TART OF DARKNESS  by Denise  Swanson


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A comely caterer finds herself in hot water when a crabby client turns up dead.

Danielle Sloan couldn’t be luckier. Just as she’s decided to quit her corporate job at Homestead Insurance and dump her philandering boyfriend, a letter turns up announcing that her grandmother’s hitherto unknown childless best friend, Geraldine Cook, has left Dani the 17-room Italianate-style Victorian mansion she was in the process of turning into a bed-and-breakfast when she died. The commercial-grade, Department of Health–inspected kitchen is just the place for her to start a catering business that will prepare nutritious bag lunches to sell to students at nearby Normalton University. And she can rent three of the refurbished bedrooms to Ivy Drake, Tippi Epstein, and Starr Fleming, students who were thrown out of their apartment after a quiet evening soiree turned into a drunken bash. To make sure there’s no repeat performance chez Dani, Ivy agrees to let her retired-cop uncle check in at least once a week. And of course Ivy’s uncle, Spencer Drake, turns out to be not the doughnut-dulled washout Dani imagined but a trim and sexy 30-something who left the force when undercover work became too stressful. Spencer, who’s sworn off women after a short-lived marriage, nevertheless finds himself mooning over Dani’s lush lips and nicely rounded bottom. And Dani is thrilled to have Spencer close by when nasty Detective Mikeloff identifies her as the prime suspect in the murder of debutante Regina Bourne, who dies after throwing a royal fit because caterer Dani can’t replace the pastries ruined when a drunk guest knocked over a tiki lamp, setting the buffet on fire at Regina’s luau-themed party.

Like most entries in the female-entrepreneur-who-chucked-a-soulless-corporate-job-for-sole-proprietor-business-venture universe, Swanson offers a spunky heroine, a complicated second-chance love interest, and not much else in her series debut.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4926-4838-3
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2018


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