Friday, January 22, 2016


Publisher:     Berkley
Published:     April 1, 2014
ISBN:       978-0425263457
Genre:      Cozy Mystery
Format:    Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina



Zoe Chase wants one thing out of life—to cook for people.  Okay, maybe two—to have people enjoy the food she cooks for them.  She’s tried to live the status quo—at least the one her mother has set for her.  But when she’s once again passed over for a promotion at work, she’s had enough and gives up the job, cashes out her 401k and sets her sights on opening up her own restaurant.  Thing is, she needs to make a little detour on the way to her five star restaurant.  Said stop is making some mouth-watering biscuit bowls and selling them from a food truck.  She’s actually having a good time with her food truck and making some good friends along the way.  And while living in the diner she hopes will one day be her restaurant with her cat Crème’ Brulee isn’t the best of accommodations she’s happy to be making her own way.

But not everyone is happy with Zoe’s decision.  First there’s her ex-boyfriend, Tommy Lee whose been cheating on her.  Then there’s her mother who is certain Zoe has lost her mind first for opening up her food truck business and second for breaking up with Tommy Lee.  And then there’s Taco Terry who ends up dead in the front seat of Zoe’s truck. Since there were several witnesses to a spat between Zoe and Terry earlier in the day the police are quick to look in Zoe’s direction for their killer.  Can she find the killer before she’s slinging hash in prison instead of frying up biscuit bowls in her food truck?

I had high expectations for J.J. Cook’s DEATH ON EAT STREET, book 1 of their Biscuit Bowl Food Truck mysteries mainly because I’ve loved their later series, the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series.  Unfortunately it was a disappointing read.  It wasn’t a bad read – it just didn’t seem to know what to do with itself.  The story focused mainly on what was more or less a treasure hunt rather than tracking down a killer. When the killer was revealed I had a “huh?” moment because it seemed to come out of nowhere.  It was almost as if the authors didn’t know who the killer should be, got to the end of the book and picked what they thought was a likely candidate.  It just didn’t make sense. 

There was a lot of needless repetition with Crème Brulee constantly biting Zoe although the other cat behaviors were spot on. And I could have done with a few less of Zoe’s ruminations about how all she wants to do it cook for people or make biscuit bowls.

I did like Zoe in general.  And I really liked Ollie.  He was an extremely likeable character I’d like to know more about.

Not a bad read and I’d certainly pick up the next book in the series.  J.J. Cook (aka Joyce and Jim Lavene) are excellent writers and have had some fun series.  Hopefully this one will pick up and evolve into one of their better series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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