Cook the Books by Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant is the fifth book in the “Gourmet Girls” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, March 2010

If you can’t stand the heat…

While in her second year of studying for her master’s in social work, Chloe Carter gets herself in a pickle by overindulging her beloved godson. To pay her bills, Chloe needs a part-time job.

Still smarting over the breakup with her boyfriend, Josh, who took a job as a personal chef in Hawaii, Chloe knows that assisting a cookbook writer may stir up painful memories. But the Gourmet Girl is desperate! While compiling a book of recipes from Boston’s top chefs, Chloe must deal with a lot of Josh’s friends, including the loudmouthed, but lovable, Digger. Still, she stays cool until she arrives at Digger’s apartment only to find the building—and Digger—thoroughly charred.

Chloe knows that Digger was too expert a chef to let a grease fire kill him. His death was not an accident—it was murder. Putting her feelings on the back burner, the Gourmet Girl sifts through the suspects. But as an executive chef with a thorny love life, Digger had enemies by the dozen on his plate. Finding a killer when everyone has a motive is hard enough. Matters will get even stickier if the tragedy brings Josh back to Boston—and back into Chloe’s life.

This was one of the best books in the series and I hate to see it go on hiatus. I loved that we’ve seen Chloe mature and gain a sense of her occupation as a social worker. Chloe takes a job as a cookbook writer to pay for her bills and when her friend’s place is engulfed in a fire with his body, Chloe thinks there’s more to this than an accidental grease fire. As she sifts through the clues, a lost love comes back into her life. This was an enjoyable and quick read. My rating: 4 stars

%d bloggers like this: