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Cooking for Ghosts

(The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  219 ratings  ·  130 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 st…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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Average rating 4.18  · 
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Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
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
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 ad
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
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
Sue Em
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Four diverse women come together to open the Secret Spice Cafe aboard the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach, CA. While readying for the opening and afterward, they discover the ship inhabited by ghosts. A little girl searching for her dolly. A soldier looking for redemption. And the women search for resolution of the tragic events that lead them all there.

This book was a little slow starting off for me as I had some difficulty keeping all the women and their stories straight. About halfway through
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
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
Book Concierge
This is the first in the Secret Spice Café Trilogy.

From the book jacket: 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. On impulse, they decide to open The Secret Spice, an elegant café on the magnificent ocean liner, the RMS Queen Mary, currently a foloating hotel i
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
This book has a touch of everything in it. Four friends who met on a on-line cooking site and decide to buy the restaurant on the Queen Mary ocean liner docked in Long Beach, CA. The women come from all over- one from India, one from England, one from New York City and one from Las Vegas and only two, sisters-in-laws, knew each other in person before they meet up in their new investment.

There's so much going on like running a new restaurant, getting to know each other, meeting men and starting
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
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
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.
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.) ...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. ...more
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. ...more
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the way the ghosts and history of the queen mary were incorporated in this story. I thought the story itself was slow in parts and I had a hard time distinguishing the 4 main partners but otherwise it was enjoyable. I liked how everyone's main problem was resolved by the end of the book. #CookingForGhosts #NetGalley ...more
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cooking for Ghosts was a delightful read - a blend of women’s friendships/relationships, mystery, romance, paranormal (ghosts), and history. I was immediately attracted to this novel due to its taking place on the RMS Queen Mary, which I toured a few years ago in Long Beach, CA. The ship could actually be considered the main character! I very much enjoyed the women featured in this story. Each had a unique and interesting backstory that contributed to the plot. A fun read at any time of year, bu ...more
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
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
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. ...more
Susan Peterson
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Patricia V. Davis brilliantly weaves together historical fiction, mystery, paranormal activity, and romance in this wonderful story. The characters in this story are unique and fascinating! I loved the setting of the Queen Mary and the history and otherworldliness that it brings to the story. A very entertaining read!
Jimette Ross
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic read! Intriguing and gave me goosebumps at one point! Set upon the Queen Mary and the Secret Spices Restaurant. Don't miss this one! ...more
Cozy Cat Reviews
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in the "Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy". This is my first by the author. I really enjoyed this ghost story with a wonderful historical setting. Thank you for the ARC. My review opinion is my own. Review is cross posted across platforms.

This is a story involving four women. Each woman has a secret past that haunts them. They find each other through blogging about food and soon are fast friends. They open a cafe business together called "The Secret Spice". The cafe reflects eac
Denice Langley
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A mystery that includes paranormal characters and a little bit of romance! Patricia Davis built a cast of characters that are all looking for like minded people online. The four main characters connect as friends so decide to join their resources and open a restaurant on the Queen Mary. As their excitement builds for the project, they learn that the ghosts on the Queen Mary all have a story to share with them. The story is very well crafted. The mystery does not outweigh the story of the 4 women ...more
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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 was praised by magician, David Copperfield for its capture of magical performance. DEMONS, WELL-SEASONED: Book III in the trilogy was released November 2019, and the trilogy was published as an audiobook series by Tantor Media. Patri ...more

Other books in the series

The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy (3 books)
  • Spells and Oregano (The Secret Spice Cafe #2)
  • Demons, Well-Seasoned (The Secret Spice Cafe #3)

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