Poaching Is Puzzling: A Cookbook Nook Mystery
by Daryl Wood Gerber
Poaching Is Puzzling: A Cookbook Nook Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – California
Beyond the Page Publishing (April 25, 2023)
Paperback : 264 pages
ISBN-10 : 1960511149
ISBN-13 : 978-1960511140
Digital ASIN : B0C1HDCTC6
In the cutthroat world of crossword solvers, Jenna Hart will have to decipher some puzzling clues to catch a killer . . .
The annual crossword puzzle contest has drawn contestants from near and far to Crystal Cove, and Jenna watches in amazement as puzzle-themed books fly off the shelves at the Cookbook Nook. Her aunt Vera is putting up a sizable cash prize, and no one is more surprised than Jenna to discover there’s bad blood between Vera and the prominent puzzle constructor who’s acting as master of ceremonies. And when the puzzle guru has his throat slit while he’s out hiking, the police instantly peg Aunt Vera as the culprit.
Jenna can’t stand by and watch her aunt take the fall. It’s been clear since the victim arrived that he had contentious relationships with a number of the contestants—even going so far as to steal puzzles from some of them and claim them as his own—and Jenna’s certain one of them is the killer. Trading puzzle solving for crime solving, she sorts through the convoluted clues and cryptic suspects, hoping to nab the guilty party before they decide she’s a problem they’ll solve with another murder . . .
Includes mouthwatering recipes!
Jenna Hart has stocked her Cookbook Nook with a variety of puzzle-themed books, aprons, cookie jars, and other culinary items, for the large group of crossword puzzle fans who have come to Crystal Cove for an annual crossword puzzle tournament. Her Aunt Vera has a history with the event’s guest speaker “crossword designer extraordinaire” Wesley Preston but is keeping mum about the details. “A memory best forgotten.” That is until the man is killed and Vera is at the top of the suspect list.
Now Jenna has her own puzzle to solve. She has seen that the man doesn’t get along well with others with her own eyes including people in his own entourage. She has learned that the Cruciverbalist has no issue with stealing puzzles created by others and touting them as his own. She just needs to pull all the clues together to reveal the real killer, who is definitely not her Aunt Vera, but she has to be careful so that she is not permanently erased before she has a chance to do that.
What a fun theme for a cozy mystery! Readers get a behind-the-scenes look at designing crossword puzzles complete with some perfect words to use in each chapter heading. I may even try my hand a crafting a crossword or two.
All my favorite characters from the previous books are back. Jenna and Rhett are living in “wedded bliss”. Vera is very involved in the crossword event. She even donated a nice cash prize. Kate is cooking away and doing food demonstrations. Bailey keeps the Cookbook Nook running with a smile while Jenna and Vera are doing other things. Cinnamon is always busy trying to catch a killer but knows people just tell Jenna things they would never tell police. Tigger who sometimes acts more like a dog than a cat loves hanging out at the Nook on his kitty condo. Rook is always happy to welcome Jenna and Rhett at the end of their days and is thrilled to take walks on the beach. Ms. Gerber has created such genuine characters. As soon as you open the book it feels like you are visiting dear friends.
The mystery she wraps her characters in is quite puzzling, LOL. There are plenty of suspects, twists, turns, and moments of distraction, along with great clues for readers to follow. This all leads up to a very exciting ending as all the clues fall into place for Jenna at a most inopportune time. As the drama played out I found myself scooting closer and closer to the end of my seat. The guilty party was high on my personal suspect list but was still surprised and a little saddened when they were revealed.
I love that Ms. Gerber shares an abundance of recipes at the end of each book including Gluten Free Versions. It is always best not to read her books on an empty stomach. Her food descriptions will cause cravings, so be prepared.
Poaching is Puzzling is so well-written and well-plotted. It was fun and entertaining and I am so excited to see what the author comes up with next for her wonderful characters.
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About Daryl Wood Gerber
Agatha Award–winning and nationally bestselling author Daryl Wood Gerber is the author of the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, the Fairy Garden Mysteries, the French Bistro Mysteries, the Cheese Shop Mysteries (as Avery Aames), the Aspen Adams Novels of Suspense, and two other stand-alone suspense thrillers. Little known facts about Daryl are that she’s jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, has hitchhiked around Ireland by herself, and has appeared on an episode of Murder, She Wrote. She loves to read, cook, and golf, and has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!
Great Escapes Praise for Poaching Is Puzzling:
A Cookbook Nook Mystery
by Daryl Wood Gerber
I highly recommend Poaching is Puzzling! It’s got everything a good cozy mystery needs: wonderful characters, a well-plotted mystery with an intriguing theme, delicious-sounding food (with recipes!), and a satisfying conclusion. I think you’ll love it as much as I did!
~Christy’s Cozy Corners
Bottom Line: Poaching is Puzzling by Daryl Wood Gerber is an enjoyable addition to this popular cozy mystery series! Charming and entertaining, this is another must-read from this author!
~Reading is my Superpower
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”