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Cooking the Books: A Sloane Templeton Mystery

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Great Christian Mystery

Once I picked up this captivating book, I could not put it down! It grabs you and compels you to keep reading.
Sloane Templeton has lost her Mom, and now has taken over running her Bookstore, along with Fifi her Mom's partner [another Colorful Character]. She has also ...
Once I picked up this captivating book, I could not put it down! It grabs you and compels you to keep reading.
Sloane Templeton has lost her Mom, and now has taken over running her Bookstore, along with Fifi her Mom's partner [another Colorful Character]. She has also begun a new relationship with a Greek Doctor..Andreas, having left a bad relationship with Trey [who doesn't seem to understand it is over!]
This story has it all, death threats and threatening messages, along with in person threats by people wanting her Mom's property. Also we meet delightful Aunt Verlene...the local Chef...who can't cook, and has regular visits from the fire department! There are also the Senior Group...at the gun range no less.
Add a very valuable antique book, and a couple of archaeological desperately wanting it!
I so enjoyed the subtle humor and the catchy phrases like "Fifi Andretti" or "Play Deputy Dawg", and "Red Velvet Hips".....are great and give you some chuckles. Also the nail biting end will keep you riveted! Enjoy!!

I received this book from Netgalley and the Publisher Abingdon Press. and was not required to give a positive review.

posted by MaureenST on April 18, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Main character is so annoying

I enjoyed the book...though i should have stopped reading it because Sloane was very annoying. I felt she was acting like an idiot half the time. I felt the author was trying too hard to be funny and things that should have been obvious for Sloane not to do she did itan...
I enjoyed the book...though i should have stopped reading it because Sloane was very annoying. I felt she was acting like an idiot half the time. I felt the author was trying too hard to be funny and things that should have been obvious for Sloane not to do she did itanyway. All in all, i read it mainly because i wanted to know how it was going to end.
This is one book i am not interested in reading again.

posted by LJayJust4Fun on August 4, 2012

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  • Posted April 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great Christian Mystery

    Once I picked up this captivating book, I could not put it down! It grabs you and compels you to keep reading.
    Sloane Templeton has lost her Mom, and now has taken over running her Bookstore, along with Fifi her Mom's partner [another Colorful Character]. She has also begun a new relationship with a Greek Doctor..Andreas, having left a bad relationship with Trey [who doesn't seem to understand it is over!]
    This story has it all, death threats and threatening messages, along with in person threats by people wanting her Mom's property. Also we meet delightful Aunt Verlene...the local Chef...who can't cook, and has regular visits from the fire department! There are also the Senior Group...at the gun range no less.
    Add a very valuable antique book, and a couple of archaeological desperately wanting it!
    I so enjoyed the subtle humor and the catchy phrases like "Fifi Andretti" or "Play Deputy Dawg", and "Red Velvet Hips".....are great and give you some chuckles. Also the nail biting end will keep you riveted! Enjoy!!

    I received this book from Netgalley and the Publisher Abingdon Press. and was not required to give a positive review.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2012

    I learned that Bonnie Calhoun had released her debut novel and I

    I learned that Bonnie Calhoun had released her debut novel and I had the privilege to review it, I was so excited! I have reviewed for Christian Fiction Blog Alliance under Bonnie's leadership for a few years now and can't say enough about Mrs. Bonnie. She keeps me laughing whether it's an email, or her hilarious Facebook posts! I KNEW her book was going to be nothing short of wonderful... and I was RIGHT ON!

    COOKING THE BOOKS is fabulous, funny, and filled with just the right amount of suspense! The mystery will keep you wondering and you will love each character from Sloane, her Aunt Verlene, her Greek boy-friend, Andreas, and all those who visit the bookstore. I highly recommend Cooking the Books! I CANNOT wait to read Bonnie's next book! I can tell she will definitely be one of my favorite authors for sure!

    Thank you Bonnie! You did good my friend! Sooo Good!

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2012

    Awesome Debut Thriller

    MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

    Sloane Templeton didn’t ask for all that was happening to her, but she had no choice but the accept it! Taking over Beckham’s Books and Brew after her moms death brought on some strange people in Sloane’s life. The store manager and the Granny Oakleys Book Club group was enough to deal with without having to eat Aunt Verline’s cooking, if that’s what you can call what she presented as food!

    In the first part of “Cooking the Books we also get to meet Sloane’s ex-boyfriend Trey, and there are reasons he is an ex. Also her new friend and attraction, the Greek boy Andreas Comino, which Trey is not happy about at all. And throughout the book we get to meet even more interesting and colorful character that were so well created by the author.

    Even though this is a debut novel, you will think Bonnie Calhoun has been writing books for a long time. Along with her wonderful and fun loving characters, well most of them, there is so much happening in this story and there are so many twists and turns you never know what is coming next.

    What makes this book so enjoyable for me is the way Bonnie inter-twines; the taking over a new business, grieving over a mom, inheriting quirky characters, a jerk ex-husband and an even bigger jerk ex-boyfriend, someone trying to kill you, and adds in a little romance, mystery, a feisty FiFi and, an aunt that can’t cook, and writes a story that will make you laugh, sometimes cry, and fall in love with Sloane as if she is your own daughter. It takes a good writer to have so much going on in a book and pull it all together and make it enjoyable.

    I highly recommend this book for you to read and enjoy. Run out and grab a copy, get a cup of Java and sit down for a nice, enjoyable, relaxing read with Sloane Templeton and “Cooking the Books”

    I want to thank Abingdon Press and Bonnie Calhoun for providing me a copy of this book. I have heard that Bonnie’s dream is to be an author, and I am so happy that she has fulfilled that dream. I look forward to many more books from Bonnie in the future. As much as Bonnie does with Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, Christian Fiction Online Magazine and all of the other things she does for the authors, readers and world of Christian fiction, it is an honor to be one of the reviewers for her debut novel.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Great new Christian Mystery Series

    Sloane Templeton leaves her high powered Cyber Crimes computer job to take over her Mother's book store after she suddenly dies. The store is located in a lovely, but 'safety challanged' old neighborhood, and is soon in 'demand' to be purchased by some shady characters.¿¿Sloan has some interesting characters of her own that she seems to have inherited with the book store. These include her store manager, who was her Mom's best friend and a feisty gun toasting 'book group' leader.¿¿Plus an aunt who sees herself as the next Top Chef, but she can't seem to keep her mind and her actions moving together----a multi client for the fire department.¿¿Add in a¿¿quirky group of old book lovers, or maybe they are more like the store's lookout possie for deterring trouble.¿¿And trouble Sloan does have!!

    Sloane choice of boyfriends/husbands is less than great.¿¿There are cyber terrorists threatening her, and a developer who wants her to 'get out of the building-NOW'.¿¿Even her business has thrown a hook in her new life, as the store apparently has a terribly expensive book available that a couple of men 'must have now'!

    So how does Sloan get herself out of all these dangerous and often hilarious situations?¿¿You will laugh, panic, pray, and most of all read faster and faster to see how she survives through it all.¿¿ This first book by Bonnie Calhoun is bound to be the first of many in this new series.¿¿If you like laughter , danger, and mysteries with just the right touch of Christianity, you'll love this book as much as I loved it!!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    Violet

    I enjoyed this book very much. With some comedy and mystery was well worth the read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2012

    Highly recommended for those who want tension while enjoying a light-hearted twist!

    The characters are quirky, the plot realistic, and the dialog great. This is a fun read while fulfilling all the need for action and tension.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    Very well done! A little slow at the beginning but well worth t

    Very well done! A little slow at the beginning but well worth the wait for a very good read. Can't wait for the next one!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2012

    Suspenseful and Satisfying! Highly Recommend!

    "Cooking the Books" is an enjoyable read that, although categorized as Christian fiction, is very mainstream and should appeal to both believers and non-believers alike. The catchy dialogue between the characters is intertwined with both old sayings and pop culture references. On one hand, it's a book about relationships--as Sloane comes to terms with her family, friends, and both past and present flames. On the other hand, it's a mystery as Sloane strives to figure out why her life is in danger. Both angles complement each other well and lead to a satisfying finale.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Bonnie Calhoun writes a delightful novel filled with real people

    Bonnie Calhoun writes a delightful novel filled with real people and real life. Sloane Templeton has inherited a book store with a zany manager. Calhoun's characters are a hoot! An example: the group of wacky senior citizens that meets in her bookstore but they don't read the books. When Sloane receives life-threatening messages on her computer the police become involved and Sloane tries to keep the incident a secret, which is impossible. With each page you wonder what will happen next to complicate Sloane's life. Calhoun writes thick tension but breaks it up with her lovable characters and their zany ways. The reader knows the criminal threat is dangerous, but enough laugh out loud moments keep the story from dragging. There is no sagging middle to this story. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Funny with enough suspense to make you shiver!

    Bonnie S. Calhoun is a master weaver of snarky humor and suspense. Cooking the Books is fast paced, laugh out loud funny with enough suspense to make you shiver. Sloane is an oxymoron: tough as nails on crime and injustice, yet her Aunt Verline and Fifi, her nutty store manager, manipulate her. Novel Rocket and I give it a high recommendation. It's a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2012

    Cooking The Books features Sloane Templeton. Sloane's mother has

    Cooking The Books features Sloane Templeton. Sloane's mother has passed, leaving her running a book store that she isn't sure what to do about. She lives in the building that is part of the book store, as did her mother. That both helps and complicates matters in various ways. Sloane knows next to nothing about running a book store. Before her mother died she was rather happy in the Cyber Crimes Unit at her former job. Now it seems her whole world is unraveling at a very fast pace.

    It's hard enough just to get her hair done in a righteous style while avoiding too much red velvet cake, much less trying to keep track of her Aunt Verline so she doesn't blow up herself or her home. Aunt Verline fancies herself as skilled as Julie Childs, but her dishes tend to make Sloane feel like she headed for the hospital, or maybe Fear Factor. But what else is one suppose to do with kin folk who need you?

    If that isn't enough to cope with, Sloane has a few unresolved past issues. An ex-husband, and ex-boyfriend, and a current boyfriend for starters. She has strange viruses or pop-ups taking over the store's computer as well. She has a lady who is in serious trouble from more than once source coming to the store almost daily, and Sloane has her mother's best friend Fifi helping her run the store as well. Dealing with what she is going through and what she has been through, Sloane has to decide where God still fits in her life. It isn't like she threw him away, just that things haven't been o.k. since her Mother died and her life began falling apart.

    Sloane soon finds herself in the middle of some major danger, adventure, and comedy as well all because of two books. Both of these books hold secrets, and secrets can bring danger. Sloane is going to need all the help she can get (and lots of answers) to make it through this and discover the truth behind the mysteries.

    Cooking The Books has plenty of humor, scarcasim, and just plain life in it. It does leave several questions unanswered at the end. However, unlike some other books where you want to yell because you were left so rudely hanging, Cooking The Books just has you waiting for the next book to find out the answers that were left waiting to be solved.

    I am thrilled to read this new series, and I think that you will be as well!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2012

    Cooking the Books by Bonnie Calhoun is the first book in the Slo

    Cooking the Books by Bonnie Calhoun is the first book in the Sloane Templeton series about a thirty-something divorcee with far too much on her plate. Sloane is still recovering from the unexpected death of her mother, Camille, who ran Beckam's Brew & Books, a bookstore known for its great coffee and even better selection of books. Unfortunately, Sloane's heart isn't in selling books; she misses her time working with a cyber-crime unit at NYU that she had to give up after her nasty divorce from a man who shall remain unnamed. In the midst of her new romance with hottie Andreas, comes cyber-threats on the shop's computers, word that her mother's last big purchase may be worth a million dollars, and a realty group is playing dirty trying to get Sloane to sell the building. Calhoun's Sloane is nothing like the usual detective. She is not calm, cool, or collected; nor is she glamorous and thin. Sloane loves her Red Velvet cake so much that she abandoned her jeans months ago and is known to lose her cool on a nearly minute to minute basis. So much so, that it's a bit frightening to know that she's packing heat! Sloane is the perfect heroine for the rest of us, who would be terrified of pointing a gun at another person, wouldn't know the first thing about solving a mystery, and whose taste in men isn't exactly noteworthy. Sloane's antics made me laugh, gasp with fear, and by the end, feel like this was a good friend I was sad to leave. I love how Calhoun has layered a long-arcing story over the other smaller stories in this first volume, and I pray (please God!) that she gets to tell the rest of the tale!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful new suspense debut novel by a talented author! It's

    A wonderful new suspense debut novel by a talented author!

    It's truly a honor and a delight when you are asked to review an author's debut novel as I was in the case of Cooking The Books by Bonnie Calhoun. I've had the pleasure of working with her through Christian Fiction Blog Alliance of which she is the Owner and Director of a 200+ blog members that host twice weekly blog tours for Christian fiction. She is also the Owner/Publisher of Christian Fiction Online Magazine (CFOM), a three-year-old, 50+ page Ezine with columns and articles by the best and brightest authors in Christian fiction. So she truly does an amazing job at knowing what readers and fellow authors look for when choosing a wonderful book.

    In Cooking The Books, we are introduced to some quirky characters of which my favorite is Aunt Verlene, whose passion is cooking even though most of her dishes turn out to be less than favorable, but she truly does possess a love for what she does and often times bribes Sloane Templeton, her niece to a taste test.

    Sloane herself is a former employee at the Cyber Crimes Unit and is now a beloved bookstore owner whose own passion is not selling her bookstore even though Coltrane Realty has made an enticing offer of three times the buildings worth. To Sloane, Coltrane just wants to buy all the buildings on the block to level it and build a new high rise. However what Sloane doesn't understand is that Rob Landry isn't about to report back to his company that she isn't willing to sell. Coltrane Realty will stop at nothing to ensure that they acquire all the buildings even if it means resorting to less than honest means to do it.

    I received Cooking the Books by Bonnie Calhoun compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and have to say I LOVED it! Bonnie creates such wonderful and likeable characters you feel like you know them personally. From the book club of aging seniors that meets at her bookstore that never reads the books to Sloane herself that will intervene in a crisis situation just because it's the right thing to do. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and for those of you that love a good mystery with a twist alongside an interesting cast of characters, then this one is for you.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Bonnie Calhoun cooks up one of the most hilarious, nail-biting


    Bonnie Calhoun cooks up one of the most hilarious, nail-biting mysteries in her recipe for a “Gotta Read It” book in Cooking the Books. Measure out one bunch of wacky characters, a heaping cup of mystery and mayhem, and a generous portion of twists and turns. Combine with one well-whipped Sloane Templeton, four tablespoons of zest from humor, and bring to a rolling boil over inner turmoil. When mixture begins to thicken, gently fold in a pint of compassion and sprinkle with faith. Garnish with witty and skillful storytelling, and serve while warm and aromatic.
    Sloane, a former cybercrimes forensic investigator, charts a new and unwanted career course when her mom’s death brings her home to operate Beckham’s Books & Brew. Sounds like a pretty mundane operation, considering her former occupation, but Sloane’s life is anything but mundane. Still grieving, she puts off facing the inevitable by keeping the apartment undisturbed and refusing to read the will. Had she been more attentive to her mother’s wishes and wisdom, she could have saved herself and her angels a whole heap of trouble. Aunt Verlene’s penchant for cooking just might be lethal, but brings a host of fine, eligible fire fighters and policemen into Sloane’s life. Fifi, the store manager, wanna’ be owner, introduces her to the Granny Oakleys Book Club, a not-so-innocent alliance of her aging neighbors. So, who would want to hurt Sloane? The real question is “who wouldn’t?” Arming herself with killer keys and packing heat, the “warrior princess” must fend off a realty giant, book dealers of questionable character, cyber threats on her own life, her extremely bad taste in men, and a life storm of incredible proportions.
    In her first Sloane Templeton novel, Calhoun skillfully develops a main character who grows to meet fear and challenges while honestly questioning the onslaught of circumstances, her faith, and the appropriateness of her responses and ability to stand up for herself. As trouble stalks her and she finds that even Brinks might not be enough to keep her safe, will she be victim or find new resolve to become conqueror? Calhoun’s remarkable storytelling skill becomes obvious when she weaves humor and hilarious antics into the very peak of suspense. Ending twists and turns, though hinted at throughout, still unfold in complete surprise.
    This can’t-put-it-down book kept me simultaneously riveted and rolling with laughter. I loved her unmistakable but almost dry sense of humor and the wonderful word play that made it all work. Implausible events made real-life tensions more palatable. It was nothing but delight to read and provide my honest review in exchange for this free book from Abingdon Press and NetGalley!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2012

    It’s not easy being Sloane Templeton. Whenever something


    It’s not easy being Sloane Templeton. Whenever something comes up that’s considered dangerous or reckless, Sloane’s name is usually attached somewhere.

    Poor Sloane. Can you imagine?

    Even Sloane’s mother, God rest her soul, always told her, “Fools rush in where angels dare to tread.”

    Well, Sloane is sure the angels must practice running for the clouds every time her name turns up as an assignment, especially these days.

    After her mother’s death, Sloane goes from Cyber Crimes Unit to bookstore owner before she can blink. Beckham’s Books & Brew, located in a crime-ridden area of New York, isn’t all she obtains as an inheritance. She also receives possession of her mother’s .38.

    How will she carry herself like her fearless mother, brandishing a weapon, when she’s never held anything more deadly than nail clippers?

    Well, she’s about to find out.

    Saints, give her strength!

    As Sloane's on her way to work one morning, she hears a woman’s screech echo from the interior of a car. Just as she pulls the .38 from her pants, the thumb hammer snags on top of her pocket, flipping the weapon out of her shaky hand.

    Run, angels, run.

    Much to her relief, the woman isn’t hurt. Sloane invites her to come to the bookstore, where she finds out the stranger’s name is Barbara Nelson. Barbara informs Sloane that she’s been watching her—every day. What’s up with that?

    Rob Landry also shows up at the store, pestering Sloane to sell the business. Although Sloane doesn’t like being a bookseller, she likes even less the idea of selling him the building she’s grown up in. It’s the only home she’s known for most of her thirty-five years of life.

    Men.

    At least her ex-husband, who kept trying to divorce her by way of Shady Grove Cemetery—most likely in a cardboard box, mind you—the man probably wouldn’t even spring for pine—is out of her life.

    Why do men behaving badly seem to gravitate to Sloane like insects to grease?

    Andreas, however, is different. After meeting him at a Neighborhood Concerned Citizen meeting, and to the complete ticked-off dismay of her ex-boyfriend, Trey Alexander, she and Andreas become an instant item.

    Now that Sloane has a good man in her life, everything should be okay, right?

    Wrong.

    Two doctors begin inquiring about a rare book in her store. One of the physicians tells her that her life could be in danger if it’s widely known that Sloane has physical possession of the book—worth one million dollars.

    Soon after, Sloane starts receiving threats via emails on her computer. She uses her computer forensic skills to find out the source of the threats and discovers someone is out to kill her.

    Could things get any worse?

    Detective Griffen Justice shows up, determined to find out who wants her dead, and he doesn’t want Sloane in the way. But his voice, smooth as Godiva chocolate, intrigues her.

    The angels sure have their work cut out for them on this assignment.

    I absolutely loved this book. Who doesn’t love a good mystery? The added humor, though, not to mention the cast of well-crafted characters, definitely makes this one a keeper. You won’t be disappointed.

    I highly recommend Cooking the Books.


    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Although I was a little surprised that this story is not about t

    Although I was a little surprised that this story is not about the embezzlement of funds … (that's what is usually meant by 'cooking the books' in the mafia movies, right?) the title still fits, as there is definitely cooking, and more than one book directly involved in this mystery. Full of unique characters, and plenty of drama, this book sucked me in by chapter two. There are so many options on who it is that might be harassing (and possibly plotting to harm) the main character that it keeps you reading to the very last page. One after another the potential villains' plots unravel, but along the way the crazy antics of her relatives and friends remind me a little of the over-the-top craziness of characters from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Though Bonnie's female character, Sloane Templeton, may perhaps be even worse than Stephanie at handling a gun … at least in the beginning.

    "Cooking the Books" does tackle a little bit of faith - in regards to learning to depend and trust on God and not on yourself alone - but its done in a manner that I feel even non-Christians would enjoy this book. Note: there is a bit of blood, guns etc. in this novel, as well as flashbacks regarding abusive relationships that might not be for everyone. However, if you are a fan of Law and Order or the like, it's not any worse than that level.

    *I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher (Abingdon) for review.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    Delightfully Unexpected

    Bonnie Calhoun's book, Cooking the Books was the personification of who I know personally in the author; laughter and snarkiness rolled up in to a teddy bear package. And this, my Reader, is a compliment, not a criticism. It is to say that there is richness and dimension in this debut novel, packaged neatly with the delightfully, and sometimes chilling, unexpected.


    Sloane Templeton has the ability to keep you up late into the night with the potential hazard of waking your spouse up out of a sound sleep because of you laughter. She will also have you shaking your head and wanting to wring her neck at other times as she attempts to take care of herself and gets in too deep for comfort as a result.


    Readers will love Sloane and find themselves wanting to laugh with her and at her, while at the same time, find a tugging to wrap their arms around her and protect her and love her. She's a complicated woman


    (What woman isn't?)


    and Bonnie has written her mystery in such a way that readers will fall in love with her and walk away hoping for more adventures with her.


    The first half of the book has little predictability although I began to figure some things out a little more than half-way through. This did not ruin the read for me however, as predictability will often do, simply because I was trying to wrap my mind around how it would be revealed and packaged into an ending that satisfied.


    I was not disappointed.


    Some may find the story line has too many elements and will wonder what a highly desired book has to do with emailed threats against Sloane--but it will make sense if the reader keeps going until the end. So will the theme of domestic violence and how a woman's coming into her own in self-defense plays into the overall story line of threat and mystery.


    Bonnie tackled a big bite with the overall story and some readers may get a bit lost, but for those that love big bites and mysteries to unravel, tossed around with hysterical snarkiness, Cooking the Books will not disappoint. Readers will put the book down, finding themselves hoping as I did, "I hope there is more Sloane coming through the presses in the future."


    I give Cooking the Books a 4.5 out of 5 rating. Four because the themes and the caustic humor will not be for everyone but .5 because for a debut novel, this one is edgy and hot.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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