Cooking for Cannibals by Rich Leder


Release date: January 14, 2021
Subgenre: Dark Comedy, Science Fiction Thriller

About Cooking for Cannibals:


Fountain of youth? More like murderous medication!

Carrie Kromer pushes the boundaries of science, not her social life. The brilliant behavioral gerontologist’s idea of a good time is hanging out with her beloved lab rats and taking care of her elderly mother and the other eccentric old folks at the nursing home. So no one is more surprised than Carrie when she steals the lab’s top-secret, experimental medicine for aging in reverse.

Two-time ex-con Johnny Fairfax dreams of culinary greatness. But when his corrupt parole officer tries to drag him from the nursing home kitchen, the suddenly young-again residents spring to his defense and murder the guy—and then request Johnny cook them an evidence-devouring dinner to satisfy their insatiable side-effect appetite.

As their unexpected mutual attraction gets hot, Carrie and Johnny find themselves caught up with the authorities who arrive to investigate the killing. But even more dangerous than the man-eating not-so-senior citizens could be the arrival of death-dealing pharmaceutical hitmen.

Can Carrie and Johnny find true love in all this bloody madness?

Cooking for Cannibals is a dark comic thriller with a heaping helping of romance. If you like fast-paced plots, unconventional characters, and humor that crosses the line, then you’ll have a feast with Rich Leder’s wild ride.

Buy Cooking for Cannibals and dig in to a side-splitting serving today!




It was an unprecedented feat of pharmaceutical engineering with a kiss from Mother Nature and a whisper from God. Carrie could tell without technical measure, with her naked eye, with the touch of her hand, that the rats were younger this week than last, younger today than yesterday.
There was indisputable clinical corroboration to authenticate and validate her professional observations. The most rigorous laboratory methodologies had been employed. The results had been questioned and challenged time and again. Every test, trial, study, and calculation confirmed the conclusion. The aging process in all nine rats had been definitively and profoundly reversed.
The drug worked.
Carrie stood hidden in a dark corner of Lab No. 3 holding a rolling pin. Her knuckles were white from choking the handle. Her heart was beating like the bass drum she’d played for a short time in the New Brunswick High marching band back in New Jersey when she was fourteen (an unpleasant memory even now), all those years and three thousand miles ago. If she didn’t keep her mouth closed, she thought, her heart would pound its way up her throat and shoot across the lab floor.
In all her thirty-five years, she’d never hit anyone on the head with a rolling pin. Never broken the law. Not a speeding ticket. Not a gum wrapper on the ground. Panic was a reasonable reaction given the circumstances. Shortness of breath, rapid pulse, and excessive perspiration were expected outcomes. Amplified adrenaline wreaking emotional chaos and intellectual havoc was a predictable and projected response. But Jesus Christ, she hadn’t planned on being such a nervy mess.
To steady herself, she focused on her alibi. Technically, she wasn’t here. Her car was parked in a lot on the other side of the San Fernando Valley. Witnesses had seen her with a beer in the Foxfire Room in Valley Village. There was a bartender who would confirm it. She’d used a colleague’s card to scan her way back into the lab. If anyone was here with Old Tom, the security guard who worked Wednesday nights after hours, it was Stuart Langston, Alsiko’s biostatistician, the smarmy math creep no one liked.
To calm herself, she focused on the courage it took to do what she was doing, how far she’d come in her own personal development to be brave enough to commit this kind of compassionate crime when her career and life were laid out before her as clear as California. She was a behavioral gerontologist, not a thief, for Pete’s sake, with a good job and a steady income, a purpose and a conscience. Maybe a criminal could sneak into the lab, bonk Old Tom on the head, steal the drug, and be done with it—no remorse, no regrets—but Carrie?
She’d rue the day, but she would do it. She would make this one illegal detour in her otherwise straitlaced life, get back on the freeway, and avoid the rearview mirror as best she could.


About Rich Leder:

Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than three decades. His credits include 19 produced movies—television films for CBS, Lifetime, and Hallmark and feature films for Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Longridge Productions, and Left Bank Films—and six novels for Laugh Riot Press.

He’s been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, an indie film director, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, a wedding guru, a PTA board member, a commercial real estate agent, and a visiting artist for the UNCW Film Studies Department, among other things, all of which, it turns out, was grist for the mill.

He resides on the North Carolina coast with his awesome wife, Lulu, and is sustained by the visits home of their three fabulous children. 


  1. Thanks for hosting me and my crazy book today, Indie Crime Scene. Delighted to be a part of your cool blog today!


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