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Book Review: Death of a Crabby Cook by Penny Pike


Escaping into a crimozy can be a lot of fun or it can be dangerous to your health. Especially when you start a new series.

As Death of a Crabby Cook begins, Darcy Burnett is "laid off" in the third paragraph from her job as a reporter and thus begins to contemplate her future.

Her aunt, a retired lunch lady, has opened up a food truck (a converted school bus) and when her cousin Dillon leaves for the day, Darcy takes over for the rest of the day. She doesn't tell Abby that she's lost her job but eventually confesses and is offered a job in the interim.

Darcy does have a revelation though and that's to write a cookbook based on food truck recipes.

Later that first night of unemployment, Abby is taken in for questioning when brick and mortar restaurant owner Oliver Jameson is found dead in his office. Abby had been seen arguing with him and she does confess that she had been in his office snooping around.

During questioning, Abby doesn't really hold anything back and pretty much blows the interview away as she thinks about the Crab and Seafood Festival causing Darcy to become a little alarmed at her aunt's frivolity.

As Darcy gets to know the other truckers the thought of a cookbook sounds good and when one of them is found murdered, Darcy tries to get Abby off the hook. However, when the police come by the house for additional questioning, Abby notices an arrest warrant for Dillion, who has since disappeared.

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While Darcy begins her own investigation she of course puts herself in danger as she follows one suspect and gets involved with the other truckers' bad sides. Yet she has to ask herself, is the Dream Puff guy, Jake Miller, the killer since he knows a lot of the secrets that she's uncovering?

The story starts out really good, but halfway through it starts to drag.

I think it happens because it wasn't edited that great (and when you're reading little things like that can distract you).

Take for instance the character of Dillion. Since Abby is Darcy's mother's sister, she and Dillion are cousins, but he's referred to as her nephew, then cousin and it goes back and forth with their relationship. Jake even refers to him as "her nephew."

Pike does a great job with the characters and provides a good guessing game as to who the killer is even to the end.

For the start of a series it begins on a good note and hopefully the kinks have been worked out for the remaining stories and I think you'll really like Aunt Abby, since she's a little quirky and scatterbrained.

I'm hoping that I don't have to throw this against the wall, since previous books have caused (ahem) a few dents and there are a couple of recipes that you may want to try.

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