by Devon Delaney
I don’t think I ever fully understood the term “foodie” until I read Devon Delaney’s Expiration Date, the story of six finalists in a cook-off sponsored by an organic foods corporation. Sherry Frazzelle and her sister Marla are two of the finalists. One of the three chef judges dies immediately after tasting Sherry’s stuffed pork tenderloin.
Although there is a definite mystery at the core of this book, there is almost no part of the story that doesn’t involve food. At first I thought the food figures of speech like “She overheard audience opinions being dished out like coleslaw at a barbecue” were cute and well-played. They are indeed inventive and well-written. At some point, however, it is just overdone—especially when characters totally unconnected to the food industry begin using them. Another feature that is perhaps overused is Sherry’s father’s favorite sayings.
There are sufficient twists and turns in the plot to keep the reader’s interest, but there is a huge jump in believability in the final scene. The setting is intentionally made dark to enhance the scariness factor, but there is no rationale given for why the character chooses to live that way and why the cook-off finalists would venture into that setting.
If you are a foodie who likes cozy mysteries, you will love this book. Otherwise just approach it as an opportunity for a diverting afternoon and enjoy.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #1 in the Cook-Off Mystery Series
Publication: April 24, 2018—Kensington Books
People were weaving around each other, like the latticework crust created by bakers to top the best fruit pies.
She tried to lift the throbbing arm, but it was as difficult as peeling a butternut squash.
You’re more agitated than a hungry vegan at a pig roast.