Grilling The SubjectI’m so excited. The Wild West Extravaganza has come to town. The extravaganza will be family-friendly as well as animal-friendly. Yes, there will be rodeo events but no steer wrestling and no bulldogging. There will be horse races, rope jumping, stunt fighting, and more.

As for me, I’m up to my elbows decorating at The Cookbook Nook with the most darling things: gingham aprons, western-themed cookie jars, salt- and peppershakers that look like boots. And you won’t believe the cookbooks I’ve found! For example, one is My Prairie Cookbook written by Melissa Gilbert of Little House on the Prairie fame. Fun, right? I know a bunch of moms in town who were fans of that show, way back when. They’ll love it. I’ve brought in lots of specialty books, too, like a cowboy hat tabletop book and Every Cowgirl Loves a Rodeo.

Did I mention I’m up to my elbows in barbecue sauce and zesty spices, too? Well, actually, Katie, our chef, is, but ribsI’m an official taste tester. You should taste her dry-rub ribs. They’ll be available on the menu all week long. Plus, get this, there’s going to be a food truck event and the café is participating. Katie is making mini sliders. Yum! And an old friend of mine, Shane Maverick, who I worked with at Taylor & Squibb Advertising is now in charge of the event! I hear he makes a dynamite barbecue sauce.

However. . .and yes, there’s a however . . .in addition to all the excitement, I’ve been feeling some heebie-Tiggerjeebies. There’s no other word for it. I feel like I’m being watched. Or the shop is. My sweet ginger cat Tigger doesn’t seem concerned, so I should probably take my cue from him, but I can’t. I think I’m seeing little things, like maybe the glint of binoculars? I know, call me crazy. Who would want to watch me? I live a normal life in a small town on the coast of California. It’s not like I’m spy material. I have no secrets.

On that note, I’m a little worried about my father, too. Not because I feel someone is watching him. It’s because he has an ongoing feud with his neighbor, Sylvia. She owns a jewelry shop called Sterling Sylvia. People from all over the globe come to the shop for special pieces. Usually Sylvia has good taste, but as it turns out, she has none in the house department. She has junked up her house, which sits directly below my dad’s, and now she’s commandeering a piece of land that my father and other neighbors mutually own. Needless to say, tempers are flaring!

Dad’s better half, Lola (she was my mom’s best friend and is like a second mother to me) – anyway, Lola is a voice of reason, and I’m sure she’ll keep Dad and the others in check. They shouldn’t need me to intercede.

At least I hope they won’t. But if they do, you know me, family comes first. Always.


Grilling the Subject is the fifth book in the Cookbook Nook mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, August 2016.

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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About the author
Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author Daryl Wood Gerber also writes the bestselling Cheese Shop Mysteries as Avery Aames and recently penned her first suspense novel, Girl On The Run.

Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote“. In addition, she has jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and hitchhiked around Ireland by herself. She absolutely adores Lake Tahoe, where Girl On The Run is set, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky.

Visit Daryl at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Grilling the Subject plus swags. US and Canadian entries only, please. The giveaway will end August 4, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

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