READ: Review, Cooking the Books by Bonnie S. Calhoun
Author Bonnie S. Calhoun’s “Snark &Suspense” tagline makes a perfect description for her debut novel, Cooking the Books (releases 3/29/12). But I think “expect the unexpected” would work almost as well. The story of cyberinvestigator-turned-bookseller Sloane Templeton delivered the opposite of almost every expectation I have for the average author’s first novel. And yes, you’re right, Calhoun, publisher of the Christian Fiction online magazine, is far from an average author.
I Expect: I Received:
One-dimensional or stereotypical Real people who “got issues” as
characters well as love, joy, and the hope found in Christ
Predictable plotline Tangles, twists, and turns that kept me reading (and laughing)
Dull dialogue Captivating conversations and snappy retorts
Lack of focus A multi-layered story that pushed, pulled, entertained, and inspired
Add more than a pinch of the author’s godly wisdom and edgy humor, and you’ve got Cooking the Books: a recipe to die for. I’m eager for more of the quirky-yet-believable Sloane Templeton and of course from Bonnie Calhoun. Expect the unexpected, and enjoy a delightful, thoughtful read.
Also, in case you missed it, the winner of last week’s New Year’s Prize Pack was reader Rachel (I met her via phone a few years ago when I interviewed her for one of my first book projects, so I’m delighted to give something back).
Feel free to leave a comment about an author or book that delivered something unexpected. Don’t spoil any stories, but do share the joy.
Find a local Christian bookseller.
(FTC disclaimer: I received an electronic advance reading copy of this book free from NetGalleys. I was not required to post a review or a positive response).