Romance and cuisine add piquancy to suburban murder.
On the day of her ex-husband Rob Staunton’s wedding in New York, Lori Corvino’s enjoying a plate of gnocchi in Rome when fellow tourist Alec Winters spills sauce all over her dress. Once she’s back home in a suburb of New York, a bouquet of flowers arrives from Alec, along with a secret recipe to help Lori revive her catering career. But Lori’s more concerned about her daughter Jessica’s relationship with Rob’s new wife, Valerie, with whom Lori has a fight before witnesses. She’s automatically the first suspect when Valerie’s body turns up in the trunk of Rob’s car. It’s not much consolation when the focus of the police investigation shifts from Lori to Rob to members of Lori’s breakfast club—longtime friends who meet regularly in a Greek diner—and their husbands to a tangle of changed wills, foundering real estate deals and secret lovers. When Alec Winter resurfaces, Lori’s glad to find a friend to confide in as she learns how little she actually knows about the people around her.
Crespi (The Trouble with a Hot Summer, 1997, etc.) describes the cooking prep so lovingly that you may start eating the pages. She’s equally affectionate in her depiction of this amiable cozy’s heroine, who’ll be irresistible to women who’ve lost a husband to a skinnier upgrade or had to make a new start in midlife.