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Final Sentence

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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 d 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.


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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 d 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.

30 review for Final Sentence

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    Let me begin by saying I read. A lot. Chapter one had me hooked but then chapter two comes along with a jumble of characters and incidents that results in the 3rd chapter having Jenna in a haphazard rush, run and exhibiting totally rude behavior. The author fails to explain how "everyone else" knows that Jenna's husband was having an affair with Desiree. the author just puts things out there and the reader is supposed to swallow the illogical chain she is trying to devise. Random people showing u Let me begin by saying I read. A lot. Chapter one had me hooked but then chapter two comes along with a jumble of characters and incidents that results in the 3rd chapter having Jenna in a haphazard rush, run and exhibiting totally rude behavior. The author fails to explain how "everyone else" knows that Jenna's husband was having an affair with Desiree. the author just puts things out there and the reader is supposed to swallow the illogical chain she is trying to devise. Random people showing up in random places. Conversations between the characters are unrealistic. Timing is way off. Author is trying to make things happen with no solid ground to base those happenings on. The plot does not flow in any logical fashion. the author puts random things out there without explanation i.e.: why would Jenna's father, "being the stand-up guy he is", offer financial support to another woman? If the advertising genius is Jenna - who apparently can't cook but owns a cookbook store (logical huh?) - how can she market a cookbook store? How? Because it is Katie, her chef, with all the ideas. Then having the author toot her own horn by referring to other novels she has written under a pseudonym is repulsive. Things are assumed to the max in this novel. The author obviously creating character descriptions because so many just happen to look like someone famous i.e.: Jenna's father is Cary and looks like Cary Grant, and Rhett looks like Rhett Butler of GWTW. Recipe stealing is a pure motive in Jenna's mind despite the fact that Desiree's is different that Tito's. Jenna has no control over her business such that she doesn't even know what her own chef is serving, let alone her abilities. I read enough of the book to the point that I have to trash it. So many ridiculous events and comments and childish behavior turns off readers. By the way, a cookbook store - yeah, just not going to be that busy. Borders, Walden, even some Barnes and Nobles closed due to lack of business so a small town bookstore that has mostly cookbooks? It is just not going to be the bustling haven the author alleges. No more of this series for me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melodie

    I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't. I've read a couple of Ms. Gerber's Cheese Shop books written as Avery Aames and just can't tolerate them. They're very well written, but the extreme cheese talk just turns my stomach due to my cheese aversion. While this book didn't have that, it had some annoying problems. Let's see, Jenna owns a cookbook shop, but she can't cook? Why does this strike me as weird? Her dad looks like Cary Grant and his name is Cary? The love interest looks like Rh I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't. I've read a couple of Ms. Gerber's Cheese Shop books written as Avery Aames and just can't tolerate them. They're very well written, but the extreme cheese talk just turns my stomach due to my cheese aversion. While this book didn't have that, it had some annoying problems. Let's see, Jenna owns a cookbook shop, but she can't cook? Why does this strike me as weird? Her dad looks like Cary Grant and his name is Cary? The love interest looks like Rhett Butler and his name is....wait for it.....RHETT! Seriously? How did EVERYONE know the rumor that Desiree had an affair with Jenna's husband?? Did Sabrina call a town meeting and say, "Oh, BTW, my sister was schtupping Jenna's husband??" Pepper had to be one of the most hateful, over-the-top characters I've read in awhile and someone should have shot her just to do the world a favor. And if Jenna's dad wasn't Cinnamon's dad why in the WORLD would he have offered them financial support when the person who was supposed to be Cinnamon's dad split? And lastly, and more of a nitpick than anything, Aunt Vera's habit of saying "too-ra-loo" just put my teeth on edge. The best parts of the book were the cookbook & foodie mystery talk. Maybe I was in a bad frame of mind while reading this and if my mind-set had been different the things that annoyed me wouldn't have bothered me so much. I will probably try the next one in the series......maybe. I would really like to like something Ms. Gerber (Aames) writes because she seems like such a nice, personable lady. I guess we'll see.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I enjoyed this first entry in the series. I liked the characters and enjoyed the seaside town setting. The mystery was good and definitely kept me guessing. Recipes are included at the end, I always like that.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shelly

    I enjoy the Cookbook Nook series. I read it out of order, starting with book 3, Stirring the Plot (my favorite) because it was fall and it had an awesome fall theme. I then read book 2 (Inherit the Word) and enjoyed it as well. When I came across the first in the series, Final Sentence, I of course had to purchase it. Jenna’s old college roommate, Desiree, is a well-known chef who comes to Crystal Cove for a book signing. Soon enough, Desiree’s death certificate is signed as well. The mystery is I enjoy the Cookbook Nook series. I read it out of order, starting with book 3, Stirring the Plot (my favorite) because it was fall and it had an awesome fall theme. I then read book 2 (Inherit the Word) and enjoyed it as well. When I came across the first in the series, Final Sentence, I of course had to purchase it. Jenna’s old college roommate, Desiree, is a well-known chef who comes to Crystal Cove for a book signing. Soon enough, Desiree’s death certificate is signed as well. The mystery is well plotted, but the constant mentioning of cookbook titles and descriptions made Final Sentence a bit dry at times for me. Nonetheless, this is a great series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ❂ Jennifer

    I'm wavering between 3 and 4 stars after reading this first instalment of a new series, so we'll go with 3.5. The beginning started off clunky for me - I really struggled the first few chapters to figure out the characters' voices and as a result, the dialogue really didn't flow at all. And the first half of the book was overly peppered (ha! cooking reference!) with specific examples of how Jenna was an ace marketing executive in her previous career. These stuck out and felt horribly awkward to I'm wavering between 3 and 4 stars after reading this first instalment of a new series, so we'll go with 3.5. The beginning started off clunky for me - I really struggled the first few chapters to figure out the characters' voices and as a result, the dialogue really didn't flow at all. And the first half of the book was overly peppered (ha! cooking reference!) with specific examples of how Jenna was an ace marketing executive in her previous career. These stuck out and felt horribly awkward to me and were quite a turn-off. But about half to 2/3 of the way through the book, the story found it's groove, the dialogue started flowing better, the awkward horn-blowing stopped and I found myself really interested in the book. I'm withholding judgement on the characters until the next book, as their personalities didn't feel established. The two exceptions being Rhett and Tigger - both charmers from the get-go! Oh, and someone needed to drown Pepper before the book even started. The plot of the murder mystery was well done: some symbolism, a few red-herrings, lots of suspects. I wasn't able to guess the murderer until the author wanted me to - right along with Jenna. I'll also say that I found there to be too much internal dialogue, but I think that's just my personal cross to bear since I think just about every book has too much internal dialogue. :) I'll be looking for the next book to see where things go from here.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti

    An enjoyable start, but I felt like that was the thing that was forgotten in this book; that it was the start. It felt like there were too many characters, too many clues, too much lying, too much questioning. Then it finally all comes out and the mystery wasn't as good as I'd hoped. Still though, there were enjoyable parts, and I do sympathize with Jenna's lack of cooking ability. I couldn't even make the 'simple' recipes she tries- I'm a defrost and reheat kind of girl. The first in the series- An enjoyable start, but I felt like that was the thing that was forgotten in this book; that it was the start. It felt like there were too many characters, too many clues, too much lying, too much questioning. Then it finally all comes out and the mystery wasn't as good as I'd hoped. Still though, there were enjoyable parts, and I do sympathize with Jenna's lack of cooking ability. I couldn't even make the 'simple' recipes she tries- I'm a defrost and reheat kind of girl. The first in the series- I might have to look into reading more of them. Three stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This was a pretty good cozy, had a good plot and interesting mystery that had me guessing to the very end. But as far as character development even Jenna the main character isn't really developed much at all. We know she's widowed and returned home but really learn hardly nothing about her personality, hopes and dreams then she has a new shop to run. I'll probably read more books in the series but I'm not in a rush to binge read them.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Maybe it's a case of wrong place, wrong time, but this book really rubbed me the wrong way. From a entrepreneurial heroine who doesn't ever seem to do much work, an amateur sleuth whose modus operandi is dashing up to people and accusing them of crimes, to a style that's speckled with grammatical errors, I just could not find myself liking this at all. Next time, I stop reading sooner if it seems unbearable. If you really must know, widowed Jenna goes into business with her psychic aunt opening Maybe it's a case of wrong place, wrong time, but this book really rubbed me the wrong way. From a entrepreneurial heroine who doesn't ever seem to do much work, an amateur sleuth whose modus operandi is dashing up to people and accusing them of crimes, to a style that's speckled with grammatical errors, I just could not find myself liking this at all. Next time, I stop reading sooner if it seems unbearable. If you really must know, widowed Jenna goes into business with her psychic aunt opening a cookbook store, only to have her college roommate, now a celebrity chef who's come to the store opening, murdered. An embittered storekeeper constantly accuses Jenna of murder and other crimes; oops, her daughter is chief-of-police. What can Jenna do? Well, she can always find the real killer and clear herself that way.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    Couldn't finish this book. I gave it the college try, but there was no flow and the dialogue was horrible. The Aunt has to be the most annoying character I've ever read. I normally try to plug through a book, but I just couldn't do it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    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 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

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bea Charmed

    I very much enjoyed the first half of this book. It was a quick, easy read with a nice light tone, and good characterization. I had read this author before under another name and wasn't impressed so I was happy that this book seemed a better match for me. But, some niggles from the first half and problems in the second half brought down my enjoyment of the book and in the end it was a struggle to finish. There were some improbabilities - the supposed similarities between Jenna's father and actor I very much enjoyed the first half of this book. It was a quick, easy read with a nice light tone, and good characterization. I had read this author before under another name and wasn't impressed so I was happy that this book seemed a better match for me. But, some niggles from the first half and problems in the second half brought down my enjoyment of the book and in the end it was a struggle to finish. There were some improbabilities - the supposed similarities between Jenna's father and actor Cary Grant; the intense hatred Pepper, a store owner and the police chief's mother, has for Jenna and her family; very convenient timing several times during the book; the conflict between Jenna and her father, honestly I thought it was a joke at first. Grief changes people and they do hurtful things to each other but I just couldn't buy it. Also, Jenna was remarkably unencumbered by her responsibilities as store owner; she has little to actually do with it except when it suits the story. The dialogue was occasionally stilted and some of the characters, such as Jenna's father and her aunt Vera, needed better fleshing out. I did like the setting and Gerber's use of it, it was almost another character. I really liked the portrayal, for the most part, of Jenna's amateur investigation into the murder when she is the prime suspect. It felt like a realistic portrait of what the average person with no police or legal experience might do if they undertook an investigation. There were some unlikely coincidences but overall it was more realistic in that regard than most cozy mysteries. We see very little of the police investigation and Jenna feels utterly left out; which as a suspect, she would be. The chief is not one to conveniently share info, but neither does she she have an active dislike for our heroine, as you often see in cozies. Still, the second half of the book dragged, the improbabilities piled up, and I rapidly lost interest. Gerber does give us lots of red herrings and false clues, but by the end I just didn't care anymore.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Deana Dick

    What a great way to start a new series with funny characters, a lovely new cookbook shop and a very famous celebrity chef. Jenna has lost her husband in a tragic boating accident and decides she needs a fresh start. She finds herself at her hometown where she feels content with family and friends around her. The story focuses on Jenna and her aunt opening a cookbook shop. The author does a superb job of using real cookbooks in her story which helps readers connect to the storyline. After reading What a great way to start a new series with funny characters, a lovely new cookbook shop and a very famous celebrity chef. Jenna has lost her husband in a tragic boating accident and decides she needs a fresh start. She finds herself at her hometown where she feels content with family and friends around her. The story focuses on Jenna and her aunt opening a cookbook shop. The author does a superb job of using real cookbooks in her story which helps readers connect to the storyline. After reading the vivid description of the new shop, it seemed to be a very inviting place to shop and get to know the locals of the town. For their grand opening, Jenna has lined up a very famous celebrity chef from the Food Network to make a grand appearance at the opening. Desiree , the celebrity chef has it all. She is gorgeous, a fabulous chef and fame that others envy. The town is all abuzz about her appearance . But alas, there seems to be an untimely muder about to take place. Who will be the victim? Why do certain people point accusing fingers at Jenna as the suspect? The character development is good and introduces readers to a quirky assortment of townspeople who will have you intrigued. The author's choice to have the setting in a small town is a welcome treat . She describes the town and the people much like those from Mayberry. It gives the reader a sense of peace and tranquility. If you are looking for a light hearted book with fun characters, gossipy noisy townspeople and a great murder mystery, this book is for you. I loved the banter between the characters and the drama surrounding who really committed the unthinkable crime. At the end of the book , the author has graciously included recipes and a snipet of her next book in the series, "Inherit the Word." I look forward to reading more cozy mysteries from this author. I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Narma

    “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 Di “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

  14. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    I'm sorry to say that this book was a disappointment although the premise is a good one for a cozy. Jenna Hart, a young widow still in mourning for her husband who drowned, comes back to her home town to open a Cookbook shop and café with her aunt. She has left her former life as a prize winning advertising executive, and after two years of mourning the loss of her young husband, she wants to start over. Her old college friend, a cookbook diva, and a star on a foodie show, comes to town for the I'm sorry to say that this book was a disappointment although the premise is a good one for a cozy. Jenna Hart, a young widow still in mourning for her husband who drowned, comes back to her home town to open a Cookbook shop and café with her aunt. She has left her former life as a prize winning advertising executive, and after two years of mourning the loss of her young husband, she wants to start over. Her old college friend, a cookbook diva, and a star on a foodie show, comes to town for the grand opening of the shop and is murdered. Her body is buried under a sand sculpture on the beach, and suspicion falls on Jenna because there was gossip that Desiree had an affair with Jenna's late husband. Unfortunately, the good premise never really gets off the ground because of poor writing; the dialog is very stilted and the character descriptions lack depth. I found it a struggle to finish this book. Half way through it, I ceased to care about the murdered Desiree, or even whether her murderer is ever brought to justice. However, there are a couple of nice things about the book, one is the descriptions of the many cookbooks that Jenna carries in the shop, some new, some vintage, and some collector's items. The other is the description of the shop and café, it sounds so warm and charming. I wish that the author could have given her characters the depth and charm that she gave to the shop and café. I try to give new mystery series a second chance, so I'll read the next book in the hopes that there is improvement in the second book. .

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary K

    Jenna Hart lost her husband a year ago. She needs to start living again so she's opening a culinary book shop and café. Crystal Cove is the perfect place since her family lives here. 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 Jenna Hart lost her husband a year ago. She needs to start living again so she's opening a culinary book shop and café. Crystal Cove is the perfect place since her family lives here. 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 are unforgettable. I either liked them or wanted to kick them in the shins. It was so easy to be pulled into this cozy mystery. There are 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 tale 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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Ks Book Reviews

    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 en 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!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    "Final Sentence" is a great cozy mystery for those who love Avery Aames, Cleo Coyle, Krista Davis, Laura Childs and other writers of this genre. I fell in love with Avery Aames' Cheese Shop mysteries and am delighted that she has chosen to write a new series, focused on the proprietors of a cook book shop in a cozy coastal California town near San Francisco, under Daryl Wood Gerber! In "Final Sentence" Wood Gerber takes us to the town of Crystal Cove, the hometown of Jenna Hart. After losing her "Final Sentence" is a great cozy mystery for those who love Avery Aames, Cleo Coyle, Krista Davis, Laura Childs and other writers of this genre. I fell in love with Avery Aames' Cheese Shop mysteries and am delighted that she has chosen to write a new series, focused on the proprietors of a cook book shop in a cozy coastal California town near San Francisco, under Daryl Wood Gerber! In "Final Sentence" Wood Gerber takes us to the town of Crystal Cove, the hometown of Jenna Hart. After losing her husband in a tragic boating accident, Jenna comes home to help her aunt Vera launch a cooking book shop in the town's scenic shopping district. Before the opening day, her best friend from college, and a famous television cooking personality, Desiree Devine, is brutally murdered. The town's chief gossip, Pepper Pritchett has it in for Jenna due something that happened years ago, and Jenna gets the feeling that she is being pegged for the murder. In an effort to vindicate herself, she starts looking into suspects and finds plenty to choose from. This zany cozy mystery is very entertaining, and I can't wait for the next one!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carly Budzynski

    Poor Jenna. Her husband dies in a boating accident in San Francisco, and two years later she needs to get away, so she moves back to her hometown to start a cookbook shop with her aunt. Jenna’s college roommate has become a huge celebrity chef on the Food Network, and agrees to come into town for an appearance. However, before superstar Desiree can sign anything, she shows up dead on the beach. Jenna is named a prime suspect, and needs to clear her name and get to the bottom of the murder. As som Poor Jenna. Her husband dies in a boating accident in San Francisco, and two years later she needs to get away, so she moves back to her hometown to start a cookbook shop with her aunt. Jenna’s college roommate has become a huge celebrity chef on the Food Network, and agrees to come into town for an appearance. However, before superstar Desiree can sign anything, she shows up dead on the beach. Jenna is named a prime suspect, and needs to clear her name and get to the bottom of the murder. As someone just getting into cooking, I highly enjoyed this book. Gerber uses real cookbooks as examples, which was very helpful, and includes recipes in the back of the book. I also loved the references to her other cheese shop mystery series, and Jenn McKinlay’s cupcake shop murder series. The mystery kept me intrigued, and I honestly had no idea who the killer was. I enjoy a good amount of suspense, and this book lived up to that. This book made me want to get up and cook, and I highly recommend it. I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest and fair review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    Book one in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series. What a great start to this new series. We get to meet Jenna as she moves back home and opens a cookbook store with her Aunt. They are gearing up for the grand opening so Jenna invites an old friend who just happens to be famous cookbook author to host a signing to draw in more people. Things are stressed when she arrives thanks to her behavior and it just gets worse when she is found dead with Jenna as one of the prime suspects. Well of course she ha Book one in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series. What a great start to this new series. We get to meet Jenna as she moves back home and opens a cookbook store with her Aunt. They are gearing up for the grand opening so Jenna invites an old friend who just happens to be famous cookbook author to host a signing to draw in more people. Things are stressed when she arrives thanks to her behavior and it just gets worse when she is found dead with Jenna as one of the prime suspects. Well of course she has to clear her name and it was quite fun to follow her along on her adventures as she tires to discover the truth of what really happened. This author has a smooth writing style that will really suck you into the story until you find yourself unable to put it down until you know who did it. I highly recommend it to fans of culinary cozy mysteries and give it 4/5 stars since I enjoyed it so much.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber is the first book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series. It introduces us to Jenna Hart who moves back to Crystal Cove to help her aunt manage a cookbook shop and cafe after the death of her husband. Unfortunately the opening in marred when Jenna finds the body of her friend and celebrity chef, Desiree Divine, murdered on the beach and quickly becomes the prime suspect, forcing her to investigate the crime. I enjoyed the mystery although the characters were a bit Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber is the first book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series. It introduces us to Jenna Hart who moves back to Crystal Cove to help her aunt manage a cookbook shop and cafe after the death of her husband. Unfortunately the opening in marred when Jenna finds the body of her friend and celebrity chef, Desiree Divine, murdered on the beach and quickly becomes the prime suspect, forcing her to investigate the crime. I enjoyed the mystery although the characters were a bit strange and some annoying. The references to cookbooks and cooking programs and chefs were not known to me living in Australia and were distracting. I will probably continue reading the series to see if it improves as the characters develop. Recipes are included.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    HAHAHA the author references her other series (written under a pseudonym) as some of the heroine's favorite books in her bookshop! HAHAHAHA! Cozy mysteries, you never cease to amaze me with your antics. Fun setting, ridiculous dialogue and character reactions, requisite tangential animal on the cover. Give me more!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Most of this book I really didn't care for it for what ever reason. I did like the ending however. Not sure I will continue on in this series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Jenna Hart has returned to her hometown, Crystal Cove, California, to start over again. She is leaving behind a stressful advertising career and the heartbreak of losing her husband to a boating accident. Her dear aunt, Vera, has opened a culinary bookshop and cafe and brought Jenna on as a partner. Her new life seems to be on an upward trajectory when tragedy strikes. Her college roommate, friend, and celebrity chef Desiree Divine, arrives in town to sign her new cookbook at the grand opening o Jenna Hart has returned to her hometown, Crystal Cove, California, to start over again. She is leaving behind a stressful advertising career and the heartbreak of losing her husband to a boating accident. Her dear aunt, Vera, has opened a culinary bookshop and cafe and brought Jenna on as a partner. Her new life seems to be on an upward trajectory when tragedy strikes. Her college roommate, friend, and celebrity chef Desiree Divine, arrives in town to sign her new cookbook at the grand opening of the Cookbook Nook. Soon after her arrival the day before the opening Desiree seems to stir up trouble among her entourage and with Jenna. Before Jenna has the opportunity to confront her friend with the awful accusation made by Desiree’s sister the star goes missing. Within hours, Desiree is found dead. Thanks to local gossip Jenna is suddenly a suspect in the crime. Fear of being arrested for a crime she didn’t commit drives Jenna to lead her own investigation. I enjoyed this book very much. The first two chapters seemed to take forever to get through and I felt like I had no idea who the characters were. I don’t know if it was my state of mind (stressful week) or the book itself. It only took me two days to read the rest of the book. The are a variety of personalities in the group of characters and they are all developed nicely. The suspect list is as long as my arm and it seems impossible to clear anyone of them. When we learn “whodunit” it is surprising. I recommend this book and look forward to moving on with the series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    This is the first in the series. I thought it was well written, but I would expect nothing else from this author. All the characters I could see as real people. I didn’t feel there was anything truly cookie cutter here. I got an overview of the town setting, but would have liked a bit more, so I could visualize a map of it. I think this will come together as the series is progressed. There was a lot of action going on here, and Uber clues and red herrings. I figure out the killer, but not until rig This is the first in the series. I thought it was well written, but I would expect nothing else from this author. All the characters I could see as real people. I didn’t feel there was anything truly cookie cutter here. I got an overview of the town setting, but would have liked a bit more, so I could visualize a map of it. I think this will come together as the series is progressed. There was a lot of action going on here, and Uber clues and red herrings. I figure out the killer, but not until right before the big reveal. The dialogue was very well done, I didn’t have trouble figuring out who said what, and you could envision the characters with just how they talked. Awesome! This is one I had trouble putting down.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diane ~Firefly~

    Jenna moves back to her hometown a couple years after her husband was lost at sea. She goes into business with her aunt, opening a cookbook store/café even though she can't cook. Not that it seems to matter as she is rarely at the business. When she is accused of the murder by a neighboring business owner who is over the top with her contempt, Jenna decides to investigate to clear herself even though her exCIA father warns her not to. Her form of investigation seems to be to talk to a suspect an Jenna moves back to her hometown a couple years after her husband was lost at sea. She goes into business with her aunt, opening a cookbook store/café even though she can't cook. Not that it seems to matter as she is rarely at the business. When she is accused of the murder by a neighboring business owner who is over the top with her contempt, Jenna decides to investigate to clear herself even though her exCIA father warns her not to. Her form of investigation seems to be to talk to a suspect and then accuse whomever that suspect pointed her at. Seriously, the police chief had to get sick of her calls accusing everyone. There is a romance, but it sort of came from no where and I would have liked some more build up.

  26. 5 out of 5

    bella

    In the first book in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series, Daryl Wood Gerber creates a mouth-watering mystery set in Crystal Cove, a idyllic by-the-sea town where murder and mayhem take place. Jenna returns home to Crystal Cove, after her husband was declared dead two years earlier, after going missing during a sailing trip. Her Aunt Vera has convinced her to open The Cookbook Nook, a cookbook store with a cafe, and with Vera, her father and school friends they prepare to open the most delicious stor In the first book in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series, Daryl Wood Gerber creates a mouth-watering mystery set in Crystal Cove, a idyllic by-the-sea town where murder and mayhem take place. Jenna returns home to Crystal Cove, after her husband was declared dead two years earlier, after going missing during a sailing trip. Her Aunt Vera has convinced her to open The Cookbook Nook, a cookbook store with a cafe, and with Vera, her father and school friends they prepare to open the most delicious store in Crystal Cove. Jenna has lined up Desiree Divine, celebrity chef and a friend from her college days. However before opening day Desiree turns up dead and it's up to Jenna to try and solve the murder!! I feel for authors with first books in a new series. There is a lot of pressure to not just create a great murder mystery, but to set up a memorable town with likeable characters that will make readers want to return for consecutive books. For me, first books in a series are make or breaks. If I like the town and characters I will return. A fantastic mystery to solve is always a bonus. With this in mind I was interested to see whether Crystal Cove would steal my attention just the way that her other series (The Cheese Shop Mysteries under the name Avery Aames) has. I'm happy to report that Crystal Cove, the Cookbook Nook and the Hart family left me completely captivated. Apart from the mystery, there is a lot of other things going on in Crystal Cove. There is Jenna's father, retired "FBI analyst", Aunt Vera and her psychic abilities, and the devilish Rhett Jackson (yes I imagined him having a Rhett Butler voice!!!). I won't spoil any of the little secondary stories but I will say that it's not just the mystery that will keep you guessing but also the gossip and happenings in the lives of the locals of Crystal Cove. With the mention of several delicious cozy mystery series (many of which I recognized) and mouth-watering cookbooks, Final Sentence was an absolute winner for me. I absolutely can't wait for Daryl Wood Gerber to release the second book in this series. In the meantime, I think I will heading out to the bookstore to pick up some cookbooks and to try the recipes in the back of Final Sentence.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Cozy mysteries are supposed to be like a warm blanket, comfort food and chamomile tea all wrapped up in 300 pages or so. Unfortunately, Final Sentence let me down. I received this book through the Goodreads-Firstreads program last year and tried to read it when I first got it in the mail. After about 50 pages I put it on hold. Last weekend I decided to give it another shot. To be perfectly honest, I had to force myself to finish it and I am probably being very generous by giving this 2.5 stars. W Cozy mysteries are supposed to be like a warm blanket, comfort food and chamomile tea all wrapped up in 300 pages or so. Unfortunately, Final Sentence let me down. I received this book through the Goodreads-Firstreads program last year and tried to read it when I first got it in the mail. After about 50 pages I put it on hold. Last weekend I decided to give it another shot. To be perfectly honest, I had to force myself to finish it and I am probably being very generous by giving this 2.5 stars. When describing this story to my husband I used the words "paint by numbers". It seemed like the author has a template for a cozy and just filled in the blanks. If so, that's fine. Part of what is comforting about these is their predictability. BUT...there are some things that don't work. The protagonist is just plain annoying. She becomes over-obsessed that she is a suspect in the murder (all cozies have a murder, that's not a spoiler). She also accuses almost everyone around her of being the killer when she clumsily tries to investigate the mystery herself. It's probably not a good idea to go up to random people, ask them two random questions and then say that they killed someone. And, she's a business owner who is never at her business. She runs out constantly to do her 'questioning', have lunch, get her hair done or other nonsense. As a reader, I just didn't care about her and almost hoped she'd be put in jail so she'd shut up. Another pet peeve is overuse of a catchphrase by a character. The eccentric aunt always says "too ra loo" and the chef that works for her says "Hoo boy". Too much. The love interest, Rhett, is a kind of nothing character. I just didn't feel why she would be attracted to him. Other than his name. This will probably be fleshed out in future installments but it didn't resonate with me here. The author clearly has talent and there are good things about the story. But, you have to put up with some nonsense to get there. 2.5/5 stars. Thanks to the Goodreads-Firstreads program.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laurel-Rain

    When Jenna Hart, still grieving after the death of her husband David Lassiter, decides to chuck her career in advertising and leave San Francisco, she is homeward bound. Back to Crystal Cove, where her Aunt Vera owns The Cookbook Nook. Jenna settles into a cottage next to Aunt Vera's beach house. The two of them have renovated the bookstore/café space and prepared for a big Opening Day, with a celebrity chef, Desiree Divine, also an old school chum of Jenna's, on board to help launch the shop. But When Jenna Hart, still grieving after the death of her husband David Lassiter, decides to chuck her career in advertising and leave San Francisco, she is homeward bound. Back to Crystal Cove, where her Aunt Vera owns The Cookbook Nook. Jenna settles into a cottage next to Aunt Vera's beach house. The two of them have renovated the bookstore/café space and prepared for a big Opening Day, with a celebrity chef, Desiree Divine, also an old school chum of Jenna's, on board to help launch the shop. But something disastrous happens the night before. Desiree is found murdered and Jenna has discovered the body, covered in sand like a sculptured mermaid. Almost immediately, a vengeful woman named Pepper Pritchard, who happens to be the mother of the Police Chief, Cinnamon Pritchard, points her finger at Jenna and accuses her. Every time Jenna turns around, Pepper is adding more accusations. How can Jenna prove her innocence? She sets out to find clues and investigate other potential suspects. But Cinnamon seems to be ignoring her assistance and continuing to zero in on Jenna. At this point, however, I started to dislike many of the characters. Not only is Pepper a horrific woman, wildly accusing Jenna, but her seemingly bright daughter, the Police Chief, seems to give credence to her unsubstantiated allegations. What kind of official would do such a thing? Then Jenna herself becomes almost frenetic in her quest to find the murderer, accusing first one person then another, manic in her pursuit of answers. She didn't seem to stop and think or logically try to reason things out...so in a way, her behavior may have caused Cinnamon to dismiss her information. In the end, the mystery is solved almost accidentally, without Cinnamon or Jenna, and the suspect was not really on their radar. I was just happy to have "Final Sentence (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)" come to an end...and hoped that Jenna would finally chill out. These aspects of the story made it less interesting to me. In the end, however, there were some recipes that looked tempting. 3.5 stars.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie and Louis Rigod

    This debut novel has a lot going on in the storyline. The main character, Jenna Hart, a former Advertising executive and widow, moves down south of San Francisco, CA to live next to her Auntie Vera, her Father, a former FBI analyst, and friends in her childhood town of Crystal Cove. Auntie has sold Jenna a business that she had intended to open decades earlier but hadn't due to something personal in her life. The new business is a combination Cookbook store and Cafe. It is an unique bookstore as This debut novel has a lot going on in the storyline. The main character, Jenna Hart, a former Advertising executive and widow, moves down south of San Francisco, CA to live next to her Auntie Vera, her Father, a former FBI analyst, and friends in her childhood town of Crystal Cove. Auntie has sold Jenna a business that she had intended to open decades earlier but hadn't due to something personal in her life. The new business is a combination Cookbook store and Cafe. It is an unique bookstore as it specializes in cookbooks but also, cooking implements, and a reading section with mysteries and other fiction revolving around cooking. The cafe is high-end delicacies. Auntie has sold the business but is actually the in-house manager as Jenna adjusts to her new job as 'owner.' A former high school friend of Jenna's, Katie becomes the head chef, and as time moves on, another friend, Bailey appears to work in the store. Jenna is also adopted by a precious kitty, Tigger which adds a great deal of mystery to the story plot. Jenna meets various persons and has an unusual interaction with the Police Chief's mother. There is a lot of action in this book. It begins simply, the store is opening with a guest cookbook celebrity, Desiree Divine, a former college room-mate of Jenna's. To everyone's shock, Desiree is found murdered by Jenna, which makes her the main suspect. Yes, Jenna tries to figure out who the killer is, but the journey to the truth is anything but simple. This novel is unique as the characters develop their personalities. We have psychics, both human and animal, artists, thieves, identity thefts, fakes, cooking lessons, reunions, humor, and more. As a bonus there are wonderful recipes at the end which are geared to regular and non-gluten baked goods. As a gluten sensitive, I certainly appreciate this careful attention and having something I can bake! I look forward to Jenna's next adventure as she becomes more part of Crystal Cove.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kim Reads (Read Your Writes Book Reviews)

    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. Fi 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

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