Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking


Reid Lucas moves to California from Chicago after a tragic loss and legal troubles. After a DUI, he calls the one person he knows in the area out of desperation, only to get her police officer roommate Alyssa Knight instead. Upon starting his new job at a software company, his boss turns up dead, and his past in Chicago makes him seem like a likely suspect. Cooking is Reid’s love language, so he finds himself cooking for Jane and Alyssa frequently, first to thank them for Alyssa bailing him out, and then more as he begins to fall for Alyssa. Alyssa, separated from her husband and in the process of a divorce, is interested too, but hesitant. She is certain Reid Lucas’s charm is too good to be true.

In the character of Reid, the author has concocted a leading man as sweet and delectable as the meals he cooks. While descriptions of food are stunning, the narrative itself could use a bit of fine tuning. Ms. Griffin’s narrative is a combination of mystery and romance, but while there is a lot of potential, neither aspect is fully fledged. The relationship between Alyssa and Reid runs incredibly hot and cold, enough so that any form of romantic relationship comes as a shock. The pacing of the narrative runs a bit slowly as well—the mystery aspects in particular. Even near-death experiences don’t feel climactic due to the length of time between events. While relationships between characters were a bit surface level, each character is unique with flaws and complete inner lives. “Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking” is full of beautifully crafted and incredibly detailed prose.

Shailyn Rogers