Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book Review: Death on Eat Street by J. J. Cook (Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and an interesting plot
Cons: Pacing a couple of times; simple narration quite often
The Bottom Line:
Hungry for murder
This debut will satisfy
Fun twist, characters

Would You Like a Corpse with that Meal?

Food trucks seem to be a hot culinary trend right now, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before they became the basis of a culinary mystery series.  (Actually, there’s a second such series debuting next month.)  Death on Eat Street introduces us to the owner of a food truck in Mobile, Alabama, and it’s quite a fun debut.

Zoe Chase has given up a job in a bank to pursue her dream of owning her own restaurant, much to her parents’ and boyfriend’s dismay.  In order to raise the money she needs to finish the repairs on her building, she is running a food truck selling her biscuit bowls filled with various fillings depending on the day.

However, business is slow going with few people willing to give her new venture a try.  After on particularly bad day, Zoe returns to her restaurant and begins unloading only to find a dead body in a driver’s seat when she goes to lock it up.  The victim is Terry of Terry’s Tacky Tacos, and the two had a confrontation that day.  Will the police consider her a suspect? Who really killed Terry?

The characters in this book are wonderful.  I fell in love with some of them before the first chapter was over.  The rest?  They just hadn’t been introduced yet.  Even the ones who are thorns in Zoe’s side are charming in a love to hate sort of way.  They definitely feel real, and I look forward to spending more time with them.

The plot gets off to a slow start despite the fact that Zoe finds the body in the first chapter.  It has a couple of hiccups as well later in the book, but for the most part I didn’t mind.  I was enjoying spending time with the characters, and they kept me entertained through the entire thing.  The plot did twist off in a direction I never saw coming, and that was a lot of fun.

Another issue was the writing.  The narration was often filled with simple declarative sentences.  They were actually distracting.  That pulled me out of the book a time or two.  Sentences like I’m using in this paragraph are an example.  I realize I’m not the best at creating sentence variety.  This was distracting even by my standards.

Of course, there were some recipes in the back of the book.  We get Zoe’s trade secret, her biscuit bowls, as well as two of the fillings she made in the book and another recipe just for the fun of it.  That final recipe makes sense when you’ve read the book, but I’m not going to spoil it here.

In the end, I did enjoy tagging along with Zoe as she solved the Death on Eat Street.  Minor issues aside, the characters entertained me and I’m looking forward to visiting them for more great food with a side of murder.

NOTE: I won this book in a contest - no review was promised.


  1. I actually just added this one - along with a bunch of others - to my wish list at Amazon 2 or 3 days before.