Daryl Wood Gerber

I have always loved reading mystery, suspense, and thrillers. There's just something about the puzzle and the chase! Though I'm known for my cozy mysteries (see below), I am very excited to venture into the world of suspense with my debut novel, GIRL ON THE RUN. I write the bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries. I also write the bestselling Cheese Shop Mysteries under the pen name Avery Aames. Fun tidbit: as an actress, which I did pre-writing, I appeared in “Murder, She Wrote”. In addition, I have jumped out of a  ...See more >


Daryl Wood Gerber welcomes queries regarding:
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Agent: John Talbot [Talbot Fortune Agency]

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"Readers will be shocked by this exciting, fast-paced thriller’s twists and turns."

Kirkus Reviews

BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:

Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1-68331-341-0
Page count: 352pp

Wedding plans go awry with the death of a treasured relative.

With the help of entrepreneur Bryan Baker, Mimi Rousseau owns Bistro Rousseau and Maison Rousseau, a charming inn in the Napa Valley. Now that Bryan’s encouraged her to spread her wings even further, she’s hosting the destination wedding of his niece, talk show host Angelica Barrington, to Lyle Ives, who manages his family’s high-end jewelry store in LA. Cracks soon appear in the joyful celebration. Lyle’s father, David, and his sister, Paula, both express doubts about the marriage. So does Angelica’s father, Edison, a problem gambler who arrives at the pre-wedding dinner drunk. When Bryan’s body is found with an éclair stuffed in his mouth and gems scattered nearby, Mimi’s old friend Sgt. Tyson Daly catches the case. Things look bad for Mimi, whose cellphone is found on the scene. And they get worse: a letter from Bryan absolving her of debt for the bistro and inn upon his death is discovered among his papers. Although Tyson keeps telling her to butt out, Mimi knows she has a better chance than the police of worming secrets out of all the other suspects. Much to Edison’s distress, Angelica inherits Bryan’s estate, and when she and Lyle marry, Mimi wonders if Lyle is after her money. Fortunately, everyone on Mimi’s loyal staff is willing to help her out, and she’s comforted by a new romantic interest: hunky wine expert Nash Hawkes , a recent divorcé whose gorgeous ex-wife seems understandably reluctant to let him go. Although Mimi’s questions apparently get too personal for someone, the threatening warnings she receives don’t deter her from continuing her search for the killer.

On the evidence here, Gerber, who writes several other series (Day of Secrets, 2016, etc.), has aimed this new one at foodies who’ll appreciate the cooking lore and appended recipes enough to overlook the unremarkable mystery.

THRILLERS
Pub Date:
Page count: 332pp

Gerber (Fudging the Books, 2015, etc.) offers a dark suspense novel filled with desperation and cat-and-mouse games.

Chessa Paxton is keeping it together but only just. On the one hand, she has a wonderful husband, Zach, a blossoming career as a costume designer, and a beautiful Lake Tahoe home. On the other, she must contend with her controlling, conniving stepfather; the fact of her biological father’s incarceration; and the trauma of her mother’s death a year ago. But when Zach is murdered, she has to marshal all her considerable skill and resilience. She was drugged the night of his death and can recall only flashes of what happened; most of the events are a blur of blood, terror, and fairy-tale characters, because the murder took place after a charity costume ball that Chessa had organized. With no one to trust, she has nothing but her wits, her fragmented memories, and her costuming skills to keep her one step ahead of the savvy Detective Newman and the people who killed her husband and framed her. Soon she must uncover the secrets behind Zach’s false passports, her mother’s death, and her father’s alleged crimes. Gerber keeps the tension high from the beginning, and Chessa’s confusion becomes more and more relatable as the narration proceeds. For example, when police begin to consider Chessa the prime suspect, it’s easy to understand her tunnel-vision determination, and when she flees the crime scene in terror, it seems like the only choice she could make. Overall, the novel’s plot is thick, and the prose is more than rich enough to sustain it. Its shifting perspectives will give readers an even greater sense of excitement as the many pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

Readers will be shocked by this exciting, fast-paced thriller’s twists and turns.

A history professor is reunited with his long-lost mother shortly before her murder in Gerber’s (Grilling the Subject, 2016, etc.) mystery-thriller.

Weyford University professor and former U.S. Navy lieutenant Chase Day is understandably shocked when he receives a call from his mother, Sybil Day, whom he thought had died in a fire more than three decades earlier. But he recognizes her voice and, upon her request, drives to the trailer where they once lived. There, he finds Sybil on the floor, bloody and barely alive; Chase tussles with her apparent assailant, who gets away. Sybil manages to utter only a few last words before she dies, asking Chase to save Luther, the father he never knew. When police don’t believe Chase’s story of what happened, he becomes determined to find his dad and stop Sybil’s killer on his own. He starts at Keystone Hospital, where Sybil had once been a patient. Chase believes that Luther was likely a resident there as well, so he searches patient files to find men who’d recently left. Soon, he finds that strangers are following him, and it becomes clear that Luther stole an item decades ago that people desperately want. Gerber’s tale is so densely packed with mysteries that it’s easy to see why Chase is often paranoid. Untrustworthy characters are in abundance: it turns out that Chase’s grandmother Barbie, for example, has been lying to him for years. The frantic plot will keep readers on edge; at one point, Chase assumes the worst when a friend and fellow professor simply doesn’t answer his phone. Gerber does, however, imbue the narrative with humor on occasion, as when Chase equates a stoic nurse in a mental institution with the antagonist from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The final act is heavily explanatory but convincing, and it wisely doesn’t linger on the aforementioned, much-desired item for too long.

A savvy and energetic whodunit.

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE:

FINAL SENTENCE
Culinary mystery, cozy mystery, set on the coast of California.

In need of a change, Jenna Hart leaves the high-pressure world of advertising to help her aunt Vera open a culinary bookshop and café. Back with her family in Crystal Cove, California, Jenna seems to have all the right ingredients for a fresh start—until someone adds a dash of murder. As a marketing expert, Jenna wants to make sure the grand opening of the Cookbook Nook draws a crowd, and no one is better at getting attention than her old college roommate, celebrity chef Desiree Divine. But when Desiree arrives in quiet Crystal Cove to do a cookbook signing, the diva stirs up more trouble than business…especially when she turns up dead. Known for stealing husbands and burning bridges, Desiree left behind plenty of suspects—including Jenna. Though the celebrity’s life always appeared to be an open book, Jenna will have to read between the lines in order to clear her name, and catch a killer before another body is served cold.

Published:
ISBN: 978-0-425-25804-0
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FUDGING THE BOOKS (Unpublished)
Mystery, cozy mystery, culinary mystery set in California

The Agatha Award–winning author of Stirring the Plot returns to the Cookbook Nook in Crystal Cove, California, where February brings Pirate Week, National Chocolate Month—and bitter murder… Pirate Week is sweeping through Crystal Cove and keeping Jenna Hart and her bookstore, the Cookbook Nook, plenty busy. But she’s not too swamped to also host the local Chocolate Cookbook Club’s meeting—especially because the guest of honor is her friend, candy maker and cookbook author Coco Chastain. Jenna whips up a delicious event amidst the rowdy festivities, but the mood is soon broken by robberies, simmering tempers, and a dead body—Coco’s editor, Alison. The suspects turn out to be more plentiful than a pot full of gold doubloons, so to prove Coco isn’t responsible for the dastardly deed, Jenna will have to stir up some clues and figure out who’s the real sticky-fingered killer…
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GRILLING THE SUBJECT (Unpublished)
Mystery, cozy mystery, culinary mystery set in California

Where there’s smoke... 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 take in a horse or stagecoach race. 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 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...
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INHERIT THE WORD (Unpublished)
Mystery, culinary mystery, cozy mystery, set on coast of California

Jenna Hart moved back to Crystal Cove, California, with the intention to relax and help her aunt, Vera, run the local culinary bookshop and café. But it’s hard to follow a simple recipe for relaxation when murder gets thrown in the mix… The Cookbook Nook is set to host the town’s upcoming Grill Fest, a tasty tradition which pits local amateur chefs against one another to concoct the most delicious dishes. This year’s challenge: Grilled Cheese. But with competing chefs bearing grudges from past years, more mouths are running off than salivating. The expression “too many cooks” proves all too true when the eight-time champ is found murdered in the alley behind the café. Soon a local diner owner (and Jenna’s “second mother”) is suspected of bumping off the competition, and Jenna has to douse the flames before the wrong person gets burned…
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STIRRING THE PLOT (Unpublished)
Mystery, cozy mystery, culinary mystery set in California

Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster… Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there’s one unexpected addition to the menu: murder. When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead under mysterious circumstances, there’s no logical answer and plenty of blame to go around. With her aunt, Vera, unable to call on her ability to foresee the future, Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand and a few magic tricks to conjure up the truth…
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