart, Jenna’s father, had a heated discussion with Gump over the ownership of the land. Mr. Hart had left early in the morning to go fishing, alone. Therefore, Mr. Hart becomes a suspect in the death of Gump. Jenna begins her own little investigation into why and who might have wanted Gump dead. She soon finds that Gump had been a pain to quite a few of the locals. Another neighbor, Ava Judge a realtor, who Gump had threatened to report for unethical business practices. Shane Maverick, the head of the Wild West Extravaganza, who had had an affair with her and wants that information not to get back to his very pregnant girlfriend. There also is another neighbor, D’Ann Davis, an actress, who had purchased some jewelry that was not what it was represented as being. In additions to worrying about her father being arrested, Jenna gets some information that might affect the budding romance with Rhett. Another exciting visit to Crystal Cove and it’s likable and friendly residents. Delicious recipes are also included in the book. Looking forward to the next book in this enjoyable series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Crystal Cove, California is hosting a Wild West Extravaganza. Texas skip, real stagecoaches such as the Henderson Mudwagon, Yellowstone coach and Wells Fargo are all represented!!! Plus plenty of Wild West food recipes popping up at all the eateries, food trucks and Cookbook Nook. Then a town resident is found murdered in a bonfire… Cary Hart, a neighbor becomes a suspect. Cary is Jenna Hart, the owner of the Cookbook Nook, father. So Jenna swings into action to prove his innocence. There is an interesti Crystal Cove, California is hosting a Wild West Extravaganza. Texas skip, real stagecoaches such as the Henderson Mudwagon, Yellowstone coach and Wells Fargo are all represented!!! Plus plenty of Wild West food recipes popping up at all the eateries, food trucks and Cookbook Nook. Then a town resident is found murdered in a bonfire… Cary Hart, a neighbor becomes a suspect. Cary is Jenna Hart, the owner of the Cookbook Nook, father. So Jenna swings into action to prove his innocence. There is an interesting array of suspicious characters. Each with their own reason to eliminate the victim. This keeps the plot interesting with all the twists and turns. Jenna has a notion that she is being followed or spied upon. Who could it be? Is it connected to her questioning about the murder? Jenna has discovered plenty of indiscretions among the town residents plus cufflinks and pieces of red fabric in the bonfire ruins. Is she a target?? Jenna has a cat named Tigger who features in this story. This is the fifth book in the Cookbook Nook Mystery Series. It can be read as a standalone. For a mouth-watering read with recipes at the end of the story, this is the book. Plus you will find a mix of adventure, suspense, mystery with a touch of romance. Thanks to the author via Facebook’s Cozy Mystery Review for the book. My opinion is my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    Jenna Hart left her advertising work to help her aunt run a cookbook store in a small town. The business seems to pay just enough and she is settled in with a gentleman friend, good neighbours and hearty recipes to learn. The town is staging a rodeo with a nice touch - animal friendly performances. As this will attract tourists the Santa Cruz-area town is going all out to grab passing trade including trail cooking and barbecues which are called grills. I've been noticing a trend in light crime t Jenna Hart left her advertising work to help her aunt run a cookbook store in a small town. The business seems to pay just enough and she is settled in with a gentleman friend, good neighbours and hearty recipes to learn. The town is staging a rodeo with a nice touch - animal friendly performances. As this will attract tourists the Santa Cruz-area town is going all out to grab passing trade including trail cooking and barbecues which are called grills. I've been noticing a trend in light crime to throw in a colourful spectacle but make it just background, unrelated to the murder. A murder occurs, sure enough related to town issues rather than running a rodeo. The wealthy owner of the jewellery store has been angering some locals with her plan to buy up all the empty houses in town. This does occur and on a much bigger scale, so it's quite topical. Jenna also has someone walk back into her life whom she never thought to see again. This major issue distracts her for a lot of the book so her smart aunt has to do some of the sleuthing. The atmosphere and location are well described and all characters feel very real. Enjoy the rodeo and the recipes. An ARC copy was sent to me for an unbiased review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Celia

    I enjoyed this book immensely -- from the Wild West Extravaganza, the wonderful barbecue recipes with cookbook references and cozy book recommendations, to, of course, a murder. The victim was disliked by many residents in the town of Crystal Cove, so there is no shortage of suspects. There are also some very unexpected twists and turns in the story as Jenna tries to exonerate her father of the crime and find the real killer. I really enjoyed my journey back to Crystal Cove and reconnecting with I enjoyed this book immensely -- from the Wild West Extravaganza, the wonderful barbecue recipes with cookbook references and cozy book recommendations, to, of course, a murder. The victim was disliked by many residents in the town of Crystal Cove, so there is no shortage of suspects. There are also some very unexpected twists and turns in the story as Jenna tries to exonerate her father of the crime and find the real killer. I really enjoyed my journey back to Crystal Cove and reconnecting with the characters who really have become like family to me. Jenna has really come into her own in this book and is a strong and vibrant protagonist. I highly recommend this book, and cannot wait for the next book to come out in Daryl Wood Gerber's wonderful Cookbook Nook series. I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    The fifth book in the series, I have not read the earlier books. I found an easy and relaxing read. The characters are well developed and the scenery easy to understand. Jenna Hart, Cook Nock owner, is concerned that her Father's neighbor, Salvia is found dead and the body burnt. Salvia had been encroaching on her neighbor's property and causing a disturbance in the area. Her Father who had run-ins with Salvia and has no alibi. There are a couple of subplots that add interest It is up that neatl The fifth book in the series, I have not read the earlier books. I found an easy and relaxing read. The characters are well developed and the scenery easy to understand. Jenna Hart, Cook Nock owner, is concerned that her Father's neighbor, Salvia is found dead and the body burnt. Salvia had been encroaching on her neighbor's property and causing a disturbance in the area. Her Father who had run-ins with Salvia and has no alibi. There are a couple of subplots that add interest It is up that neatly woven into the story. Jenna needs to find answers before her Father heads to jail. While I was able to follow this story. I feel this series needs to be read in order. Disclosure: I received a free copy from Berkley Publishing Group through NetGalley for an honest review. I would like to thank them for this opportunity to read and review the book. The opinions expressed are my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Grilling the Subject is the 5th in the Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber. I cannot say enough for Daryl's books including the amazing Cheese ShopMysteries. They just get better and better. In my opinion Grilling the Subject is the best in the entire series and that says something because I didn't think they could get any better! Jenna Hart owner of the Cookbook Nook and Nook Cafe finds herself in the midst of the Wild West Extravaganza when murder strikes. Her father, Cary's, neighbor Sy Grilling the Subject is the 5th in the Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber. I cannot say enough for Daryl's books including the amazing Cheese ShopMysteries. They just get better and better. In my opinion Grilling the Subject is the best in the entire series and that says something because I didn't think they could get any better! Jenna Hart owner of the Cookbook Nook and Nook Cafe finds herself in the midst of the Wild West Extravaganza when murder strikes. Her father, Cary's, neighbor Sylvia Gump is found dead and he becomes the prime suspect! With plenty of twists and turns this book is of a fast pace. I will say there is a twist about half way through the book that I know I have been waiting for and I appreciated it so much! Thank you Daryl for writing such and amazing series! Cannot wait to read more! I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Grilling The Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber is the 5th book in this wonderful series. Crystal Cove is celebrating a Wild West Extravaganza with lots of contests, activities, food tasting, stagecoach races and delicious recipes. A murder has occurred, Sylvia is found dead and this one becomes more personal to Jenna as her dad is a suspect. Jenna also has to think about her relationship with Rhett and her dead husband David in order to move forward. This story had twists and turns, plenty of suspects Grilling The Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber is the 5th book in this wonderful series. Crystal Cove is celebrating a Wild West Extravaganza with lots of contests, activities, food tasting, stagecoach races and delicious recipes. A murder has occurred, Sylvia is found dead and this one becomes more personal to Jenna as her dad is a suspect. Jenna also has to think about her relationship with Rhett and her dead husband David in order to move forward. This story had twists and turns, plenty of suspects to keep you guessing. Love Jenna's cat Tigger and his personality and being back in Crystal Cove with her friends and family. This is a great cozy that I would recommend. I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    This is a wonderful addition to a great series. Jenna Hart is a strong character and reading about her daily adventures is sure to put a smile on any reader's face. In Grilling the Subject, it's time for the Wild West Extravaganza in Crystal Cove and the delectable barbecued treats are bringing in the tourists. Local resident Sylvia Gump is a force to be reckoned with and has made plenty of enemies with her rude attitude and arrogant ways. When Sylvia's body is found in the remains of a fire, the This is a wonderful addition to a great series. Jenna Hart is a strong character and reading about her daily adventures is sure to put a smile on any reader's face. In Grilling the Subject, it's time for the Wild West Extravaganza in Crystal Cove and the delectable barbecued treats are bringing in the tourists. Local resident Sylvia Gump is a force to be reckoned with and has made plenty of enemies with her rude attitude and arrogant ways. When Sylvia's body is found in the remains of a fire, the suspect list is long, but heading the list is none other than Jenna's dad, Cary Hart. This story was so good, I couldn't believe all the twists and turns that were going on. The author really hit it out of the park with this whirlwind story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I really enjoyed reading Book #5 in this series and I appreciated how the story lines tied together and the creative alibis. Once again, the Cook Book Nook is complementing the town's big tourist activity with enticing foods in the store and at the cafe and tempting cookbooks (I love cookbooks!) for customers to browse and buy. Part of the pleasure of reading this book and others in the series is that the Cookbook Nook is a place where cookbook lovers and foodies and their children would love to I really enjoyed reading Book #5 in this series and I appreciated how the story lines tied together and the creative alibis. Once again, the Cook Book Nook is complementing the town's big tourist activity with enticing foods in the store and at the cafe and tempting cookbooks (I love cookbooks!) for customers to browse and buy. Part of the pleasure of reading this book and others in the series is that the Cookbook Nook is a place where cookbook lovers and foodies and their children would love to hangout. The core characters are all excellent and believable! I had delayed reading this a few years, because I thought it was going to be the last in the series. Happy;y for fans, Book #6 is coming this year!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    I received a digital copy of this book for my honest review from Netgalley and the author. This is another great book in this series. Jenna is bound and determined to figure out who killed Sylvia and to clear her father's name. So many people disliked her, and for good reasons! The characters and the town of Crystal Cove are all fun to get to know. The festivals that this small touristy town has are very interesting. Because of a certain surprising character showing up in this book, I do recommend I received a digital copy of this book for my honest review from Netgalley and the author. This is another great book in this series. Jenna is bound and determined to figure out who killed Sylvia and to clear her father's name. So many people disliked her, and for good reasons! The characters and the town of Crystal Cove are all fun to get to know. The festivals that this small touristy town has are very interesting. Because of a certain surprising character showing up in this book, I do recommend reading them in order.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    I love this series and this book did not disappoint. I have to say this was my favorite book in this series so far. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put it down. This book takes so many twists and turns, it kept me on the edge of my seat and I didn't want it to end. Jenna definitely went through a lot, but came out a stronger person because of it. If you love food, cats and people with a lot of personality, then this is the book and the series for you. I highly recommend it! I love this series and this book did not disappoint. I have to say this was my favorite book in this series so far. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put it down. This book takes so many twists and turns, it kept me on the edge of my seat and I didn't want it to end. Jenna definitely went through a lot, but came out a stronger person because of it. If you love food, cats and people with a lot of personality, then this is the book and the series for you. I highly recommend it!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I like this series setting - a Cookbook book store and cafe. BUT - there were way too many "What if he .." "What did that mean.." "Did she know that.." musings from the narrator throughout this book. It overwhelmed this one for me. I like this series setting - a Cookbook book store and cafe. BUT - there were way too many "What if he .." "What did that mean.." "Did she know that.." musings from the narrator throughout this book. It overwhelmed this one for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Really enjoy this series. The author has developed a number of quirky characters and always has interesting plots. Can't wait to finish this newest addition. Really enjoy this series. The author has developed a number of quirky characters and always has interesting plots. Can't wait to finish this newest addition.

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