Posts Tagged ‘cozy’

Boy Meets Girl

October 31, 2012

Boy Meets Girl

Author: Cabot, Meg
Title: Boy Meets Girl
Genre: Chick Lit
Publication Date: 2004
Number of Pages: 387
Geographical Setting: New York City
Time Period: Present day
Series: The “Boy Series”

The story is told from a series of emails, instant messages, journal entries, to do lists exchanged between characters in the story.  Kate MacKenzie the main character recently moved out from her long time boyfriend Dale who would not commit to marriage.  She is taken in by her newly married best friend and husband – Jen and Craig Sadler.  The story progresses, with the ex boy friend desperately wanting her back and subsequently creating lot of scene with her refusal.  As the Personnel Representative – Human Resources Department of The New York Journal, Kate is ordered by her (unpopular) boss Amy but known as – T.O.D. (Tyrannical Office Despot), to fire the baker for refusing to serve a senior officer a piece of pie.  Unfortunately, the fired employee sues the the New York Journal for wrongful termination, no – “breach of contract”.   Now, Kate is named as one of the defendants in the lawsuit.  The start of this legal arbitration sets wheels of events rolling, leading to a new romantic venture for Kate, conspiracies, and some love trysts.

There are multiple plot threads going on at the same time involving family issues, friendship, and trust which intertwines and eventually connects back to the main story.  An interesting angle is the plot of the cute  defense lawyer who Kate is beginning  to fall in love with and who happens to be Kate’s boss’ fiancé’s brother. This creates additional level of complexities making the book so much  harder to put down – you are compelled to follow the unraveling of this situation.

This is a really heartwarming story, realistic plot with laugh out loud rhetoric.  Anyone who loves romance without the “mushy” part of it would enjoy this.

Subject Headings:
Employees, Lawyers, Men/women relationships, Newspaper publishing, Personnel management, Single women

Appeal:
Plot-driven, Fast-paced, Funny, Upbeat, Engaging, Charming, Cozy, Romantic, Conversational,Attention-grabbing, Witty,

3 Appeal Terms:
Romantic, Fast-paced, Funny,

Fiction Read – a-likes:

Getting to the Good Part by Files, Lolita
Another fast paced, and heartwarming story of a girl also loving someone who got her fired as in Boy Meets Girl. The story tells about starting a new life in New York city as Kate did in Boy Meets Girl. Readers who enjoyed the theme of moving and trying to settle in a big city would also love this story.

Not Another Bad Date by Gibson, Rachel
Story about a young girl with a track record of a series of bad dates and begins to question her own judgements about men.  Her insecurities is shown as she continually fails to get a good date.  Similar to Boy Meets Girl where Kate believes there had to be something wrong with her because of her poor judgements of her past relationship and things always seem to go wrong whenever she  was in the presence of her new guy.  Another story of a young girls’ quest for love and overcoming some circumstances in the process.

Strange Bedpersons by Crusie, Jennifer
Also funny and upbeat as Meg Cabot’s Boy Meets Girl involving a love affair between a republican lawyer and a democrat.  For those who enjoyed the hint of politics and and different ideologies expressed in Boy Meets Girl, this book delves a little deeper into into such differences and shows how such issues can be overcome through a lot of compromise.

Non-Fiction read a-likes:

Heart of the City : nine stories of love and serendipity on the streets of New York by Ariel Sabar
If you really enjoyed Boy Meets Girl by Cabot, Meg as a fiction, well, here is a non fiction collection of similar stories where couples met and found love in New York city.  This will make a great read for those who enjoy real life events better than fiction.  The author brings us stories of nine couples who met by chance in various parts of the New York city and got married afterwards.  Just like Boy Meets Girl, it is funny, charming and romantic.

Finding Love Again: 6 simple steps to a new and happy relationship by Orbuch, Terri
This book has a lot of information and  ideas on how to find love again.  Considering the turmoil Kate and other characters in the story had to go through in their relationships, this book comes with a 21 day plan on how to commit and keep it real in relationships. Readers who needs new relationships as well as those looking for ways to build a happy union would really enjoy this book.

Date or Soul Mate?: How to Know if Someone is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less  by Neil Warren
The author discusses  tips on how to tell you’ve found “the right one”.  This is a practical guide on the psychology of dating.  This book gives more insight to theme of dating found in Boy Meets Girl where the main character Kate was consumed in finding her true love.  Readers in the same life situation would find this book a great resource in navigating the dating scene.

Fudge Cupcake Murder

June 7, 2010

Fudge Cupcake Murder bookcover

Author: Joanne Fluke

Title: Fudge Cupcake Murder

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 305

Geographical Setting: Lake Eden, Minnesota

Time Period: Current

Series: 5th in the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series

Plot Summary: Bakery owner and amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen is back for her fifth installment with some puzzles to solve. On her to do list: Get pet cat Moshie to swallow vitamins and/or tolerate senior kitty food, discover the secret ingredient in the late Mrs. Keoster’s fudge cupcakes, and negotiate her torn love life amongst the prying eyes of her judgmental mother and very pregnant sister, not to mention the rest of the small-town. Things in Lake Eden are running as smoothly as can be expected with the election for town sheriff approaching. Hannah’s brother-in-law, Bill, is favored to win against incumbent Sheriff Grant. That is, until Hannah discovers the body of Sheriff Grant in a dumpster behind the high school where she is teaching her cooking class. Bill is named the prime suspect in the investigation, but it turns out that Sheriff Grant had a long list of enemies. In order to clear her brother in law’s name Hannah must prove his innocence and find the real killer!

Subject Headings: Women detectives, Police, Murder, Hannah, Bakeries, Minnesota, Culinary mystery stories, Cozy mystery stories, Gentle Reads

Appeal: Lighthearted, domestic, sweet, recipes included, descriptive, tasty, quirky characters, homey, intimate, cozy, quick-read, series

3 Terms That Best Describe This Book: light, small-town, culinary mystery

Titles in the Series:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (2000)

Strawberry Shortcake Murder (2001)

Blueberry Muffin Murder (2002)

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (2003)

Fudge Cupcake Murder (2004)

Sugar Cookie Murder (2004)

Peach Cobbler Murder (2005)

Cherry Cheesecake Murder (2006)

Key Lime Pie Murder (2007)

Similar Authors and Works:

Non-Fiction:

  • Dewey: The Small-town Library Cat who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

This book traces the author’s discovery of a half-frozen kitten in the drop-box of her small community Iowa library, and the feline’s development into an affable library mascot whose intuitive nature prompted hundreds of abiding friendships.

Similarities: small town life, cat-lovers

  • Talking with my Mouth Full: Crab Cakes, Bundt Cakes and Other Kitchen Stories by Bonny Wolf

The food commentator for NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday” journeys into the heartland of America to discuss those foods that we eat for holidays, family gatherings, comfort, and other occasions, with essays on great regional specialties and more than seventy recipes for such classic foods as popovers, Southwestern chili, shepherd’s pie, Irish raisin soda bread, and chicken la king.

Similarities: quintessentially American, lighthearted, food oriented

  • The lost night: a daughter’s search for the truth of her father’s murder by Rachel Howard

The bizarre small town murder of Stan Howard was never solved. Author Rachel coped by keeping silent and trying to pretend the murder had never happened. Now seventeen years later, she attempts to uncover what happened by reconnecting with her father’s family. Rachel sorts through their memories of his death and presses the less-than-helpful detectives, and seeks her former stepmother and stepbrother, neither of whom she has seen since her father’s funeral.

Similarities: small town murder mystery, female protagonist, family themes.

Fiction:

  • Chocolate Dipped Death by Sammi Carter

Candy shop owner Abby must use her sleuthing skills to solve the murder of a local girl turned millionaire trophy wife that occurred on the eve of the Tenth Annual Confectionery Competition

Similarities: Small town, confectioner turned amateur sleuth, recipes included

  • A Catered Halloween: A Mystery with Recipes by Isis Cawford

“Hired to cater a charity haunted house at the old Peabody School, sisters Bernadette and Libby Simmons find murder on the menu when the death of wealthy socialite Amethyst Applegate could hold the key to solving the decades-old “accidental” death of a young girl.” (Novelist 2008)

Similarities: small-town, cozy culinary mystery with, sister relationship and Halloween season recipes.

  • The Chocolate Cupid Killings: a Chocoholic Mystery by JoAnna Carl

“Chocolatier Lee and her Aunt Nettie are suspected of involvement in the murder of private detective Derrick Valentine while trying to keep secret the identity of one of their employees.”  (Novelist 2009)

Similarities: cozy culinary mystery set in a small town, murder investigation revolving around a sweet shop, law enforcement officer murdered, and female detectives

Name: Amy

Eggsecutive Orders

March 16, 2010

Author: Julie Hyzy

Title: Eggsecutive Orders

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: 2010

Number of Pages: 352

Geographical Setting: Washington D.C.- The White House

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): A White House Chef Mystery: State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef

Plot Summary: White House Chef Olivia Paras and her staff are preparing for the annual Easter egg hunt on the grounds of the White House (WH).  But before the hunt rolls around, Ollie and her people are under suspicion and suspended from the kitchen when a guest, National Security Agency (NSA) Chief Carl Minkus, dies after eating a dinner they had prepared.  To add to the confusion, Ollie’s family finally is visiting her and had been looking forward to a personal tour of the WH.  The Secret Service tear apart the WH kitchen and delve into the lives of Ollie and her staff.  Who is going to prepare the First Family’s meals?  Will the Easter Egg Roll have food?  Who killed the NSA chief and why?  Ollie steps into the fray to find the murderer and to clear her name.

Subject Headings: White House- Fiction, Washington D.C.-Fiction, Cooking mystery- Fiction, Cooking- Fiction, Women chefs- Fiction, Murder- Investigation- Fiction, Easter egg hunts- Fiction, Olivia Paras- Fiction

Appeal: fast-paced, vivid, character-centered, recognizable, series characters, detailed setting, well-developed, cozy, suspenseful, urban, humorous, appetizing, witty, domestic

3 terms that best describe this book: fun, engrossing, humorous

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  • The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman

The author takes us on his journey through his studies at the Culinary Institute of America and beyond.  Weaving through kitchens throughout the world, we see food through the eyes of a chef.  Anyone who enjoys food, will enjoy this inspiring story.

  • Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Food Critic by Ruth Reichl

Reichl, a prolific writer of food, writes of how she disguises herself when she goes out to dine as a food critic.  A very humorous account of the various times that Reichl has changed her appearance and persona just to go out and critique a restaurant.  An enjoyable read.

  • Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

A New York woman decides that she will undertake a new project- to see if she can cook every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The reader follows Powell through the year sharing in her disasters and triumphs.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

  • Fatally Flaky by Diane Mott Davidson

The latest in the Goldie Schulz series, the Colorado caterer finds herself sleuthing once again. While planning the catering for the reception for the bride from hell, Doc Finn, a friend of Goldie’s dies.  Was it murder and who would want kindly Doc dead? Goldie once again has her hands full trying to run her business and solve a murder. A delightful and humorous mystery.

  • Cooking Up Murder by Miranda Bliss

The first in a series, two kooky friends Annie and Eve, decide they want to learn how to cook.  Together they sign up for a cooking class, meet their hunky teacher, stumble upon a dead body in the parking lot and find themselves trying to solve a mystery.  And who said cooking couldn’t be fun?

  • Wormwood by Susan Albert Wittig

Book # 17 in the China Bayles mystery series has China, an herbalist, travels out of Pecan Springs to a Shaker Village in Kentucky. Visiting a friend at the village, China finds herself trying to find a killer.  In the process, China also unveils a mystery from the past.  A different twist on the China Bayles series.

Name: Noreen