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Cooking the Books: A Sloane Templeton Mystery Paperback – April 1, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bonnie S. Calhoun is Owner/Director of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance helping to promote Christian fiction with blog tours. She is owner/publishes of Christian Fiction Online Magazine devoted to readers and writers of Christian fiction. As Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she was named ‘2011 Mentor of the Year.” She is President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network, and also Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.

In her spare time she is an avid social media junkie, and teaches Facebook, Twitter, blogging and HTML. Bonnie and her husband live in a log cabin on 15 acres in upstate area of Binghamton, New York with a dog and cat who consider the humans as wait-staff. Her website is bonniescalhoun.com.

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Product Details

  • Series: Sloane Templeton Mystery
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426733887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426733888
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,354,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By CJ-MO VINE VOICE on April 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Sloane Templeton wants to be a computer forensics specialist, but instead she finds herself in the role of bookseller when she inherits her mother's bookstore, "Beckham's Books and Brew." Although Sloane doesn't love books the way her mom did, she doesn't want to sell the building, even though she's getting more and more pressure to do just that from Coltraine Realty. In addition to Sloane coping with her mother's death and learning to run the bookstore, there are at least two buyers haggling over a rare book purchased by Sloane's mother before she passed away. Sloane must also deal with her friend and store manager Fifi, who would have loved to have inherited the store, along with more man trouble than anyone should have to deal with.

"Cooking the Books" is an amusing, fast-paced read. It is categorized as Christian fiction and while Sloane does pray and talks about God and her faith, her beliefs are woven into the story naturally, and the author doesn't preach to the reader.

Sloane is unique character and the series has a lot of promise. Where the book is lacking is its focus. There are so many characters introduced in this book (almost 15 in just the first six chapters) and many transitions between several different characters' point of view that I was often confused. There were too many people introduced at once, especially since it's a new series, and you can't tell who is going to play an important role in the book. On top of that, there are so many different things going on, it took me a while to zero in on the main plot and the major characters. All of the various sub-plots didn't seem to converge into one coherent primary storyline, so it became frustrating to keep everything straight.
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Format: Paperback
As cozy mysteries go, this one was not disappointing. Author Bonnie Clahoun writes with wit and charm, and a touch of snark. I loved it. The characters presented in Cooking the Books are quirky and a little bit crazy, yet somehow completely believable. The clues and hints are scattered in between some laugh-out-loud scenes that kept me turning the pages.

Kudos to Ms. Calhoun. I am looking forward to the next Sloan Templeton Mystery.
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Format: Paperback
Sloane Templeton has it all - a successful business, a handsome Greek boyfriend and a solid relationship with God. Well, she owns a bookshop but really wants to work in computer forensics. No one except her likes her Greek boyfriend (significant other?), and God seems to be out to lunch some days. Not only has she inherited Beckhams Books & Brews and its offbeat manager from her mother, but she has also acquired a rare book that could be worth a lot of money - if she lives to see it. She is receiving cyber-threats but initially dismisses them as pranks, until the FedEx pack with the dead rat arrives. Then it becomes apparent that someone means to harm her if she doesn't obey - but obey what?

So begins a merry chase featuring two mysterious and valuable books, two violent exes, a bookclub called the Granny Oakleys who don't seem to read any books, and a real estate agent who may or may not be working on the right side of the law. While most of the story is told by Sloane, there are scenes in the third person providing some background information and suspense. Sloane has a distinctive and engaging voice Sloane has a wicked sense of humour, which was one of the best aspects of Cooking the Books. She comments that her ex-husband tried to divorce her by way of the cemetery, her aunt is from the shallow end of the gene pool (love that phrase!) and when her uncle died of food poisoning, the coroner was careful to point out that the food poisoning was not the result of her aunt's cooking (which is apparently legendary, and not in a good way).

While Sloane is spunky, funny and generally likeable, she has poor taste in men and a tendency to try and do things herself rather than asking for help.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I made it to chapter 8 before I gave up. Here are just a few of the issues. The characters, while potentially quirky, weren't particularly well fleshed out. The reader gets some description, but there are quite a few holes that make character motivation perplexing. The main character, Sloane, is too self-involved to be a pleasing narrator, as much of the narration she provides is peppered w self-criticism and whinging about her lot in life. The story is disjoonted -- when we meet the real state guys, it's unclear what their purpose is, other than to inject some "menace" into the story line. Andreas seems to have been chucked into the story haphazardly; we hear a bit ab out how wonderful he is, but it's difficult to fathom the motivation for such a supposedly attractive man to be dating someone like Sloane, who jabbers on about her lack of style, her weight, aand various other issues that truly paint her as an unattractive mess. Overall, I foumd the plot disjointed, the characters unappealing, and the pace horrifyingly slow. One last comment about the writing style -- I agree w a previous commentor about the strained attempts at wit/humor/sarcasm, most of which fail at their objective. It all combined to make continuing to slog through this novel a waste of time.
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