Posted in 4 paws, cooking, Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Review on August 2, 2015

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Fudging the Books (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Series: A Cookbook Nook Mystery (Book 4)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425279403
E-Book ASIN: B00QH8320E


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…


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It is hard to believe this is the 4th in the series! Another mystery in which I didn’t guess the killer. I definitely thought it was the wrong person. I was a bit surprised to learn who it was but it made sense once all the reasoning was laid out as to why. There are comments about Jenna being in town a short time and all of a sudden the murder rate increasing. Luckily she has a lot of people on her side that don’t think she is involved even though she ends up on the wrong place at the wrong time.  Of course it wouldn’t be a cozy if the main character is the killer!

I like how the author brings in titles of other books (cookbooks, mysteries, etc). I want to read them all!  I have oodles of cookbooks and I do want to go buy more (especially the chocolate ones) but don’t have enough space.

We give it 4 paws up!

Exclusive Recipe from Daryl!

I’m doing lots of promotion for Fudging the Books, the 4th in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series. Needless to say, I’m focusing on the “fudge” part by sharing lots of chocolate recipes. It turns out that a lot of my readers like chocolate. Go figure! LOL

Yes, this is a picture of a birthday cake. When I made this recipe, I had three birthdays in a week. I needed something easy to make. For months, I’d wanted to try putting coconut in a cake. I’d heard all the good things derived medically from eating coconut. For example, lots of populations have thrived for generations eating massive amounts of coconut, and these nations have less heart disease. Also, eating coconut increases energy. Hmm. I can always use more of that!

I discovered a yummy recipe in a Bon Appetit Magazine, March 2014, while I was waiting in the doctor’s office, of all places. (Well read and thumbed through after a year!) What else was I going to read? I forgot to bring a book. No cell phone use. And the wait was lo-o-o-o-o-ong.

Like I said, this recipe is EASY-PEASY! And this tasted like a big Mounds bar. I bet if you added almonds, it would taste like an Almond Joy. It was delish!

Savor the Mystery!

Daryl Wood Gerber

Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous



Chocolate Coconut Pound Cake


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (*if using gluten-free flour, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Frosting & sprinkles, if desired


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 4” loaf pan; line with parchment paper. Make sure some of it hangs over the side. This makes it VERY easy to remove the cake from the pan.

Mix the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and coconut flakes in a bowl and set aside. [*If using gluten-free flour, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.]

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, coconut oil, and sugar on medium-high until it’s fluffy, about 5 minutes. It takes a while for the coconut oil to mix so be patient. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each time. The mixture will get very light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Mix.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the dry ingredients, one-third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Do not overmix as it will cause the cake to split. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.

Bake cake for about 60 -70 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. In my oven, it took 60 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes more. Remove the cake from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

This will keep for a good week. Keep at room temperature.

Note: The Bon Appetit recipe asked for the coconut to be put in at the last (not in the dry ingredients) by making a canal in the middle of the cake batter, pouring in the coconut and topping with 1 tablespoon of sugar. I missed that instruction – oops! – which is why my coconut flakes were incorporated in the dry ingredients. It tastes like a Mounds bar!


About the Author

darylwoodgerberDARYL 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.

Find Daryl here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Find Avery here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads





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