Covid Capers

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Release Date: November 22, 2023
Pages: 312
ISBN13: 979-8393445966

Chef Arthur "Artichoke" Hart is cooking for delegates at a Summit in Georgia (the country) when the epidemic known as the novel corona virus hits. Speeding home before President Trump seals borders, he is sent to the Arizona desert to set up catering for a new community center. The community consists of former CEOs who quit, were fired, or retired from their positions in some of the world's leading corporations over the past year. Their leader is a Chinese entrepreneur who has been charged with building domes for the Moon Village, a joint venture between NASA, The European Space Agency, and the Chinese National Space Administration. As the virus becomes a pandemic, the CEOs are isolated in the middle of nowhere. But when one of the CEOs--the eldest son of a Columbian cartel-- becomes best friends with the leader, the intelligence community gets nervous. Arthur "Artichoke" Hart's job is to find out why the cartel is involved and, perhaps more importantly, why all the CEOs are investing in the project when it has already been paid for by the three governments.

Oh, and simultaneously, he has to feed the multitude of CEOs and their spouses' gourmet meals daily.

Naturally, the meals are to die for.


... I loved the realism in this novel, not only due to the details about the COVID-19 situation but for the references to actual space projects. Robert J. Morrow described how the pandemic began and how difficult it was to believe the big changes that affected the general population. That point seemed important to me because it places readers in a specific situation that is part of the story but to which they can all relate. He also refers to political and business conditions. All this immerses you in an intriguing plot. I liked Arthur Hart because he is a natural and charismatic character. He not only gets involved in extraordinary cases but also faces real problems, such as the situation with his ex-wife. Covid Capers is an excellent political thriller with an interesting mystery to solve.
- Reviewed by Diana Lopez for Readers' Favorite In March 2020

Robert J. Morrow does an excellent job of blending mystery, action, and the life of a chef in his novel Covid Capers. The elements that Morrow brings to the table through Hart are fun and insightful. Sous vide in a makeshift desert facility is something I'm not going to attempt myself but it's cool to see someone else do it. And as a reader who lived in Las Vegas for over a decade and actually went to the opening night of The Cosmopolitan, I was almost back at home and totally got the reference to its Chandelier Lounge. Kudos to Morrow for the tongue-in-cheek James Bond vibe in its glamor and Hart's nod to his own exploits: "With blatant adherence to the glitz and glamour of traditional spy and heist movies..." I did have reservations about the portrayal of the Chinese antagonist, Yang, given the sensitive real-world climate, but Morrow does tie Yang in to bigger influences and he stands on his own two feet as a man who believably wields subordinates, branches through an illicit empire, and is just plain nefarious to a delicious degree. The skill required to make a character like Yang both fully fleshed out but still somewhat unknown is immense, and Morrow excels with it. Overall, Morrow's book is a gamble that pays off and a perfect weekend read. Very highly recommended.
- Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite