Friday, April 29, 2016

Steamed (A Gourmet Girl Mystery #1), by Jessica Conant-Park (author), Susan Conant (author), Erin Spencer (narrator)

Audible Studios, April 2016 (original publication May 2006)

Twenty-something Chloe Carter is looking for a degree in social work, true love, and good food--not necessarily in that order. She's just started graduate school for her master's degree in social work, and she's also just discovered that her very hot boyfriend, who lives one floor down in their condo building, is two-timing her with a hot blonde.

Her sister thinks she should get organized about her search for love--online dating or speed dating. Speed dating is right out, but in a weak moment, she signs up for Back Bay Dates, with the user name GourmetGirl, and is soon communicating with DinnerDude. They arrange to meet at the hot new restaurant, Essence.

DinnerDude, real name Eric Rafferty, is an annoying date, though they share a real interest in gourmet food. He goes from annoying to impossible when he leaves the table to take a phone call, and turns up dead in the men's restroom just before dessert.

This is a lively, interesting cozy mystery with some interesting twists in the plot. On the other hand, at times Chloe is pretty darned annoying herself. She's way too cool to take some of her social services education seriously, even as she finds the class in group therapy unexpectedly useful. Many of her dating problems are directly to her doing things she knows are foolish. At times, her saving grace is that her sister, Heather, is so utterly, self-righteously certain she's right about everything involving Chloe's life. She's the one who recommended Back Bay Dates, for instance...

On the flip side, this is a story set in Boston, and it makes good use of Boston and Cambridge as a setting. It's just a lot of fun.

Overall, recommended for a good, light read.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from Audible in exchange for an honest review.

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