#BookReview: Too Many Cooks by Dana Bate

Reviewer: Samantha

I received a review copy

too many cooksSummary:

In this hilarious, insightful new novel from the author of A Second Bite at the Apple, a cookbook ghostwriter finds that she’s bitten off more than she can chew…

When Kelly Madigan is offered a job abroad right after reading a letter from her late mother urging her to take more risks, she sees it as a sign. Kelly’s new ghostwriting assignment means moving to London to work for Natasha Spencer–movie star, lifestyle guru, and wife of a promising English politician. As it turns out, Natasha is also selfish, mercurial, and unwilling to let any actual food past her perfect lips. 

Still, in between testing dozens of kale burgers and developing the perfect chocolate mousse, Kelly is having adventures. Some are glamorous; others, like her attraction to her boss’s neglected husband, are veering out of control. Kelly knows there’s no foolproof recipe for a happy life. But how will she know if she’s gone too far in reaching for what she wants?


If you are an OG around here, you know I love a good foodie book, and books that will take me out of the good ole US of A. So when I was asked to review this book about a cookbook ghostwriter that gets to go to London to shadow a famous movie star, I was like, yes please!

Kelly is quite the interesting character. She seems to have got a lot going for her – the perfect man, a decent career, good friends. But after her mother passes away and she reads her mom’s final letter to her, urging Kelly to leave her boyfriend and finally take a risk in life, Kelly begins to question herself. After receiving said job offer and the opportunity to take some time away from “real life” Kelly decides to make a change.

London isn’t quite as nice to Kelly. Her new boss Natasha is a nightmare, what a lot of us normal folk might think of when we think about the rich and famous. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I made a disgusted face while reading her words. Vile woman. Kelly also struggles to make friends and find a social life…until she starts to dabble precisely where she shouldn’t. And then…it all falls apart.

While a little slow for me at times, the ending really picked up for me and I couldn’t put it down. A controlled, even-tempered read, I had a blast learning little tidbits about recipes and cooking in general, and there were several nice sub plots in here to keep the book moving methodically forward. Complex and engaging, and I suggest reading with a snack nearby!

4 stars

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