Stirring the Plot By Daryl Wood Gerber

Oct 11, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Here is yet another fun Halloween related mystery, this one is also a food mystery! Details on how to enter to win a copy of this book at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Every Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, the non-witchy Winsome Witches organize a week of charitable events to benefit literacy. The celebrations include a Winsome Witch Faire, fund-raising luncheon, spookiest window display contest, healing potion workshop, candy-making classes and a Black Cat Parade of costumed pets. They’re led by Pearl Thornton, the town therapist and owner of her late husband’s priceless Thornton Collection of gem-containing rocks and minerals. After Pearl’s bout of eccentric behavior is blamed on her recent Diabetes Two diagnosis, it also becomes the convenient explanation for her sudden death; and not the fake death she staged to fool her friends. book

As the owner of The Cookbook Nook and Nook Café, Jenna Harte has been busy stocking her shelves with Halloween-themed recipe books and culinary items. The former San Francisco advertising whiz is still recovering from her husband’s death and the secrets he hid. Jenna is beginning to move forward with Rhett, the former chef/owner of the Bait and Switch Fishing and Supply Store. His mother’s love of Gone with the Wind is something that he, and his sisters Scarlett and Ashley, prove to be obvious. Far more difficult is his relationship with his father who was responsible for the arson against Rhett’s restaurant and if Jenna will risk heartbreak again.

Jenna’s former-FBI-agent father is emphatic that she be on the sidelines of the investigation. Aunt Vera is insistent that Pearl’s unsolved death is interfering with her psychic abilities. Considering the number of murders in Crystal Cove since Jenna’s arrival, she can’t help but feel a little cursed. Cementing her decision to investigate is the fear that Vera may have had a reason to want Pearl gone. Pearl’s daughter lies more than she tells the truth so she’s an easy target for blame. When it’s discovered items from the Thornton Collection have gone missing, a wide array of suspects and motivations are thrown into the mix.

In the third of the Cookbook Nook Mystery series, the tone is darker for the Halloween season. Most of the suspects are Jenna’s friends and neighbors. This is a more somber Jenna than before. The people of Crystal Cove have no problem throwing suspicion on everybody else.

The vast array of romantic entanglements and shenanigans that fill everyone’s spare time relieves some of the tension. Figuring out who is leaving romantic gifts at the Cookbook Nook will be yet another mystery for Jenna to unravel. While Jenna’s cooking skills may be dubious, her collection of tantalizing cookbook titles is not. Readers will enjoy immersing themselves in a mystery that celebrates the quirkiness of the Halloween season as well as its magical allure that may ultimately drive someone to murder.

To enter to win a copy of Stirring the Plot, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Plot,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 18, 2014. U.S. residents only.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section. And if you are also a lover of food, check out KRL’s monthly food column How I Met My Dinner and get some great recipes!

Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL!

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).


  1. Makes one want to rush out and buy the book.

  2. Love seeing cats on the covers of most cozy mysteries. This one looks great.

  3. Stirring the Plot By Daryl Wood Gerber seems to be perfect for October! I’m looking forward to reading it. Love the Halloween theme. 🙂

    Please enter me in the contest. myrifraf@gmail [dot] com

  4. I’m looking forward to Jenna’s latest adventures.

  5. Well if the cover does not draw you into this delightful sounding story you have no curiosity. Keeping positive thoughts will win this one.

  6. captivating and lovely giveaway. Sounds intriguing.thanks.

  7. Sounds good, like the cover but it needs a big black pot! Thanks for chance to win a copy!

  8. Sounds like a great read.

  9. This is an author that has not disappointed me yet. Looking forward to reading what looks to be another great one from her.

  10. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

  11. Sounds good.
    kckendler at gmail dot com


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