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Authors: Daryl Wood Gerber

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Final Sentence

BOOK: Final Sentence
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“There’s a feisty new amateur sleuth in town and her name is Jenna Hart. With a bodacious cast of characters, a wrenching murder, and a collection of cookbooks to die for, Daryl Wood Gerber’s
Final Sentence
was a page-turning puzzler of a mystery that I could not put down.”

—Jenn McKinlay,
New York Times
bestselling author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries

A crime hiding in the sand . . .

When I neared within a few feet, I gasped. It was the figure of a naked woman—no, a mermaid—face turned sideways, a sandy hook coming out of her mouth, a clump of seaweed for her hair, and a drizzling of sand for her fingers. Care had been taken, each curve honed.

I started to giggle nervously. The mermaid reminded me of the painted woman in the movie
. She looked so beautiful . . . so serene . . . so still.

I glanced around. Was the artist nearby, recording on video how people reacted as they passed? Would the treasure-seeking couple rat me out if I touched the mermaid’s tail fin with my toe? Tough. I had to. Curiosity bubbled to boiling point.

I stretched out my foot and tapped the far end of the sculpture. It didn’t crumble as expected. It resisted. Sand fell away and a flesh-colored toe emerged. Human.

A shriek gushed out of my mouth.

Final Sentence



Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

USA | Canada | UK | Ireland | Australia | New Zealand | India | South Africa | China Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England For more information about the Penguin Group, visit


A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author Copyright © 2013 by Daryl Wood Gerber.

Excerpt from
Inherit the Word
by Daryl Wood Gerber copyright © 2013 by Daryl Wood Gerber.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group.

PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978-1-10162441-8


Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / July 2013

Cover illustration by Teresa Fasolino.

Cover design by Jason Gill.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.

To my husband, the love of my life.
You make every day a delicious adventure.


Seek the lofty by reading, hearing, and seeing great work at some moment every day.

—Thornton Wilder

There are so many who have helped me along the way—family, friends, teachers, librarians, and more.

First and foremost, thank you to my family for loving me and not twirling your finger alongside your head when you think I’m nuts. That would be so embarrassing. Thank you to my dearest friend, Jori Mangers, for being there for me for so many years. Thank you to my first readers. Thank you to author pals Krista Davis, Janet Bolin, Kate Carlisle, and Hannah Dennison. I know you struggle through the same author’s angst that I do; your feedback is invaluable. Thanks to my brainstormers at Plothatchers. Thanks to my blog mates on Mystery Lovers Kitchen and Killer Characters. And thanks to the Sisters in Crime Guppies, a superb online group.

Thanks to those who have helped make the Cookbook Nook Mysteries a reality: my fabulous editor, Kate Seaver; Katherine Pelz; Joan Matthews; and Kayleigh Clark. I appreciate all your insight and enthusiasm. To my artist, Teresa Fasolino, wow. Once again, you have amazed me. Thank you to my publisher, Berkley Prime Crime, for granting me the opportunity to write about this whole new world of characters. I am so blessed.

Thank you, librarians, teachers, fans, and/or readers for sharing the world of a cookbook shop owner with your friends. Thank you to my business team. You know who you are!

And last but not least, thanks to my cookbook shop consultant, a cookbook store owner herself, Christine Myskowski. I will never forget that first moment I walked into Salt and Pepper in Occoquan, Virginia, and felt like I was


Title Page





Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28



Special Excerpt of Inherit the Wind

Chapter 1

UNT VERA, STOP twirling me,” I yelled.

BOOK: Final Sentence
4.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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