Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber – Recipe, Review + 2 Giveaways

Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber - Recipe, Review + 2 Giveaways

I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.

Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber – Recipe, Review + 2 GiveawaysGrilling the Subject on August 2, 2016
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & Noble

Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of Fudging the Books.

As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of her father’s neighbors is found the next morning smoldering in a bonfire, the rodeo revelry is extinguished.

Sylvia Gump had acquired plenty of enemies with her practice of illegally encroaching on her neighbors’ properties—including Jenna’s dad, who was off fishing by himself and has no alibi for the murder. Now it’s up to Cary Hart’s dutiful daughter to clear his name before the real killer turns up the heat and rakes someone else over the coals...

blog_salmon1In Grilling the Subject, the Wild West Extravaganza is coming to town. For research, I not only studied Wild West events, like pole bending and the Texas skip (where a person starts twirling a long rope and creates a human-size vertical loop she can jump through), but I also researched grilling recipes and barbecue sauce recipes. As you can imagine, it was fun and tasty!

I also browsed tons of cookbooks, which I do for every Cookbook Nook mystery. Now, I don’t always purchase these books because that could rack up the $$—I research and review the books as I can online and in bookstores—but occasionally, I do purchase.

One I bought is Grill Every Day: 125 Fast-track Recipes for Weeknights at the Grill by Diane Morgan. In it, there is a divine recipe for salmon: Alder-Planked Salmon with Lemon-Vodka-Dill Marinade.

Now, I don’t have an alder-plank, and I remember–years ago–using a cedar plank to cook a salmon, and my husband wasn’t happy. He didn’t like the smoky flavor.

So…I simply used this recipe as a marinade, and it was fabulous!!!

From Grill Every Day: 125 Fast-track Recipes for Weeknights at the Grill by Diane Morgan:


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons vodka
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon Juice (whole lemon)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 whole side of salmon, about 3 pounds

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vodka, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Place the whole salmon fillet, flesh side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet (if you use a cutting board, the oil WILL spill over, so be careful). Pour the marinade evenly over the top. Set aside while the grill or oven heats.

When ready to grill, baste the grill with olive oil, then heat the grill to medium (about 300 degrees). Set the fish on the grill, close the lid, and grill for 5-8 minutes. Using two spatulas (very important), flip the fish.

Grill another 4-6 minutes until the salmon is almost opaque (light pink), yet still moist when tested with a knife.

On a charcoal fire, this all might take longer by 2-4 minutes a side. I have a gas grill.

**In the oven, I’d cook the fish at about 300 degrees, as per above, but I would broil the fish at the end, flesh side up, for about 4 minutes for color.

Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber is the 5th book in the Cookbook Nook mystery series featuring Jenna Hart and a fun cast of characters in Crystal Cove, California. When Jenna’s father is under suspicion for murdering a neighbor, Jenna can’t help but try to figure out what happened and get her dad off the hook.

I love the setting in this series so much. Crystal Cove sounds like the perfect town that’s small enough to know everyone, but big enough to have all the things you need and lots of fun things to do. In this installment in the series, the Wild West Extravaganza is in town, so there are lots of fun Western themed activities, shows and food events happening throughout the town. I really like how the author paints the setting for this story. I was quickly drawn in, and Crystal Cove feels like a real place, not fictional.

The characters are really what makes this book (and this series) stand out for me. Ms. Gerber has a talent for creating believable characters who are easy to like…and believable characters who are easy to dislike (so you don’t mind finding them at the wrong end of a murder). This series is on my must-read list, and I hope to follow Jenna and the other wonderful characters of Crystal Cove for a long time to come.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2!

To celebrate the release of Grilling the Subject, Daryl is offering a special giveaway just for readers of Brooke Blogs. Enter below for your chance to win any book in the Cookbook Nook mystery series in paperback. Woohoo! See Giveaway Tools widget for complete giveaway details. Good luck!

Rating Report
Overall: five-stars


49 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I guess my favorite is still the Betty Crocker cookbook my grandmother gave me when I was heading off on my life as an adult moving in to my first apartment. I always like to cook and entertain and she knew the basic were all inside this book. It was a marvelous three-ring binder style allowing me to add some family favorites. It may still be a little ‘worse for wear,’ but it has given me lots of cooking experiences.

  2. The only cookbook we ever used was Betty Crocker & it was a special children’s cookbook from the 50’s & 60’s. Other than that it was handwritten family recipes from 5 generations.

  3. My favorite cookbook is A Treasure for my Daughter which I received as a gift when I was engaged many years ago.

  4. Hi Daryl, I hope that second contest includes the newest book. I own the first four Cookbook Nook books. I collect cookbooks and have some interesting one. I have a Chinese Cookbook that came out in the 50’s and they have recipes for almost all the sauces used in Asian restaurants today.

  5. My favorite cookbook is the comprehensive Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook. I also love the little book that my husband’s grandmother put together for me and the stack of recipe cards from my own grandmother.

  6. I really don’t have a favorite cookbook. I find new recipes from lots of different places. Some I get on line and others from friends and relatives. I do have some cookbooks that I look through sometimes.

    1. John, I mentioned the Nancy Drew Cookbook in the first in the series. Then Little House in this particular book because it’s “western-related”. I don’t know about Patricia Cornwell’s cookbook. Hmm. Can she cook? She can cook up a good story. LOL ~ Daryl

  7. Love books on cooking and crafts. I don’t cook much since I’m a widow
    but I do enjoy looking at recipes. I have a cookbook that I got from Kroger
    in 1959 – you bought it in weekly sections. i still use it a lot when I am

  8. Thank you for this opportunity! My favorite cookbook is my handwritten one that I’m creating from recipes that my mother had collected and used: her lasagna recipe, butter cookies, my aunt’s Chocolate Intrigue cake-YUM!, and more. My mom listened to a radio show called Yankee Kitchen where callers would share recipes. She would write down the ingredients and directions of the recipes that sounded interesting in her spiral bound notebook then try them out on us. Some were keepers, others were not, but it was fun being the guinea pig!

  9. My favorite cookbook is one I have t gotten put together yet. There is always a handful of recipes (sometimes less) out if each book that I end up liking although I’m always tweaking them for ingredients I don’t like. I’ve been marking those & will be printing them out along with other recipes of my Mother’s & Grandmothers’s. I’ve got pretty printer paper to use, sheet protectors & 2 beautiful binders for Main courses & Desserts. I think I need one for breads too.

  10. My “go to” cookbook is my Better Homes & Gardens, some of my favorite recipes though have actually come from small cookbooks that I have picked up from companies like Heinz ketchup, Campbell’s soup and Hershey’s (gotta love that one). Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Debbie, that’s a great reference book. I also have a few company books, like the Hershey’s one. One from Godiva and one from Ghirardelli, too. So much fun to use their products as they have tested. ~ Daryl

  11. I have to admit that I’ve never used a cookbook. All of the recipes I use have been written on notecards and random pieces of paper in my grandmother’s handwriting and passed down from generation to generation.

  12. I don’t know the name, but it’s a very old book that my mother has. It has a red cover and a delicious apple cookie recipe!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.