June 11, 2012

Zombie Candy by Frederick Lee Brooke

Zombie Candy Blurb:

You know early on, from the color of the inappropriate bra in the opening scene, that Zombie Candy is going to be a black comedy. Most people could sympathize with the male obsession for sex and zombie movies, but who would put up with a husband who covered every dish with cilantro?

Frederick Lee Brooke serves up another literary treat with this bizarre and comical tale of love and betrayal. Candace Roach enlists her best friend Annie Ogden (our favorite sleuth from Doing Max Vinyl) to find out what her husband is really up to on his weekly business trips – but their home-cooked aversion therapy gets out of hand and hurtles along an astonishing highway of the undead.

Home from Iraq but unsure about her future, Annie Ogden isn't your typical woman sleuth. Her best friend, Candace Roach – gourmet cooking instructor, owner of a house in Tuscany – isn't your typical wronged woman either. Candace teaches gourmet cooking, and loves nothing more than orchestrating a four-course meal full of flavorful surprises and artistic touches. A selection of her recipes is found in an appendix to the book.

But with each shocking discovery in the investigation of her husband, the friendship between Candace and Annie is further put to the test. Candace ultimately takes matters into her own hands and, in an elaborate ruse, stages a nightmarish zombie drama in which her husband plays the starring role.

Weaving elements of mystery, horror and romance in a story that starts in Chicago and ends in a quaint medieval town in sun-drenched Tuscany, Zombie Candy transcends any single genre. Embark on a journey that will tickle your taste buds as it wakes up your funny bone.

This is one of the most entertaining books I've every read. Candace is a married woman who has put on a little weight  since her college years and soon becomes suspicious that her husband Larry is cheating. She hires her best friend Annie and her partner Salvatore to trail him to see if he is cheating. It is soon discovered that Larry is not only obsessed with Zombie movies but is a total horndog. When Candace finds out about the cheating she flips out and what person wouldn't.

I truly hate Larry and just kept thinking I hope if there is Zombies one chews off the part he seems to like sharing so much. Candace does some highly hysterical things to Larry. I would so do some of the same things if I was in her situation. Even if some of these things bite her in the end I think it was worth it. I could tell Annie was hiding a secret but was totally shocked at what came out. As for Salvatore he has some of the wildest friends I've seen. This is a totally amazing cast of characters and the author did a wonderful job writing them. As you can tell they are easy to like and hate.

The story is very catching and you keep reading hoping Larry gets it. This is the first book I have read by this author and will definitely be reading more. It is very witty and has a dark evil twist to it. I loved the book. You want to read about a woman who has had enough pick this up and read it. You will not regret it.

Another way you can tell how much I hate Larry. I looked my husband as I was reading the story and said, "Some of you men are dogs."

5 bats all the way.


Excerpt from Zombie Candy:
They sit at long tables under grape arbors. Heavy bunches of grapes hang from the vines. An eight-piece dance band in white tuxes and black bow ties plays tunes from every decade. Heavy silver dessert forks and coffee spoons rest untouched on the linen tablecloth. She can’t eat another bite. All the glasses, at least, she has used: white wine, red wine, water.
A light breeze comes up. It feels heavenly on her face. With nightfall, the heat has gone out of the air. The heat must be trapped in these old stone walls — the walls of the farmhouse, the walls surrounding the vineyard. The aroma of fresh herbs floats from a nearby garden, rosemary, and mint, she thinks as she watches people dancing. The bride, her beautiful white dress with the daring silk bodice; the groom’s parents, a man with close-cropped gray hair and a red rose in his lapel, and his wife in a shimmering blue dress that looks specially made by an Italian designer.
She keeps one eye on the young man in the navy suit with the green silk tie. He looks like something Michelangelo might have sculpted, then breathed life into. This young man knows everyone here, and has danced every dance for the last hour. But he’s dancing with both older and younger women, probably cousins, friends, the mothers of cousins and friends. She has no idea who he is.
She feels outclassed in her red silk dress from Bloomingdale’s. She had worn the same dress at a wedding in June in Chicago. No one here has ever seen it. If there are any more weddings this fall, she will just have to go shopping in Siena or even Florence, that’s all there is to it.
“May I have this dance?”
Like a vision, Michelangelo man stands beside her. Has somebody cast a magic spell here? How did he sneak up on her like that? She didn’t even notice the song had ended. Or that another one had started.
“I’m not much of a dancer.”
“We’ll see.” He tugs her hand.
“Really, you don’t have to.” He obviously feels a duty to make sure every woman in the place gets at least one dance.
“Of course I don’t have to. I’ve danced with all the women I was obligated to dance with. Now I want to dance with you.”
She doesn’t need more arm-twisting than this. He leads her to the dance floor. The band is playing a quiet song from the 1940s, she thinks, something familiar. Grape arbors surround the dance floor and fill the air with sweet perfume. He turns and puts one hand around her waist. “My name is Giancarlo,” he says, switching to Italian.
“Candace,” she says. “I’ve been here for three weeks. I can’t believe I’m at this beautiful wedding.”
“Your Italian is marvelous.”
Your lips are marvelous, she thinks. Your curly hair, the color of black coffee, and your handsome chiseled face are marvelous too. But you can’t say such things to a man you’ve never met before. Not in Tuscany. At least not before the end of the first dance. He glides around the floor, leading her with slight shifts in his weight, slight pressure with his hands. Her feet know where to go, just as her mouth knows how to form the words.
“We don’t have weddings like this in Chicago. The food … the music … the grapes.”
“My uncle’s house is nice,” Giancarlo agrees. “But I am sorry for Lucia. She has married a playboy. I do not think they will be happy.”
“They certainly look happy.”
Giancarlo makes a face. “I should not talk about the details. I know him. I’ve known him all my life, and he will never change. I tried to talk to my cousin, but she is in love and blind. What can we do?”
Giancarlo’s smile, Candace realizes, has a hypnotizing effect. Thank God a fast dance is starting, the Bee Gees. He makes no attempt to bring her back to the table, merely releases his hold on her waist.
“You are a beautiful dancer,” he says when the Bee Gees song ends. The band takes a break. Everyone is leaving the dance floor. Her heart sinks. Somehow she has managed to cling to him for two dances, something no woman before her had managed. Now he will bring her back to her table, his duty done. He will go back to his people.
“Thank you for the lovely dances.”
“Come, let’s get some fresh air. I’ll show you around,” Giancarlo says. And the really amazing thing is he doesn’t let go of her hand.

Read the excerpt from Zombie Candy here > Link for excerpt



  1. How fun!!! :) Thanks for the review and giveaway.

  2. OMG, Pam! Best review blurb ever = "I truly hate Larry and just kept thinking I hope if there is Zombies one chews off the part he seems to like sharing so much." Fred, you have to add this to your Amazon product page, please? PLEASE?!

    Thanks for being a part of this tour, Pam. I'm thrilled you enjoyed Zombie Candy enough to give it 5 bats. It totally took me by surprise, too. So entertaining, and, yeah, I lived vicariously through Candace a little ;-)

    Whenever you have a quick moment, would you kindly cross-post your batty review to Amazon and GoodReads? Please and thank you!


  3. Pam, you had me laughing out loud with your review - thank you so much!! I loved it when you said, "Larry is not only obsessed with zombie movies but is also a total horndog." Thank you, thank you, thank you, I'm just delighted that you enjoyed Zombie Candy.

  4. Shared the google post. Hope everyone enjoys!