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Death On Eat Street by J. J. Cook
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Zoe Chase’s family never wanted her to be a food-truck owner. But here she is, in Mobile Alabama, the proud owner of the Biscuit Bowl food truck and a down-at-the-heels diner that needs a lot of work before she can open it to paying customers. Her helper is Ollie, who lives in the homeless shelter next door. She’s quit her job in a bank and is on her own.

In Death on Eat Street, Zoe is suspected of the murder of a competitor – whose body she finds in her Biscuit Bowl food truck. Ollie gives her the name of a local lawyer and so she calls Miguel Alexander, who’s been through his own hard times. Zoe has an alpha female mother who’s a lawyer and SHE wants Zoe to hire an upper-crust legal crony, but Zoe latches onto Miguel, more to spite her mother than anything else.

Death on Eat Street is standard cozy fare – fairly predictable, but a fast read. I binge-read the first three in the series and they were OK, but not stellar. If the author would edit out everything that is NOT related to the murder and the investigation, it wouldn’t even make a short story. ( )
  NewsieQ | Feb 20, 2016 |
Death On Eat Street is the first book in the A Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mystery series from this great story telling duo.

A fun new series with a cast of enjoyable, fun characters.

Zoe Chase has always dreamed of owning her own restaurant. So after being passed up for a promotion at her bank job, she quits and gets a restaurant is in a less than desirable section of Mobile. Her parents, her mother, an affluent lawyer and her father a president of a bank, are dead set her venture. Since Zoe doesn't have enough funds to bring it up to code, she gets her Uncle Saul's food truck and is ready to hit the streets selling her specialty, Biscuit Bowls, hoping to generate enough revenue to finish updating her restaurant. Her few days are hardly what she was hoping for and rather than throw the unsold food away, she donates it to a homeless shelter down the street. One evening after dropping off the food to the shelter and to Delia, a waitress in the area, Zoe is readying the food truck for the next day, when she finds the body of Terry of Terry's Tacky Taco's food truck in the seat of her truck, dead from a gunshot wound. Her screams bring Ollie, a resident at the shelter comes to see what is wrong. Once the police are near, Ollie tells Zoe that he will contact his lawyer for her and leaves. Soon Miguel Alexander is representing Zoe. Soon business is picking up for her and she gets Ollie and Delia to help her prepare the food and with sales. Soon there is a break in at the restaurant and then an attempted armed robbery of the food truck. The robber wants whatever Terry had given Zoe, which was nothing. Soon it is learned that a very valuable recipe has been stolen and is reputed to be in Mobile area.

Zoe is off, using Delia and Ollie to man the truck and with help of her Uncle Saul to gain access to the behind the scenes activities of some of restaurants and antique shops, to search for the valuable recipe.

This book has interesting and am looking forward to reading more about Delia and Ollie in future books. Ollie is an especially interesting character and will be waiting to learn more of his past history. Also will wanting to learn if there will be maybe a little romantic interest for Miguel and Zoe in the future. And for the animal lovers there is Zoe cat Crème Brulee who seems to show her affection be giving people a quick nip.

Delicious recipes included in the book.

Looking forward to the next book. ( )
  FredYoder | May 9, 2015 |
How is it possible to like a book and still find so many things wrong with it? And am I getting too persnickety with my cozies or is there just a lot of average writing going on?

Death on Eat Street has an interesting setting in the not-very-nice part of Mobile Alabama, with an interesting, newish premise of a food truck and a few likeable characters, including the MC in spite of the fact that she is TSTL throughout most of the book, hitting most of the cliches short of going into the basement at midnight in her nightgown with nothing but a candle during a thunderstorm. In retrospect, she probably should have. Still, I liked her, although at times her "I have a dream" thing had me rolling my eyes.

The author is actually a husband/wife team, and I'll admit my enjoyment of their books is hit-or-miss. My opinion, based on nothing, is that they don't write well together. I suspect that's why I'm at the end of this book asking myself "Why did I not hate this?" I'm choosing to believe that part of this team writes in ways I really don't like and the other half writes more to my taste. I don't know.

Zoe has rich parents that are so over-the-top narcissistic that they hire her uncle to try to kidnap her and take her out to the swamp until she 'gets over' her decision to start her own restaurant. Yes, this is fiction but who does that?!?

I'm not even going to get started on Chef Art. He was so implausible from word one it's just not worth the time. Nothing about him was done well. Nada.

The current population of Mobile Alabama is just a hair under 195,000 yet ever single time Zoe goes to a restaurant unplanned and spur-of-the-moment she runs into either her parents (who are divorced but always together), her ex-boyfriend, or all three of them. Uh huh. Sure.

The plot: murderer was telegraphed early on.

I liked what the murder was wrapped around, but overall the plot construction felt weak. Rather than write a suspenseful plot, the authors relied on farcical family dynamics and too many petty crimes and attacks (which nobody bothered reporting to the police) to fabricate a suspense that wasn't there.

And I still didn't hate this book. Death on Eat Street kept my attention even with I was yelling at it for being stupid. I am at a loss as to explain it.

I'm going to end with a cop-out: YMMV. ( )
  murderbydeath | Sep 20, 2014 |
DEATH ON EAT STREET is a tantalizing start to a new culinary cozy mystery series from J.J. Cook. I was drawn in by the unique food truck setting, and it was exciting to see how this mystery on wheels played out.

The owner of Mobile's latest food truck is Zoe Chase, and her specialty is deep fried biscuit bowls filled with savory or sweet treats. Zoe spent years in the banking business, but she gave it all up to follow her dream of opening a restaurant, which irritated her affluent parents to no end. It doesn't help that the dilapidated restaurant she bought is in the wrong part of town, or that she has to depend on food truck sales to pay for the renovation. On top of that, poor Zoe finds a dead body in the front seat of her truck on her first day out. Zoe's new life is not off to a good start.

I enjoyed everything about this book. The murder mystery was well-crafted, and I was so intrigued to learn who and especially what was behind the victim's death. Very clever. I also thought the characters were wonderful. I felt like I really got to know Zoe, Ollie, and the rest of the colorful cast. Zoe was so likable, and I thought she was brave to take a chance on her dream and not give up when things got crazy. Go, Zoe! I have a sweet spot for Miguel Alexander, the defense lawyer who comes to Zoe's aid. He's smart, handsome, and strong, but he has a hidden vulnerable side caused by a tragedy in his past. There was a spark of something between Zoe and Miguel, but it's going to take a while to grow.

In addition to a great mystery and cast of characters, DEATH ON EAT STREET includes yummy Biscuit Bowl-inspired recipes. This is the first book by J.J. Cook I've read (a.k.a. Joyce and Jim Lavene), and I can't wait to read more.

Source: Review copy from the publisher ( )
  bookofsecrets | Apr 1, 2014 |
Death on Eat Street by J.J. Cook
When Zoe Chase was passed over for a promotion at work, she gave up her banking job to follow her dreams. She cashed in her 401K, gave up her plush apartment and moved Crème Brulee into a run down diner. No one seems happy for her. Her snobby parents think she lost her mind and her boyfriend is playing around. Zoe renovates her borrowed Airstream into the Biscuit Bowl food truck and takes it on the road. She hit’s a few bumps in the road in the form of murders, kidnappers and art thief’s. Death on Eat Street is the first in the new series A Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mystery.
The author J.J. Cook did an outstand job, giving life to the characters. They are funny and believable. The cat Crème Brulee adds a nice touch to this great book. I give Death on Eat Street 5 stars.
I want to thank the author J.J. Cook and the publisher for bringing a compelling story to life that is a clean read and entertaining. This book has it all, a little romance, mystery and humor. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  inspiremichelle | Mar 30, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425263452, Mass Market Paperback)

Zoe Chase always wanted to own her own restaurant—but first, she’ll have to serve up a heaping helping of meals on wheels, with a side of mystery…

When she’s once again passed over for a promotion at work, Zoe decides to take the big leap and go for her dream. She quits, gives up her fancy digs, and buys a fixer-upper diner in a shady part of town. To keep above water during the renovation, she buys a used food truck to serve the downtown and waterfront of Mobile, Alabama.

Zoe starts to dish out classic Southern food—but her specialty is her deep-fried biscuit bowls that blow traditional bread bowls away.

After a promising start, things start to go downhill faster than a food truck without brakes. First, someone tries to rob the cash register. Next, Zoe is threatened by the owner of a competing food truck for taking their spot. And when the owner ends up dead inside Zoe’s rolling restaurant, Zoe and her sole employee, Ollie, find themselves hopping out of the frying pan into the fryer. They need to find the real killer, before both of them get burned.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:53 -0400)

"When she's once again passed over for a promotion at work, Zoe decides to take the big leap and go for her dream. She quits, gives up her fancy digs, and buys a fixer-upper diner in a shady part of town. To keep above water during the renovation, she buys a used food truck to serve the downtown and waterfront of Mobile, Alabama. Zoe starts to dish out classic Southern food--but her specialty is her deep-fried biscuit bowls that blow traditional bread bowls away. After a promising start, things start to go downhill faster than a food truck without brakes. First, someone tries to rob the cash register. Next, Zoe is threatened by the owner of a competing food truck for taking their spot. And when the owner ends up dead inside Zoe's rolling restaurant, Zoe and her sole employee, Ollie, find themselves hopping out of the frying pan into the fryer. They need to find the real killer, before both of them get burned."--back of cover.… (more)

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