August 5, 2015

Fudging the Books by Daryl Wood Gerber - Review and Giveaway

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: August 4, 2014
Number of pages:
Genre: Cozy Mystery
A Cookbook Nook Mystery #4

The Agatha Award–winning author of Stirring the Plot returns to the Cookbook Nook in Crystal Cove, California, where February brings Pirate Week, National Chocolate Month—and bitter murder…

Pirate Week is sweeping through Crystal Cove and keeping Jenna Hart and her bookstore, the Cookbook Nook, plenty busy. But she’s not too swamped to also host the local Chocolate Cookbook Club’s meeting—especially because the guest of honor is her friend, candy maker and cookbook author Coco Chastain.

Jenna whips up a delicious event amidst the rowdy festivities, but the mood is soon broken by robberies, simmering tempers, and a dead body—Coco’s editor, Alison. The suspects turn out to be more plentiful than a pot full of gold doubloons, so to prove Coco isn’t responsible for the dastardly deed, Jenna will have to stir up some clues and figure out who’s the real sticky-fingered killer…

What did I think about this book:
I enjoyed reading this cozy mystery and getting revisit Crystal Cover. This one was fun to read because it had two things I enjoy a Pirate Week and chocolate. The characters are very charming and well developed. It seems that Jenna is always finding herself in the middle of the mysteries. I like how we go on a journey from the first page in this little town. The author did a good job on keeping me guessing who committed the murder and there were plenty of people to choose from.Oh and let's not forget about the the robberies as well, who could be doing this. I also enjoy Daryl's writing style. You will find yourself reading long into the night to see what happens next.

What I thought about the cover:
I love this cover. From the kitten in the hammock to the pirate ship in the harbor all the way to the chocolate and the books. I like how much detail is put into the cover so you can really see each thing. 

About the author:
DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California. As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.

Author Links
Visit Daryl or Avery
“They” blog on as well as


Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Daryl Wood Gerber
Avery Aames

Cookbook Nook Mystery Series
#1 Final Sentence
#2 Inherit the Word
#3 Stirring the Plot
#4 Fudging the Books

Giveaway #1:
This giveaway is open to the US only. It is for one copy of your choice of the Cookbook Mysteries. This is a rafflecopter giveaway and the winner will be drawn randomly. The winner will be emailed and has 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I have to eat gluten-free, but that doesn’t mean I go hungry. I have figured out how to make most of my favorite things without flour. Cheesecake is one of those yummy desserts that I just can’t do without. 

Now because I’m writing the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, I often turn to cookbooks for inspiration. For Fudging the Books, the 4th in the series, I purchased a slew of chocolate cookbooks, one of which is indeed killer! Today’s recipe comes from Luscious Chocolate Desserts. The pictures alone are worth the purchase. I happen to be a picture girl. Are you?

The recipe asked for a crust made of chocolate wafers. I found the perfect match with Glutino store-bought chocolate wafers. 

The rest…well, there’s no gluten in it, so we’re good to go! This looks like a chocolate mousse cake, but it definitely has the flavor of cheese. I love chocolate and cheese together.

This would make a great book club dessert, by the way.  Do any of you belong to a book club?

Savor the Mystery!

Daryl Wood Gerber
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous

(ala Luscious Chocolate Desserts Cookbook)
*I tweaked crust to make this gluten-free


One package 4.6 ounce Glutino chocolate wafers  [Cookbook recipe asks for 9-ounce package chocolate wafers]
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or room temp

1 pound bittersweet or semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
¼  cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3  8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups sour cream, at room temp
2 teaspoons vanillin (if not gluten-free, may use real vanilla)

For crust:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom. Wrap the entire outside tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Have a roasting pan (can be disposable) ready. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath (*see below). 

Pulse the chocolate wafers in a food processor until finely ground. With the motor running, add the butter, and process until blended. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan (on top of parchment paper). 

Bake the crust for 8 minutes until it is set. Let cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling:
Melt the chocolate with the butter. [The cookbook says over simmering water – I did this in the microwave, on medium heat for 3 minutes.] Remove from microwave and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Let the mixture cool to room temp.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer, starting on low and increasing to medium-high. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. [Note: I put all the eggs into a measuring cup and poured one in at a time. Amazing how that works!] Beat in the pinch of salt. Beat in the chocolate mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides.

Transer the filling to the springform pan. Set the pan in the roasting pan, place it in the oven, and carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Center will STILL be slightly jiggly; do not overbake—the cake will firm as it cools. Remove the roasting pan from the oven (carefully!!!) and let the cheesecake cool in the water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove the springform pan from the water bath and let cool on a wire rack, completely, about 2 hours. Remove the foil (messy) and refrigerate the cheesecake, loosely covered with saran wrap, utnil thoroughly chilled, at least 12 hours. 

To serve, let the cheesecake stand at room temp for 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides, smooth the sides of the cheesecake with a table knife, and cut into wedges.

Serves at least 12 because this is SOOOO rich!

Tour Participants
August 1 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review
August 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
August 3 – fuonlyknew – Review
August 4 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review
August 5 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review
August 6 – Babs Book Bistro – Review


  1. I am a fan of Daryl Wood Gerber's books so I am interested in reading her books. Fudging the Books sounds like a fun read featuring chocolate (my favorite food group) and hosting pirate's week (which sounds positively enjoyable)! I can't wait to read it. Thank you for the giveaway.

    1. Jen, so lovely to see you! Thanks for the compliment.


  2. Love chocolate and cozies. Can't wait to read this one!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This book is going on my list!

  5. Of course, the mystery and Chocolate:) YUM

  6. Love chocolate and cozies!! I'm looking forward to reading this book. :)

  7. Thanks, Angela! This is a wonderful series and I can hardly wait to read Fudging the Books!

  8. Love chocolate!! Love this series and can't wait to start reading this book!!

  9. Daryl Wood Gerber's book always interest me...the characters are fun, story engrossing, and recipes easy and delicious, Pirates, chocolate, and murder? What else do you want?

    1. Kathleen, that's so sweet! Thanks for the compliment!


  10. This sounds like a great book! I really like the Cover!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. "MY" - isn't the artist terrific? She's so talented. She nails Tigger (the kitten) every time.


  11. I love a good mysteryband if there is a food or cat element it makes it even better. This seres is onderful and the cheese shop series is another favorite!!!!!Thank you for the review and giveaway!!!!!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks, "One" for the compliment. I had sticky fingers on the keyboard before. Oops!


  12. I love this series and I love chocolate. The recipe looks to die for.

  13. I love culinary mysteries and recipes -- that's why this book interests me.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  14. I am looking forward to Pirate Week and the return to the Cookbook Nook! The cheesecake looks good---I made my first flourless chocolate cake this spring. Rave reviews! Thanks!

  15. I have not had the pleasure of reading your books yet, but I really look forward to doing so. They look and sound wonderful. I have just copied some of your posted recipes, but won't be able to try them for quite awhile. My husband and I started the HMR liquid diet through Sharp Medical Weight Management on July 15th and I have already lost 15.5lbs! We both also love cheese so I am sure I will enjoy those books too! Thanks for the great giveaway! Meredith :)

  16. Sorry, I wanted to add that this book as well as your others have such great reviews! You keep your readers guessing as well as using recipes. I also like that they are clean and fun! Very appealing covers too! That is why I am interested in this book as well as your others. :) Meredith