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WHEN IN DOUBT, ADD BUTTER by Beth Harbison

WHEN IN DOUBT, ADD BUTTER

By Beth Harbison

Pub Date: July 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-312-59909-6
Publisher: St. Martin's

Carried by an appealing narrator, this latest from the bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous (2007, etc.) features the exploits of a personal chef and her collection of oddball clients.

Gemma Craig is 38 and single. And that’s okay. She’s not sure she has what it takes for a long-term relationship (she averages two months), and anyway, she is satisfied with her life: friends, family and a career she enjoys. As a personal chef in D.C., she has a string of clients that both amuse her and keep her solvent. Mondays are the Van Houghtens—restricted diet, no flavor, neurotic wife. Tuesday is “Mr. Tuesday,” a client she has only met through addictively cheeky notes. Then there’s Lex, a gallant older bachelor who owns a department store. Thursdays are the Olekseis, a large Russian family that may have ties to the Russian Mafia; for all Gemma knows, they could head the Russian Mafia. Fridays are filled by Lex’s overweight niece Willa, a shut-in who has made a fortune from online poker. This no-strings-attached nurturing suits Gemma, until she meets Mack. The two have a memorable night, but they part without the essentials—names and numbers—which seemed a little pointless in the midst of all that passion. A watery mistake blurs Mack’s goodbye note and number, and that’s that. Gemma can’t help but revisit that night in her fantasies, even though she has more urgent concerns: she’s losing her weekend catering jobs and thinks Mrs. Van Houghten is sabotaging her business. And she’s also found out...well, let's just say things get complicated. 

A lovable heroine and an engaging cast of eccentrics makes for a cheerful summer read.