Tart of Darkness

The Chef-to-Go Mysteries, Book 1
Narrated by: Melissa Moran
Series: The Chef-to-Go Mysteries, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
4 out of 5 stars (228 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Right when Dani thinks she's hit a dead-end in her career, she unexpectedly inherits an enormous old house in a quaint college town. This gives her the perfect opportunity to pursue her true passion - cooking! So Dani opens Chef-to-Go, preparing delicious, ready-made meals for hungry students attending the nearby university, as well as providing personal chef services and catering events for the local community. To help support her new business, she opens her home to a few students, renting them rooms and becoming almost like a big sister figure in their lives.

But just as Dani is relishing her sweet new life, the friend of one of her boarders is murdered, and Dani becomes one of the primary suspects! She'll have to scramble to clear her name and save her business before the killer reappears - perhaps to silence the new chef forever.

©2018 Denise Swanson (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Tart of Darkness

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too Much Angst

If you are looking for a romance, this may be more to your liking. I was looking for a mystery, & while the mystery aspect was ok the constant romantic angst was tiresome.

The inner monologues were both frequent & cringe worthy. Maybe this is aimed at a much younger audience? At any rate, not my cup of tea.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Too similar to her Dime Store series

Curvy, doesn’t know she is attractive, former corporate drone leaves the corporate world to start her own business. Hunky former law man falls for her but fights his feelings. She is suspected of murder, he helps her. They even both take place in the Midwest. Love the narrator, but sometimes I would forget if I was listening to a story about Dev or Dani.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

not the Denise Swanson I know...

Would you try another book from Denise Swanson and/or Melissa Moran?

Yes. I have read all of the Scumble River books.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The idea of owning a mansion and running a chef to go business was interesting. The ex-boyfriend coming to get his book back was unnecessary.

Which scene was your favorite?

Did not have one favorite scene...

Was Tart of Darkness worth the listening time?

Not sure...

Any additional comments?

What I objected to in this book was all the foul language and sexual innuendo. I am not a prude by any means and have read my share of salty books. When I go to a Denise Swanson book, I expect it to be clean and fun--something I could read with the family. If this is the way Ms. Swanson chooses to go in her new series, that is her prerogative, but she will be going without me.

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

NOT A Clean Cozy

I am not a prude. I read modern murder mystery/serial killer books. However, sometimes I want an escape from foul language, explicit sexual content and graphic violence so I read a Cozy. The language in this book is bad and it almost crosses the line for explicit sexual content. Reader beware.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It's a good start to a cozy series

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I didn't like the couple of references to tie ins to characters from the Scumble River series. It reminds me of that cheesy thing that network shows do with "cross over" episodes where characters from different shows interact. I hope that doesn't become a regular occurrence. I would like the series to stand on it's own and not be the author's inability to leave another series behind.

Would you be willing to try another book from Denise Swanson? Why or why not?

I really enjoyed the Scumble River series so I picked up this one. It has a lot of similarity in key traits and layouts of the characters. I hope the familiarity doesn't become so transparent that it feels like a re-write of that series, but it needs more books to tell.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator's voice was good over all. Clear distinction in voices of characters, but oddly, the main character's voice was the least believable and a bit stilted by over annunciation of the dialogue. I'm hoping this smooths as she reads future books.

Any additional comments?

Overall a good start to a cozy series. I like how Denise Swanson really develops the characters and provide good detail in her story telling.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Ham Handed

I listened to the entire book, but it was very heavy handed, lacking any sense of grace or fluidity.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not a true “cozy” mystery...

Not a bad story, and maybe the characters were just too young to be cozy. There didn’t seem to be much substance to them. Nearly all in their 20s, so language and situations accordingly. And some incidents struck a wrong note with me....pretending to be a friend and recording a confession is definitely not “cozy”!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Clever, first in a series

This fun quick read tells about Dani stepping forward to make her dream of being a chef come true. She takes on three collegevstudentscas boarders and falls into the kids of a murder. All into the adventure and wish you too had the treats she prepared along the way.

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    4 out of 5 stars

great cover pulled me in!

found this audio book ... what a great cover! new to this author ... 1st book in this series. i have noticed a lot of the mysteries i have read or listen to this year have been cooking or baking reads. they are messing with my mind. i love creative masterpieces!! so fun! enjoyable plot, fun characters. well written. can't wait to read more from Denise soon enough! love Melissa's narrator voice ... so awesome!! i mean check out that cover. different than the one they use for the book .. guess audio needed a different one?? love it more.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Cute story

I like a good mystery that is also not super intense. This was really great to listen to while I was cooking or cleaning the house. Not sure it would have held my attention if I had tried to just read it the old fashion way.