Title: Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking
Author: Linda Griffin
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Software engineer Reid Lucas loves to cook and has a history of falling in love with married women. When he leaves his complicated past in Chicago for a job in California, he runs into trouble and must call a virtual stranger to bail him out of jail.
Alyssa Knight, a tough street cop waiting for a church annulment from her passive-aggressive husband, is the roommate of the woman Reid calls for help, and she reluctantly provides bail for Reid.
He falls for her immediately, and cooking for her is an act of love. She just wants to be friends, but they keep ending up in bed together. When his boss is murdered, Reid is a suspect—or is he the intended target?
Two perfect strangers, a suspicious murder, and the sublime power of cooking… can one man’s gift for culinary creations convince Alyssa to drop her guard and let love in? The first time Alyssa meets Reid, she’s bailing him out of jail. Years on the police force raise her hackles about how nice he’s being, cooking and all. She knows he’s up to no good and makes rash judgments, even as he’s creating mouth-watering food. When Reid’s boss shows up dead, she’s even more convinced. But the more time they spend together, her walls and convictions begin to crumble. Is he a serial killer type who has an angelic face or is he telling the truth? While she sorts out her own heart, she investigates what could be a frame-up. One thing is certain: his food is straight from heaven as is his love for her.
Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking is a brilliant romantic suspense I couldn’t put down. It has all the elements I enjoy in an unputdownable story: independent heroine, suspenseful plot with a few red herrings, unexpected romance, great amounts of food, witty dialogue, murder, and a happily for now ending. Linda Griffin is masterful when it comes to original storylines but what I love most is her ability to write a realistic love story. There’s no rescuing heroine and sweeping her off her feet. There’s no billionaire hero to shower gifts and make everything in her life better. In this story, Linda Griffin takes two jaded characters and shows how love isn’t the be-all but instead adds to what makes life worth living. Romance is different for everyone, and I loved seeing romance from Alyssa’s point of view. I also enjoyed the sweet, sensitive Reid trying to navigate through the troubled waters of Alyssa’s heart. The descriptive narration on the food and cooking made my mouth water. The suspense part of the story had me whipping through the pages. Just when I thought I’d figured out who the murderer was, Linda Griffin wrote a twist that knocked me for a loop. So well done. The ending made me gasp aloud. Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking is a romantic suspense not to be missed. Perfect for fans of Diane Mott Davidson. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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I retired as fiction librarian for the San Diego Public Library to spend more time on my writing. My stories have been published in numerous journals including Eclectica, Thema Literary Review, The Binnacle, Orbis, and The Nassau Review. Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking is my fourth novel from The Wild Rose Press, following Seventeen Days (2018), The Rebound Effect (2019), and Guilty Knowledge (2020).
Social Media Links:
Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com/lgriffin08392487/love-death-and-the-art-of-cooking/ Some of Reid’s recipes can be found here.
Reviewed by: Mrs. N