Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Sifting Through Clues by Daryl Wood Gerber

Posted April 15, 2019 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, Daryl Wood Gerber, giveaway, mystery/suspense / 21 Comments


about the book

SERIES: A Cookbook Nook Mystery #8
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Beyond The Page Publishing
RELEASE DATE: April 23, 2019
PAGES: 235

The Agatha Award–winning author of Wreath Between the Lines returns to the Cookbook Nook, where culinary mysteries are giving everyone food for thought . . .

Book clubs from all over have descended on Crystal Cove to celebrate the library’s Book Club Bonanza week, and Jenna Hart has packed the Cookbook Nook with juicy reads and tasty cookbooks. But she’s most excited about spending an evening with the Mystery Mavens and their moveable feast, when they will go from house to house to share different culinary treats and discuss the whodunit they’re all reading. It’s all good food and fun for the savvy armchair detectives, until one of the members of the group is found murdered at the last stop on the tour.

As if that weren’t enough to spoil her appetite, Jenna discovers that all the evidence points to her friend Pepper as being the guilty party. And with Pepper’s chief-of-police daughter too close to the case to be impartial, Jenna knows she’ll have to step in to help clear her friend’s name before a bitter injustice sends her to jail. Sifting through the clues, Jenna unearths any number of possible culprits, but she’ll have to cook up a new way to catch the killer before Pepper’s goose is cooked . . .

Includes tasty sweet and savory recipes!

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Other Books In This Series

Warning: reading this book while hungry may be hazardous to your health 😉

This is the first Cookbook Nook mystery that I’ve read, and I love the concept of a bookstore that caters to cookbooks and culinary fiction. Add the Nook Cafe next door, and I wish the shops were real! In fact, I have some suggestions for books that need to be stocked… but that’s for another post.

For starters, I really like the heroine Jenna. She has a good head on her shoulders and a kind heart. She’s a loyal friend, and she has a witty and compassionate spirit while also being tenacious and strong. And she does at least try to notify the police chief when new info pops up… Her sleuthing is smart and insightful, and it flows naturally with her character and the pace of the story. The friends and family that make up her circle are a combination of quirky, witty, sweet and sassy, and the myriad of their own ‘life issues’ keep the storyline layered and the mystery full of suspects & potential motives – all of which keeps readers reading until the end.

There is a bit of stopping the story for recipes or (what I feel is) overly detailed explanations of books or decorations, etc. While that is sort-of par for the course for a cozy mystery, this does bog down a book for me. I’d rather all of that superfluous stuff just be tacked on at the end where the recipes are anyway. I also didn’t care for the tarot card & crystal stuff, but once I sift through all of that, the story itself is entertaining and well-plotted. As with one of the books Jenna mentions in the book club, I was pretty sure I knew whodunit but I couldn’t figure out the whydunit. Story progression helped me put together a rough mental sketch of theories but I wasn’t 100% sure until the big reveal.

Bottom Line: Set in a quaint town full of eclectic characters with secrets to hide and personal drama to overcome, Sifting Through Clues will tantalize readers with yummy recipes and a list of books they will be adding to their TBR lists. They will root for Jenna as she balances running a successful specialty bookstore & cafe, a very pregnant best friend, a swoony fiance, a host of troubled friends, and a mystery she just can’t stay out of. While this is the 8th book in a series, it also works very well as a standalone novel. As an added bonus, I loved the nods to the author’s other series tucked into the story!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Great read!

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about the author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries.  As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

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Other Books by Daryl Wood Gerber


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This giveaway is hosted by Great Escapes VBT, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour HERE

What about you? Do you have a favorite cookbook?

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21 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Sifting Through Clues by Daryl Wood Gerber

  1. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for your review and for being part of the book tour for “Sifting Through Clues” by Daryl Wood Gerber.

    Always enjoy this author’s books! I’ve had this one on my radar since I first heard about it and can’t wait for the opportunity to read it.

    Great cover!

    • Kay Garrett

      My favorite cookbook is the one that I made. Right after our daughter died and needing something to occupy my brain and time, I decided it was time to get family recipes down on paper. I was able to get my families tried and true and much loved recipes written down (some for the first time ever). This meant standing by my Mom lots of times as she shook spices in her hand and then measuring them before they went into the pot. I was able to get a lot of recipes that my grand and great-grandmother had handed down before Alzheimer would have prevented Mom from sharing them.

      That year for Christmas I made 3 large three ring binders into cookbooks. I put all the typed recipes into protective sleeve a lot with photos. Then I use references from a lot of other cookbooks for hints on cooking, interesting things like what symbols were used for different anniversaries and then some family stories. The first page is a dedication to our daughter. I used two of the cookbooks as gifts to people I knew would cherish them as much as I do mine.

      It’s a cookbook that I use often because as you get older you have to verify amounts and ingredients. 🙂

  2. KellyL

    I have an original copy of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book that has been in my family forever that I love to refer to. It not only has great recipes, but so many family memories.

  3. Gloria A

    I don’t have a certain cookbook that is exclusive to my use…a couple of local cookbooks as well as Better Homes and Gardens is a go to for standard look ups. I have several years of Southern Living books with special recipes in also.

  4. Faith Creech

    Still use my Betty Crocker cookbook my mom gave me when we got married 41 years ago. Such a good standby!! Love your books! Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  5. Daryl Wood Gerber

    Faith, Rita, Gloria, and Kelly, so lovely to see you stop by on this tour. Love your cookbook selections. ~ Daryl

  6. anne

    My favorite cookbook is A Treasure for My Daughter which I was given when I was engaged. Wonderful.

  7. Linda May

    In my life I used a Good Housekeeping book that was a very thick one full of all these amazing & easy recipes. Thanks for the chance at this awesome giveaway.

  8. Kara Marks

    I wouldn’t say I have a favorite cookbook, but recipes in my mom’s handwriting mean a lot, since she’s been gone so long. Can’t wait to read this!

  9. SARAH TAYLOR

    Still use my Betty Crocker cookbook I have had for years since all my children was young ! This book sounds like an amazing book Thank you for the amazing giveaway!

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