Final Sentence (Cookbook Nook Series #1)

Final Sentence (Cookbook Nook Series #1)

by Daryl Wood Gerber

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In need of a change, Jenna Hart leaves the high-pressure world of advertising to help her aunt, Vera, open a culinary bookshop and café. Back with her family in Crystal Cove, California, Jenna seems to have all the right ingredients for a fresh start—until someone adds a dash of murder.
As a marketing expert, Jenna wants to make sure the grand opening of the Cookbook Nook draws a crowd, and no one is better at getting attention than her old college roommate, celebrity chef Desiree Divine. But when Desiree arrives in quiet Crystal Cove to do a cookbook signing, the diva stirs up more trouble than business…especially when she turns up dead.
Known for stealing husbands and burning bridges, Desiree left behind plenty of suspects—including Jenna. Though the celebrity’s life always appeared to be an open book, Jenna will have to read between the lines in order to clear her name, and catch a killer before another body is served cold.

Includes recipes!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425258040
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/02/2013
Series: Cookbook Nook Series , #1
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 266,373
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Daryl Wood Gerber is an Agatha Award-winning author who writes the Cheese Shop Mystery series under the pseudonym Avery Aames. Like her protagonist, Daryl is an admitted foodie and an avid reader of books, including cookbooks. Prior to writing, Daryl acted onstage and television, including on Murder, She Wrote.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“There’s a feisty new amateur sleuth in town and her name is Jenna Hart. With a bodacious cast of characters, a wrenching murder, and a collection of cookbooks to die for, Daryl Wood Gerber’s Final Sentence was a page-turning puzzler of a mystery that I could not put down.”—Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries

“Murder, revenge, secrets … and cookbooks! Final Sentence, the first book in Daryl Wood Gerber’s yummy new Cookbook Nook mystery series, is a delectable page-turner with a tasty mix of characters, crime, and cookbooks, blended beautifully in a witty, well-plotted whodunit that will leave you hungry for more.”—Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries


Customer Reviews

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Final Sentence 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
Jenna Hart has returned to Crystal Cove, California after leaving her swanky job in advertising.  Her husband has been dead for a couple of years, but his death at sea still haunts her. Now Jenna is helping her aunt to open The Cookbook Nook---a book store and restaurant combination that caters to all things concerning food and it's preparation.  Jenna has invited an old friend and popular TV star chef, Desiree, to come for a signing for the store's opening.  But death arrives to put a spoiler into everything.  And worse yet, Jenna is a suspect.  This fun cozy is filled with everything that any food aficionado will appreciate.  Besides coming with receipts, it refers to many well known cookbooks, cooking shows, popular chefs, and high class restaurants.  Throw in some wicked characters, a bit romance gone array, a feisty kitty, and a cleverly constructed mystery, and Daryl Wood Gerber has cooked up a great start for her new mystery series.  
Michelle1948 More than 1 year ago
I found this new series quite light and cozy. Cuddle up for this one. I found it enjoyable to read! I look forward to the next in the series.
52chickadees More than 1 year ago
“Cookbooks, Crimes and Clues Abound” “Hoo-Boy!!” (You’ll understand when you read the book). In this first of a new series by Daryl Wood Gerber, we are introduced to Jenna Hart, former advertising executive, as well as a young widow, who moves back to her roots, (Crystal Cove) to “Find her smile”. With beloved Aunt/co-owner Vera, they open the “Cookbook Nook”—a charming cookbook & culinary item shop/café’. As a grand opening draw, Jenna and Vera secure an appearance/book-signing by Desiree Divine, an old college friend of Jenna’s and a well-known culinary personality and cookbook author. Desiree arrives with her quirky entourage in tow—including her Sister, Sabrina. This stirs up the commercial district, especially the Police Chief’s ascerbic Mother, Pepper Pritchett. Before Desiree gets a chance to greet the public, confrontations arise, with some deadly results. When Jenna stumbles upon the disguised remains, fingers point in her direction—nastily, some more than others. With support from Aunt Vera and her ex-FBI Father, Cary, Jenna dons her sleuthing as well as entrepreneurial caps and proceeds to gather evidence to prove her innocence. Who could have done this dastardly deed? Was it a crime of passion, hatred or jealousy?? Or maybe a way to cover debts? The Author has created a cozy village with colorful characters who you will be anxious to re-visit again and again—especially hunky Rhett! Cat lovers will want to scoop up “Tigger” for a cuddle or 3. A fast, enjoyable cozy, a bit reminiscent of “Murder, She Wrote” which many have enjoyed, (except I can’t quite picture Angela Lansbury in a flowing caftan.) Some of Chef Katie’s yummy recipes have been included as well as a snippet of the next Cookbook Nook Mystery, “Inherit the Word”. Make room for this one on your shelf—you won’t be disappointed! “Too-ra-loo!” Nancy Narma
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I forced myself to continue reading until I got to page 25th and then gave up as I couldn't stand one morepage. This is unintelligible junk.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Final Sentence is the first book in the A Cookbook Nook Mystery series. Gerber also writes The Cheese Shop Mystery series as Avery Aames. Jenna Hart has returned home to Crystal Cove to manage the Cookbook Nook for her Aunt Vera. There is also a quaint little café in the store. To get started off right, Jenna has her college roommate and TV chef, Desiree Divine lined up for the grand opening. On the evening before, as Jenna is walking along the beach she finds what she believe to be a sand sculpture of a mermaid. It is fact turns out to be the lifeless body of Desiree. When a trowel that been in a display at the Book Nook is found close to the body, Jenna becomes a person of interest. Add to this, Pepper, the police chief's mother, is doing everything in her power to put the blame directly on Jenna. But it is soon learned that there are others that would like to see Desiree out of the picture and Jenna needs to find who that might be before she is railroaded into being the guilty party. I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Jenna is having to deal with the loss of her husband and Aunt Vera wants to see Jenna get her life going and at the same time provide a successful business and a fun place to be. Police Chief Cinnamon Pritchett seems to be "good cop/bad cop" rolled up into one and am looking forward to reading more about her. Jenna's father, Cary, is retired FBI analyst, who doesn't want Jenna involved in the investigation, but at the same time wants her to be involved. And a possible romantic interest in Rhett Jackson who owns the Bait and Switch Bait Shop and who Jenna begins to learn is more that a handsome face. Hoo-boy, how could I forget Katie, the talented chef for the café. I really enjoyed this new series and look forward to learning more about all the interesting characters. A great story and well told. Recipes included and cookbooks mentioned through out the book. Looking forward to the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the characters. Can't wait to read more.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Jenna Hart has returned home to Crystal Cove, California to help her aunt open a new cookbook bookstore. But their big guest for the grand opening - Food Network Star and Jenna's college roommate Desiree - is murdered before the store even opens. With local gossip making Jenna a suspect, can she prove her innocence? This has many of the traits of a first in a series, but it is filled with warm characters and a sense of fun I enjoyed. I'm looking forward to many return trips. I did have a few niggles with the book - one weak character and a couple of timing issues - but they were minor overall.
Marla-Bradeen More than 1 year ago
FINAL SENTENCE is a delightful cozy mystery. The heroine is easy to relate to, and her backstory makes her very sympathetic. Plus, I loved the characterizations of the other players. The author has a wonderful way with words that brings the people and story to life. The mystery itself was interesting and kept me guessing until the final reveal. Overall, I found this book to be a great start to a new series. Disclosure: I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway.
ryanphoffmann88 More than 1 year ago
This book is a well written whodunit with an amateur sleuth. Recipes, murder, and small town secrets included In this book. Jenna Hart, a former marketing expert decides after a personal tragedy, to return to her idyllic coastal home town of Crystal Cove. She then decides to help her quirky, eccentric aunt Vera, turn a run down café and bookstore into a culinary bookshop, know as the CookBook Nook Bookstore and Café. After stocking the shelves with a wide selection of cookbooks and culinary mysteries, and hiring her Her childhood friend and chef, Katie Casey and old co-worker Bailey, Jenna has everything set for the grand opening week. her college friend , Desiree Devine, a famous chef with her own cooking show, has even agreed to do a book signing and demo of her latest cook book,. Things are looking up for our sleuth, until she finds Desiree dead on the beach, in a mermaid sand sculpture. And this leads to Jenna being the prime suspect, and harassed by a local Women named Pepper Pritchett, not only is her daughter, Cinnamon, the towns Chief of Police, but she has a grudge against Jeanna, her mother and siblings. Jenna decides to solve the case herself.
KimHeniadis More than 1 year ago
A new year is upon us, and with is comes lots of resolutions. The most common is to eat less, but the first book in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series, makes it very hard to hold yourself to that vow. Not only does it have some delicious recipes in the back, but the food descriptions throughout made my mouth water. Add to that some new characters and a warm location, and this book is nothing short of scrumptious. Daryl Wood Gerber does a fantastic job with giving the reader just enough questionable characters, that you can easily keep second guessing yourself when it comes to who killed Desiree Divine. I will admit that Jenna was my least favorite. While she was written well, she just didn’t have anything that really made her stand out to me. I really enjoyed Jenna’s Aunt Vera, who was quirky and has her third eye wide open, and the store chef, Katie. She just seems like the kind of woman I would want to hang out with while enjoying good food, wine, and gossip. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series, Inherit the Word.
mistyclarkson More than 1 year ago
Cant wait for more of this series I could hardly put it down it was so good
C_Buckner More than 1 year ago
Aunt Vera is a colorful, entertaining side dish, but Jenna is the main course in the first title of the Cookbook Nook series. Jenna Hart returns to her home town after the death of her husband and has little time to savor her new endeavor; the bookstore/café The Cookbook Nook. Her college friend, a successful celebrity chef, is murdered and left to be found sculpted into sand art on the beach. Jenna becomes the prime suspect in her friend’s murder and attempts to find someone else for the police chief, and the chief’s spiteful mother, to accuse. Jenna is a character that you understand and sympathize with when she is angry at the rumors about her dead husband, distressed at the sudden brutal murder of her friend, and fearful of being wrongly accused. The supporting characters include her eccentric Aunt Vera, her former FBI analyst father, and a few childhood friends. Her aunt proves to be an engaging character on her own and as the story line develops you find out more about Aunt Vera’s past, as well as the father that Jenna is reconnecting to as an adult. Both characters have intriguing pasts and I look forward to finding out more about them in the subsequent titles in this series. The storyline progresses well, with suspenseful moments artfully intertwined with side storylines. The pace is evenly balanced between action and plot development with just the right amount of description of the setting and characters. And the author’s use of references to cooking, music, and literature are like sweet little treats spread throughout the story, waiting to be savored. As a cozy mystery, this story falls a bit more on the spicy side of the romance spectrum, without being graphic or vulgar, but including some innuendo and suggestive vocabulary. I appreciate the author foregoing a recent trend by authors to add unnecessary profanity to cozy mysteries. Final Sentence is an engaging mystery with interesting characters and a plot that kept me guessing as it continued to develop. My best gauge of how good a mystery this is: Do I want to read the next book in the series? I already have it on top of the stack. I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an animal lover, I was a little concerned about the character leaving her new kitten in her car while she ran in the grocery store since the setting was August in California. I did notice some repetitious words and phrases (dystopian, hoo-boy, too-ra-loo). I understand the hoo-boy and too-ra-loo are part of the characters personalities, but it seemed like they were saying it during every conversation. If I had a friend or relative that used the same phrase that much, I'd have to tell them to stop or get smacked. Other than that,I really enjoyed this book. Great descriptive detail made me feel like I was right there. Good cast of characters all with a plausible motive. I was kept guessing until the end. I feel vested in the central characters and can't wait to see what happens in their lives next. I hope to see some serious healing with Pepper and a continuation of the romance between Jenna and Rhett. The recipes are a bonus to a well-written story. Looking forward to reading the rest of this fun series.
Techgranny More than 1 year ago
Final Sentence is the first in a new series by Daryl Wood Gerber. Where the prior series dealt with the cheese shop, we are in a cookbook store. Jenna Hart returns to her hometown of Crystal Cove, California two years after losing her husband and mother. There is a large cast of characters in Final Sentence. Some of them are totally believable while some are too far over the top. The murder takes place early on but we go to almost the end of the book before the murderer finally is seen. I was slightly surprised by the ending. With that said, I look forward to the next installment of this series.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Jenna Hart lost her husband a year ago. Now she plans to start over. She's opening a culinary book shop and café. Crystal Cove is the perfect place since her family lives there. For her grand opening she asks her old college roommate to appear. Desiree Divine is a celebrity chef. Things don't go as planned when Desiree is murdered and the police think Jenna did it. This is not the way to begin again? Jenna is a interesting character. She's smart and determined to find who killed her friend. Who knew that being a marketing expert would help her track down a killer? Her aunt Vera is a great help with her psychic abilities. This character appealed to me. I liked that she lived life on her terms and didn't worry what others thought. Daryl Wood Gerber wrote characters that were intriguing. I either liked them or wanted to kick them in the shins. It was so easy to be pulled into this cozy mystery. There were plenty of suspects who had reason to want Desiree dead. This is a well told story that had plenty of surprising twists. I was left guessing until the very end. Daryl Wood Gerber gave us a well told story that was exhilarating and exciting. This is a great start to her new series. I can't wait to see what happens next in this small California town.
RimaAiello More than 1 year ago
A extremely engaging story. This start to the series really began strong. I have to admit, I had not previously read anything from this author and I was pleasantly surprised by the writing and the overall flow of the story. The main character, Jenna Hart, was a complex character yet so not over the top that a person reading the book would not be able to relate. You cannot help but cheer this character on, want her to overcome her grief, root for her to make amends with her father. The supporting cast of characters that were introduced are also a wonderful mix, from the eclectic Aunt, stoic father, and so on. Overall the story telling was wonderful, the characters engaging, and this book and me needing to buy the rest in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Madriver More than 1 year ago
I love mysteries, and really enjoy a "cozy" mystery in the evening, and this one was really good at helping me fall asleep. So good, in fact, that it also helped me doze off during the afternoon. Maybe it was the overuse of "hoo-boy" and "too-ra-loo" (these sound more like midwest phrases than coastal California ones), or maybe it was Jenna's constant paranoia about being a suspect. Regardless, her ever-changing theories got old, as did the recital of cookbook names and authors, and I had a hard time believing a cookbook store would be as crowded as hers was - don't they have the internet out there? And what's the deal with an air-conditioned cat cage? I liked this author's cheese mysteries better (writing as Avery Ames). I know there's another Cookbook Nook book out, but I'm not going to rush to get it.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
FINAL SENTENCE is the first book in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series. It is also the first book I’ve read by Daryl Wood Gerber and it won’t be the last! (I did read the next book in the series – INHERIT THE WORD – you can find that review on the book’s page.) I knew from page one that I was going to enjoy this book because I instantly fell in love with protagonist Jenna Hart and her Aunt Vera. I loved the surroundings of The Cookbook Nook, Jenna and Vera’s store, and the attached café. I could envision myself spending many hours lost there, just as I became wonderfully lost in the book. Indeed, I enjoyed my visit to Crystal Cove so much that I was disappointed when I closed the book and found myself back in my own town. The mystery of who killed celebrity chef Desiree Divine was well written and I was left with plenty of suspects to throw me off the trail of the real killer.  And no, I didn’t guess who did it. If you like mysteries with cozy settings, memorable characters, and surprise endings, this is a must have book for you. And you’ll also be delighted with the fantastic recipes included. I sure was! 
CheliD More than 1 year ago
Jenna Hart, a young widow, decides to give up her stressful advertising job and return to her childhood home in Crystal Cove and partner with her aunt in a new Cookbook/Café venture. Barely has she gotten the place ready, invited her friend, a TV chef, for the opening, and all hell breaks loose when she discovers her friend on the beach dead and disguised as a mermaid sandcastle. It doesn't help that several items nearby point directly to Jenna. Certain that she is about to be arrested at any moment, Jenna sets out to find her friend's killer. The story was cleverly woven to reintroduce Jenna to her hometown while moving the story along. I'm ready for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story line is fun. I liked it.
kayek1 More than 1 year ago
Jenna Hart leaves the world of advertising the help her aunt Vera open a culinary bookstore and cafe in Crystal Cove, California. She invited her old college roommate Desiree Divine to be the grand opening event because she's a celebrity chef and an author. However, when Desiree hits town she stirs up more than just a hornet's nest. Then she turns up dead. Judging from the amount of people that Desiree stirred up, it will take reading between the lines to catch a killer. I really liked this book. The characters were fun to get to know, and the recipe looked good, and I enjoyed the story. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Gemini for Read Your Writes Book Reviews Final Sentence is the second cozy mystery that I have read. It was a lot different from my first one. Consequently, it changed my opinion of the genre. I initially thought that they were just about some old ladies drinking wine and solving murders. This book was nothing like that. I will definitely love to read another cozy mystery from this author. Lucky for me, this is the first book in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber. Final Sentence is about former advertising/marketing expert Jenna Hart who leaves her job in the big city to move back to her home town of Crystal Cove, California to open up the Cookbook Nook with her Aunt Vera. Jenna is only two years removed from losing her husband to a boating accident and her mom to lung cancer. For the grand opening, she invites her friend and celebrity chef Desiree Devine to do a book signing. Desiree brings much more attention to Jenna and the Cookbook Nook when she turns up dead and Jenna becomes the prime suspect. In order to clear her name, Jenna begins her own investigation while a woman who was jilted by Jenna’s father tries to convince the town and it’s police chief that she is guilty. As the list of suspects grows, Jenna has to overcome her “fish out of water” situation and reclaim her place as a member of the community. As she sharpens her sleuthing skills, she also learns how to cook and finds a little romance along the way. She gets guidance from her pseudo psychic aunt and her former FBI analyst father. The depiction of the small town of Crystal Cove was very enjoyable and stereotypical. Jenna and her family felt very familiar. I would definitely recommend this book. Source: Blog Tour Host
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
StephJones More than 1 year ago
Daryl Wood Gerber introduces us to the Cookbook Nook Mystery series in Final Sentence. Jenna Hart leaves the pressure filled advertising world, which once delighted her, and returns to Crystal Cove, her family home, after the death of her husband. Jenna was going to put her marketing skills to work, assisting Aunt Vera in opening a culinary bookshop and café. The bookshop was going to feature cookbooks, culinary mysteries, books about food allergies, funny little kitchen gadgets and feature celebrity chefs at book signings. Their first chef was Jenna’s old college roommate, now TV celebrity chef, Desiree Divine. When Desiree is murdered, and Jenna is considered one of the suspects, she must clear her name. Full of great characters, this is a definite “must read”. From Desiree and her entourage, to neighbor Pepper Pritchett, to Aunt Vera who avoids exercise because it messes up her chakras, Jenna’s former FBI analyst and consultant father, and hometown friends, this book is pure delight. IT’s perfect for a wet, grey day, curling up with this book and a pot of tea, or great cup of coffee. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.