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by Al RokerDick Lochte

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-385-34370-1
Publisher: Delacorte

A celebrity chef lands in someone’s crosshairs after an appearance on a daytime talk show.

Billy Blessing (The Midnight Show Murders, 2010, etc.), star of Wake Up, America!’s cooking spot, hasn’t entirely made a secret of his former life as William Blanchard, who went to jail for helping his foster father, con man Paul Lamont. But he doesn’t exactly flaunt it either. So when he guest stars on Midday with Gemma along with former Chicago cop Pat Patton, the last thing he wants is for Patton to show up in his hotel room threatening to expose his past. Paul is long deceased, killed on orders from mobster Gio Polvere. Polvere is dead too, killed in a fire. When Patton buys it as well, Billy goes on alert, but what puts him over the top is the death of Larry Kelsto, a comic who was supposed to appear on Gemma with him and Patton until he got bumped because starlet Carrie Sands went on too long about her latest project, an American remake of Gerard Parnelle’s The Thief Who Stole the Eiffel Tower. Now strangers in a van are taking pot shots at Billy and Carrie. Mantata, an art gallery owner with likely ties to Lamont, steps out of the shadows, sending three oddball henchmen to protect him. But can Philippine fashion plate Hiho, jiving Jamaican Trejean and good-old-boy-gone-wrong Dal save Chef Billy from a threat whose source is as mysterious as Mantata himself?

Despite its over-the-top finale, Roker and Lochte’s third is as well-paced and thoughtfully prepared as an Alice Waters tasting menu.