A Cookbook Conspiracy
Bibliophile Mystery, #7
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: New American Library
Date of Publication: June 4, 2013
Number of pages: 312
Cover Artist: Spring Hoteling
It’s a recipe for disaster when bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright is asked to restore an antique cookbook….
Brooklyn has always been a little obsessed with food, but it was her sister Savannah who became a chef, graduating from the prestigious Cordon Bleu school in Paris. She and her classmates all went on to successful careers, but none of them achieved culinary superstardom like Savannah’s ex-boyfriend Baxter Cromwell.
When Baxter invites the old gang to participate in his new restaurant’s gala opening in San Francisco, Savannah looks forward to seeing her friends, and even asks Brooklyn to restore a tattered cookbook—an old gift from Baxter—as a present for him. But Brooklyn immediately recognizes that the book, which has strange notes and symbols scrawled in the margins, is at least two hundred years old. She thinks that it probably belongs in a museum, but Savannah insists on returning it to Baxter.
Shortly after receiving the gift, Baxter is found dead, with Savannah kneeling over him, bloody knife in hand, and the rare cookbook has disappeared. Brooklyn knows her sister didn’t kill him, and she suspects the missing cookbook might lead to the real villain. Now Brooklyn will have to turn up the heat on the investigation before Chef Savannah finds herself slinging hash in a prison cafeteria.
This series takes me back to the beginning of this very blog. My review of Homicide in Hardcover, the first book in the Bibliophile Mystery series was one of the first on my blog. Okay, it was technically the fourth review I did. Back in the days when I had zero followers and was writing them for myself. No schedule, just randomly posting. I wasn't even giving them ratings. And now look, book 6 in the series and 2 exciting years later. We've both come a long way.
It has been awhile since I last spent time with Brooklyn. But it was very easy to catch back up and I enjoyed visiting with her. This time it wasn't Brooklyn who found a dead body, but her younger sister Savannah. In an eerily similar manner to how Brooklyn found her first body in Homicide in Hardcover. Luckily for Savannah, Brooklyn was first on scene and able to be by Savannah's side. Plus she now not only has contacts she trusts, but the experience to know how the investigation will go.
I liked seeing how culinary challenged Brooklyn was and her failed experiments with making a syllabub (or as I like to think of it, drunk pudding). The clues and suspects were varied and kept me guessing and second guessing. Brooklyn's, and in reflection the author's, fascination and respect for old books continues to shine through the story. This was another wonderful addition to the series, and I really need to find the next book, The Book Stops Here, as it is out and available. I found this book a 4 star read.