Review: Cooking the Books, by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Cooking the Books cover artCooking the Books, by Bonnie S. Calhoun (Abingdon Press, 2012)

When Sloane Templeton fled her abusive husband, she moved into an apartment above her mother’s bookstore in Brooklyn, NYC. Her mom’s sudden death left her co-owner of the store, and business partner with store manager Felicia Tyler.

Sloane’s not the bookstore type. She’s a computer forensics pro. But she’s not ready to let go of the connection to her mother and move on with life. Especially not now, when community business owners are under pressure to sell out to a big developer and she can still hear her mother’s thoughts on the subject.

Sloane is a vibrant, sassy character with a penchant for strays (of the human variety). Her self-appointed mother-hens, Felicia and Aunt Verlene, are as supportive as they can be. Sadly for Sloane, that support comes in the form of shooting lessons, fear-inspiring home cuisine, and a concerted attempt to set her up with nice young men despite her current relationship.

Then the email threats start. Her former boyfriend (not the ex-husband, he’s trouble of a different sort) wants her back. Rude but wealthy men compete for a valuable book. And the developer piles on the pressure to sell. What’s a girl to do?

The characters make the novel. Felicia and Verlene are larger-than-life comedic individuals like you’d find in Janice Hanna Thompson’s Weddings by Bella series. Between the fast-paced banter and all that’s going on in Sloane’s life, it’s a fun read. And a good mystery: who’s behind all this?

When the immediate mystery is solved, there are enough threads left to warrant a sequel. Always a good thing… I hope we’ll see more Sloane Templeton Mysteries. For a bit of fun, click this link to meet Sloane Templeton.

Bonnie S. Calhoun is director of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and owner/publisher of the popular Christian Fiction Online magazine. Cooking the Books is her first novel, and it fits her tag line: snark & suspense. For more about the author, visit And check out Vonda Skelton’s interview with Bonnie.  You can also read the first chapter of Cooking the Books.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

6 thoughts on “Review: Cooking the Books, by Bonnie S. Calhoun

  1. Donna Feyen

    Janet. Love the review. I downloaded this book and haven’t started it yet. I will move it up on the ‘to be read’ list after reading your review. I also plan to check Bonnie’s page.
    Thanks, Donna
    Founder, More Than A


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