Review published on October 8, 2017.
The Sinking Chef is right up my street. First of all, a word for that scrumptious cover. I’m a cupcake fan and they look divine. I love the words on the little sign: “it’s not what it looks like”. That just about sums up Ashley Burke, the protagonist in this book.
Despite not having read Pot Love, the first in the series, I didn’t feel I had missed anything (I will go back and read it when I have time). The Sinking Chef works absolutely fine as a standalone book as everything that happened before is alluded to in just enough detail.
Ashley has a successful YouTube cookery channel and life is going great until James gets in touch out of the blue. He’s the guy who led to her getting fired from her last job but when he suggests she write a cook book and his company will publish it she can’t turn it down. But why on earth doesn’t she tell her boyfriend? This is the premise behind this madcap, fun and endearing novel but there is more to it as things start to go in wrong Ashley’s and Giacomo’s lives.
At times I wanted to reach into the book, grab Ashley and shake her for being so incredibly dim. But I guess all the fun of watching Ashley flutter and flail in every situation would be lost then. Despite this, I thought she was a fabulous character. She’s one of those who always seems to get herself in a pickle and has to find her way out of it.
And what can I say about Giacomo, her gorgeous Italian boyfriend? He’s the strong and silent type, a chef and Ashley’s mad about him (who wouldn’t be?). The supporting characters are so fantastic too, with special mention for Paige and Jun, whom Ashley meets when she is invited to pitch to have her cookbook published. What a pair they are!
Every so often we are treated to a recipe for a dish that is then referred to in the story. I love little touches like this and the recipes are written in such a way that they are easy to follow if you fancy having a go at them yourself.
The Sinking Chef made me snigger many times. The author has a slightly sardonic writing style that was right up my alley. This is a fairly light read but it’s not a fluffy one. I think there are shades of the Sophie Kinsella about it. I loved the ending and I’m very pleased to hear that book 3 is coming soon. All in all it was such a pleasure to spend time reading this book. Now, who’s for a cupcake?
Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes 4/4
The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby
9781548021788 pbk Ape 2017
Coming Home to Island House by Erica James
Our Intrepid Reporter: Jade Craddock at the Cheltenham Literature Festival
You may also like
Read an extract from all of the shortlisted titles for this year's Historical Romantic Novel category....
The plot of Versions of Us reminds me of those standard bay trees where somebody ...