August 2, 2016

Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber - Review and Giveaway

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

Published: August 2, 2016
Number of pages: 304
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Cookbook Nook Mystery #5

Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of Fudging the Books.

As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of her father’s neighbors is found the next morning smoldering in a bonfire, the rodeo revelry is extinguished.

Sylvia Gump had acquired plenty of enemies with her practice of illegally encroaching on her neighbors’ properties—including Jenna’s dad, who was off fishing by himself and has no alibi for the murder. Now it’s up to Cary Hart’s dutiful daughter to clear his name before the real killer turns up the heat and rakes someone else over the coals…


My thoughts:
Daryl Wood Gerber has done it again and given us another great addition to the Cookbook Nook series. I love the Wild West themed event the town is hosting I wish I could attend. Although finding a body in the bonfire would not be so much fun. Jenna has her hands full as she tries to find the real killer to keep her dad off the hook. I also liked how the bookstore stocks books to fit the theme of the extravangaza - that was a good marketing plan. I like how the author gives us plenty of twists and turns so we don't know who the killer is right up until the end. I look forward to the next book in this series. Oh and don't forget to check out the recipes in the back of the book. There is also going to be one included below. 

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
Daryl’s Blog –
Avery’s Blog –
Mystery Lover’s Kitchen –
Killer Characters –
Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber
Daryl Wood Gerber
Avery Aames

Purchase Links
Amazon B &N

Let’s talk barbecue.

Barbecue is all about being outdoors, right? It doesn’t mean you have to use the grill.  You can serve cold things for a barbecue, like fruit salad and macaroni salad. I have a corn and tomato salad recipe in GRILLING THE SUBJECT.  It is so delicious.

Barbecue can be potluck where everybody brings something. However, make sure someone designates what everyone should bring: entrĂ©e, side, salad, dessert. I went to a barbecue one time where everybody brought a side dish. Oops! Very funny.

Barbecue, in my opinion, does mean something spicy should be included. The dish I’m sharing is that dish! It has all the wonderful flavors that make it “barbecue”. You need to plan ahead, though. It takes a day to soak the beans and a full morning to cook it in a slow cooker. 

If you know anything about me, you know I like to browse cookbooks. For Grilling the Subject, I looked through hundreds of cookbooks. I found this recipe in a tailgating cookbook. 

FYI, if you didn’t know, I have a list on my website with all the titles of cookbooks (and cheeses) I’ve noted in my books. You’ll find those lists in the Cookbook Nook “world”  


Ala Southern Living
The Official Tailgating Book SEC 
Makes 8-10 portions

3 cups pre-soaked pinto beans (about 1 cup dried, soaked overnight)

(*Note: The Southern Living recipe called for 3 cans (16 ounces) navy beans, drained. I couldn’t find them and I prefer fresh beans, anyway, which are so easy to do. See below.)

4 cups cooked boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
28 ounces chicken broth (if you need gluten-free, I used *Pacific Natural Foods)
1 can chopped green chiles (7 ounces)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic salt or onion powder

(*Second Note: This recipe called for a package of white chicken chili seasoning mix. I couldn’t find that so I concocted my own mixture of spices, noted above!)

Toppings: sour cream, Monterey Jack cheese, Avocado-Mango Salsa

Soak the beans overnight. Pour off the water and mash the beans (in a food processor) to a pulp.

Pre-cook the chicken breasts. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Wrap the boneless chicken breasts in foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven. Cut the chicken into cubes and set aside.

Put everything--and I mean everything; beans, chicken, onion, garlic, olive oil, chicken broth, green chiles, chili powder, cumin powder, salt, and garlic salt--into a slow cooker.

Set the cooker on low for 4 hours. Then turn it up to medium-high for 2 hours. Spoon chili into individual serving dishes and serve with salsa and toppings.

1 large avocado, cubed
1 cup mango, diced
½ red onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
(Note: This recipe called for cilantro. I’m not a fan. But if you are, add 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped)

Stir together and serve immediately.

Please go to Escape With Dollycas to enter the giveaway

Tour Participants

July 27 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Interview, Recipe
July 28 – fuonlyknew – Review, Recipe
July 29 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Recipe
July 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Recipe
July 30 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Recipe
August 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Recipe
August 2 – A Holland Reads – Review, Recipe
August 3 – Back Porchervations – Review, Recipe

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