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Cooking for Ghosts

(The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Do hearts broken long ago forever leave a tangible trace?

A Vegas cocktail waitress. An Indian herbalist. A British chemistry professor. An Italian-American widow. Four unique women with one thing in common: each is haunted by a tragedy from her past.

Cynthia, Rohini, Jane, and Angela meet on a food blogging site and bond over recipes. They decide on impulse to open The Secr
Paperback, 360 pages
Published October 1st 2016 by HD Media Press Inc.
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Vicki Larson I knew little about the Queen Mary, having never been attracted to the idea of a cruise ship. Yet there's something incredibly compelling about her…moreI knew little about the Queen Mary, having never been attracted to the idea of a cruise ship. Yet there's something incredibly compelling about her story — and why ships are even considered "female." That just adds another dimension to the deep friendship women create — and the secrets they often withhold nonetheless. Many layers to this tale, all intriguing ...(less)

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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  155 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Suzanne Leopold
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Four women from very different backgrounds decide to buy a restaurant on the historic Queen Mary docked in Long Beach, California. While each brings their unique skills to the venture, they also bring along skeletons from their past. They are each hoping that this opportunity will help dampen the pain and allow them to move forward with their lives.

Conflicts, romance, and ghosts shortly ensue while the four work together on establishing their restaurant. Each character has an experience with a s
leslie hamod
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story of loss, love, and redemption! Four women connect through food blogs and recipes. They decide to open a cafe in the Queen Mary, now a floating hotel.Exquisitely detailed information makes the reader see the beauty of the grand ship! Extraordinary story line, well developed characters and a powerful message! A story of love, redemption and the power of women! Great Read!!
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this via Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

RMS Queen Mary is an intriguing figure, so much history in there.. not all of it rosy. I do hope to have the chance to pay her a visit one day.

Ghosts, cooking, a trip of sorts aboard the Mary... sounded too good to pass up entering the giveaway :).

This was an interesting read. It is hard to say why in detail without giving spoilers away haha but I would recommend.

The girls are easy to root for and you get swept up in wh
4.5 enthusiastic stars

Four women from very different backgrounds form a friendship on a cooking blog. Soon they have formed a partnership that will transform their lives forever.

For anyone who ever has made lasting, strong, bonding friendships through social media, you will immediately be drawn to these women. Each of them has secrets in their past that have made them the women they are today and each brings those secrets on board of the Queen Mary, the magnificent ship that houses their new re
Ann Garvin
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a really fun book and I read over vacation. There is so much sand in my pages because I had it with me every second. It's called Cooking For Ghosts by Patricia V. Davis This book is such a great combination of things. Women friends who get together to create a restrauant on board of the RMS Queen Mary and what they encounter is so immaginative and so much fun, you won't want to put it down. I love a good ghost story but a ghost story that has more than thrills within it's pages makes a v ...more
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A quite wonderful paranormal mystery melodrama, set aboard the current Queen Mary (permanently docked near the wonderful Spruce Goose exhibit) in Long Beach, CA. Davis provides four main characters, along with a strong set of supporting ones. Each of the main characters has flaws and history and some inner conflict to be resolved.

The balance of elements and characters is perfect, the paranormal and the mystery adding spice, and the scenes aboard ship in modern day and in the past are nicely done
Lindsey Kay
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What makes this book unique is that it crosses into so many different genres with a deft hand, denying being pigeonholed but without any feeling of contrivance or having tried too hard. Davis as an author weaves an incredible tapestry together, bringing out the best elements of each genre she courts without getting dragged down into hackneyed stereotypes. Is this a coming-of-age story? Absolutely. Is this about mumble-something aged ladies trying to find their way through the darkness of their p ...more
Lisa Kay
I received a copy of the paperback edition on this book - and two recipe cards! - from HD Media Press free of charge. This did not influence my review.

★★★★✩ Lovely book. I don't read a lot of "chick-lit" so, I was surprised when the publishing company asked me to review this book. However, I do love a good mystery; and this is one! The main characters are four diverse, well-conceived female characters, willing to take a risk on each other and a new adventure. Fun - and scary enough before addi
J.H. Moncrieff
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such a great, satisfying read! Davis weaves together many characters, plots, and subplots, and yet somehow manages not to leave anything hanging in the end.

I loved the setting of this book, as I recently spent time on the Queen Mary, and Davis's novel brought to mind the places I'd been and some I hadn't seen. I could easily visualize The Secret Spice Cafe and wish it had existed when I was there. I would have been first in line.

Ghosts aside--and Davis does a beautiful job melding factu
Linda Zagon
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! WOW! WOW! “COOKING FOR GHOSTS” BY Patricia V. Davis is a hauntingly delicious and entertaining novel!! I love the way that Patricia V. Davis has done the historical research and how she weaves her story, characters, and timeline together.
The story takes place on the RMS Queen Mary, the beautiful ocean liner which is now a floating hotel in Long Beach, California. The RMS Queen Mary has much historical detail, and is rumored to hold secre
Cooking for Ghosts was an interesting ghostly mystery that tells the story of four women linked through a food blog and personal tragedy. They come up with a plan to open a restaurant on a permanently-docked cruise ship and the story starts out with them finalizing the opening of the restaurant and getting settled prior to opening. Each woman has a different skill-set and each one brings something unique to their new business venture, although tempers run a bit high during this time of stress. T ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow - this is unlike any other book I have read before! A delightful whirlwind of a novel – packed with lots of intriguing characters and dizzying plot twists. Cooking for Ghosts really grabs the reader. Sit back and enjoy the “ride” on the Queen Mary as you discover secret pasts, supernatural surprises, and some gut-wrenching emotion. Patricia Davis does a marvelous job of tackling some pretty heavy issues while creating a page-turner that makes you both laugh and sit back and ponder some of th ...more
Stewart Tame
Fair warning: I won a free Kindle copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Four women enter a partnership to start a restaurant on the Queen Mary, which of course is haunted. And, as if dealing with starting a restaurant and dealing with ghosts isn't bad enough, each woman is also dealing with some dark secret in her past.

So we’ve got four separate women, each with her own secret to deal with in the course of the book. This makes the various character arcs rather short. After all, each one req
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Four women with different personalities and backgrounds open a restaurant on a stationary ocean liner. The Queen Mary holds a mystery and as ghosts appear these women become entangled in the ship’s history. The prologue in the beginning of the book got me hooked, the ghosts were very ghostly 😉, and the murder/mystery moved along at a decent pace. All in all it was a good book and I most likely would read #2 in the series.
I don't know what it was about this book but I read my first few chapters in the morning and when I eventually put it down to go about the rest of my day I felt disappointed. All throughout the day when my mind wandered I caught myself thinking about the characters and what their stories were, until I could finally pick the book back up and dive in. In the end I finished the whole thing within 24 hours.

I'm not sure where to place this book. It could be a mystery - there are secrets, and puzzles
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
**I received an advanced reader copy of this book in a giveaway at, This is a fair, honest review.**

Four women meet online. They all have dreams of a new life. So they band together on a food blogging site, and decide to open a restaurant. But this restaurant will be special -- it's on the Queen Mary, permanently docked in Long Beach, CA since the late 60's. Cynthia, Jane, Rohini and Angela all carry their own secrets and ghosts of the past within them. Little do they know that the
Kathleen Hohler
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I love when an author combines reality and fiction. I highly recommend this book and I'm looking forward to the next installment of the series.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this last night and I loved this book. What do you get when you have: a little romance, a little magic, a little history, and a lot of secrets? A really good entertaining piece of work. I can't wait to read book 2. I'm curious to see if Cynthia and Raul's story continues. and I may need to read it again, I think I missed the story behind the ghost that sought out Angela. and I think I'm a little nervous to eat shrimp now 🤔 Thanks for the freebie Patricia Davis, I totally enjoyed ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Charming characters, engaging story, and fun facts/"facts" of the Queen Mary. Plus a recipe! The only thing not to love is that the next book in this series isn't out for a few more months! (Though, truth be told, this book works as a standalone. I just love the characters so much that I'm excited that there will be more.)
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love food. I love ghosts. This book was for me. There were times when some situations were way too contrived, but that didn't detract too much. Love the distinct women who star in the story. Very fresh setting for a story like this. Not just a restaurant, but a restaurant aboard an iconic cruise ship. I recommend it.
Brian Ripley
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book! Wonderful plot and character development, exciting twists, and encounters with the paranormal, all set on the grand dame Queen Mary. Can't wait for Book 2 of the Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy to learn what new adventures await our heroines.
Jessica Smith
**** this review contains some spoilers ****

This is a novel about four women that met on a cooking blog and decide to seize an opportunity of a lifetime to buy a restaurant on a historic ship, one that also happens to be haunted hence the title "Cooking with Ghosts". I did enjoy this book, but I do have some issues with this book that keep me from being able to say I loved it.

First I want to start with the things I really enjoyed about this novel. First, I have to commend the author in her prol
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
While this book didn't quite pique my interest enough to continue with the series, I did think it was an enjoyable read.

I appreciated the diversity in the characters of the book. I liked that more than one ethnic background and varying socio-economic backgrounds were included. I also appreciated the inclusion of Rohini's story and the trials she faced are representative of many women around the world. Hopefully her story got some readers to think.

On the other hand I found a few of the romantic
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spooky, emotional, and dramatic, Cooking with Ghosts reminded me of the magical realism novels that I loved in the 1980s, but with a decidedly paranormal twist. The author took a ghostly experience that she had on the Queen Mary floating hotel and spun it into a complex, engrossing tale of four women who open a restaurant together, along with their families and colleagues. I particularly loved the hallucinogenic shrimp, along with the other foodie parts of the novel. The ghostly parts were beaut ...more
Dyana Hulgan
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cynthia, Angela, Jane and Rohini decided to open The Secret Spice Cafe' aboard the mysterious Queen Mary. The way Patricia V. Davis enhanced the readers appetite by adding secret spices to the shrimp - changing the way the customers behaved - was enticing. And to further keep us hungry, she stirred ghosts into the mixture, that cooked up some surprises of their own. Even though the ghosts were scary, their dark stories helped the owners conquer their fears from the past. The book was thought pro ...more
Sheree Kun
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
II just finished reading Cooking For Ghost by Patricia V. Davis. It’s a really good read. Don’t let the slight paranormal dissuade you from reading. I learned some history while truly enjoying delightful yet complicated characters. In fact, you may like the male characters better than some of the ladies. This book has a lot to offer readers and will entertain you. I’ve stayed up late on school nights to finish. I’m truly glad I won this book because I may not have selected it on my own. I’m look ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-read
I am halfway through this book and I can not put it down. The story line is fascinating and the character interaction is amazing. I love the different background the 4 main women in the story have, and even though they are very different, they are all so important to the story line. Can't wait to see where the rest of the story goes, and to read more by this author.

11-4-17: just finished and all I can say is love, love, love this story!!!
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Queen Mary, anchored permanently as a hotel and restaurant off the coast of California, has a life and mind of her own.

Four women, united on line by a food blog, decide to open a restaurant aboard the ship. Each brings her own memories, secrets, and problems, which, combined with unsolved long ago murders which the ship makes known to one or more of these individuals, makes for an exciting tale.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unusual ghost story

Cooking for Ghosts is a fun read! I don't usually go in for ghost stories, but this is so much more than a ghost story. Each character is complex and compelling as they work through the challenges of their lives and those of opening a restaurant. Each ghostly encounter had my skin prickling! I got scared and laughed and cried with them all. I can't wait for the next book!
Kelly Hager
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
World's shortest, non-spoilery synopsis: four women open a restaurant on the Queen Mary. Each is dealing with secrets/major problems from their past.

This is a compulsively readable novel with characters you'll immediately fall in love with and root for. (I have so much more to say but again, spoilers.)

It's very short but the good news is that it's the first book in a series. I cannot wait to see what comes next.

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PATRICIA V. DAVIS's debut novel, COOKING FOR GHOSTS: Book I in The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy was presented at the Queen Mary Salon Series. Book II, SPELLS AND OREGANO has just been released. Both novels are official selections of The Pulpwood Queens Book Club, the largest book club in the world, with over 700 branches. The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy is also part of the Breathless Wines Bubbles and ...more

Other books in the series

The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy (2 books)
  • Spells and Oregano (The Secret Spice Cafe #2)
“When a good woman stops being afraid, the devil turns and runs.” 1 likes
“Every human being has had their heart broken, every person you'll ever meet lives on a daily basis with a private pain they work hard to conceal.” 0 likes
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