Kelly Madigan is a cookbook ghostwriter; she helps professional chefs turn their recipes into something a home cook could use. She lives with her boyfriend of six years, who is neat, dependable, a cardiologist in training and ultimately boring. Then she loses her mom suddenly, and finds her mother left her a letter with her dying wishes, the ultimate guilt trip.
Her mom tells her that she needs to take risks, leave the Midwest and travel a bit, and not rush into marriage with Dr. Boring. So when Kelly is offered the opportunity to ghostwrite a major Hollywood star’s cookbook, she jumps at the chance, even though it means moving to London for the better part of a year.
Her boyfriend is devastated and furious. He kicks her out and she gets to spend a few weeks with her father before moving to London and perhaps making the biggest mistake of her life.
Natasha Spencer is imperious, demanding and a definite nut case. Her assistant, Poppy, isn’t much better and they combine to make Kelly’s life a living hell. But the money is too good to pass up, even if she doesn’t get paid for months, and the only bright spot is Natasha’s husband, a rising star in Parliament who seems like a genuinely nice guy. They are a power couple to be sure, except that they sleep in separate beds and seem to live separate lives.
This was an interesting look at how a cookbook ghostwriter works, and how all that Hollywood glitz and glamour comes at a price. It reminded me a bit of The Devil Wears Prada (the movie version, not Lauren Weisberger’s awful book) but veers off in the romance department. All in all, I liked it and if you’re a fan of foodie fiction like I am, then this is the book for you.
11/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
TOO MANY COOKS by Dana Bate. Kensington (October 27, 2015). ISBN 978-1617732621. 352p.