Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Cooking the Books
A Sloane Templeton Mystery
Bonnie S. Calhoun

Abingdon Press
April 2012/ ISBN-10: 1426733887

Reviewed by Cheryl Green

Until quite recently, Sloan Templeton never held anything more menacing than a pair of nail clippers. Since giving up her job in cybercrimes and inheriting her mother's bookstore she is now wielding a gun and trying in vain to save a woman in a locked car. Garbage cans go rolling down a flight of stairs, and the gun flies out of her hand. Turns out the woman was just waiting for Sloan to open up the bookstore and fell asleep. I never laughed so hard.

Next Sloane's Aunt Verlene arrives at the bookstore covered in what looks like blood but turns out to be BBQ sauce. Aunt Verlene considers herself to be a gourmet cook worthy of being on Iron Chef. Reality: have a ton of antacids and a stomach pump handy if you plan to eat what Aunt Verlene has cooked.

There are plenty of other quirky characters that pop into the bookstore: a bunch of senior citizens known as the Granny Oakleys (who never read anything). There are several scholars who are after a rare and mysterious book purchased by Sloane's late mother.

Why are the realtors offering so much money to buy the bookstore building? Throw in an abusive ex-boyfriend who is part of a gang and it looks more like a three-ring circus rather than a bookstore.

On top of this someone is sending threatening notes to all of the computers in the bookstore. More importantly….. who wants Sloane dead? And why?

This is a funny and at times violent book that had me glued to my seat in order to finish it. I needed to find out what was going to happen next. I enjoyed the twists and red herrings that kept this a fast-paced novel. I really enjoyed these characters and hope they will be back soon in a sequel.

First in what I hope will be a series with Sloane and her friends.

Reviewed 2012