Book reviewing is a very subjective occupation and different reviewers will pick up on different aspects of a book. I received a press release for Susan Wingate’s latest book Easy As Pie At Bobby’s Diner and decided to investigate this author. I discovered that she had an earlier book Bobby’s Diner that starred the same cast.

I like book series, when they are done well they are an absolute joy, you get to learn so much more about the characters. The only problem I could foresee in tackling this project was the fact that one reviewer had labeled Bobby’s Diner as ‘chick lit’. I am not big on believing everything that I read and decided that just by the story synopsis it was worth a read.

I was right! labelling Susan Wingate as Chick Lit is akin to accusing Steven King of freelancing for Harlequin!

Bobby’s Diner is a gritty little book, with outstanding characters and a plot that is so strange, I could actually see it happening in real life.

The back drop is a small town some 65 miles north of Phoenix, a place by the name of Sunnydale. Bobby’s Diner is a fixture in the town, a place where good wholesome food and good company can always be found. Bobby Carlisle and his wife Vanessa had spent years making the restaurant the success that it was.

Alas as is so often the case these days, their marriage was not as strong as their business partnership. Bobby falls for the new lady in town Georgette. A woman seeking nothing but her own salvation from her past. Friendship turns to romance, and after a divorce, Georgette moves from mistress to wife.

I think it would be fair to say that Vanessa and Georgette were not the best of friends. Everyone’s life is changed when Bobby dies. In his will he leaves his house to his new wife Georgette, $200,000 to Vanessa, and then the bombshell hits. Each woman receives a 50% stake in the ownership of Bobby’s Diner. Ouch!

With neither prepared to sell to the other, they are forced into an unlikely partnership. One that to say the least has it’s ups and downs in the early days.

Oh and that is just chapter one!

I don’t like to give spoilers in reviews, but I do like to give teasers. There is a large land developer in Phoenix who has his eye on Sunnydale, and Bobby’s Diner is right in the path of progress. When check book diplomacy fails, more insidious methods are brought into play.

I enjoyed Bobby’s Diner a great deal, it is written with panache, which likely is the reason it scored an finalist mention with the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It is a great read and Susan Wingate has done a fabulous job of both plot and character development. Watching the relationship between them at first waring factions of Georgette and Vanessa develop is written in a masterful fashion.

I will end this review where I started, whoever labeled this as chick lit is out of their mind! This is a book that has wide appeal. I do not rate books as other sites do, but if I did, this would score 5 stars. I loved the plot, loved the characters, and (this is the book critic in me talking) from a technical standpoint I can find no fault, it has been well constructed, well edited, and the story flows.

You can grab your copy from Amazon by clicking on the link above.

Simon Barrett

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