Pastry chef Mary Ryan (Beat Until Stiff, 2002) is hired by a culinary institute where murder is on the menu.
After solving two murders at her former job, Mary has had so much difficulty finding new employment that she’s happy to be back teaching at her alma mater despite a pay cut and nasty generational battles over cooking styles. She’s shocked to find that one of her students is homicide detective Inspector O’Connor, her ex-husband’s partner, a man who could be the love of her life if he weren’t married with children. Mary’s skeptical of O’Connor’s claim to be on leave, and when her old friend Allison, another instructor, dies, apparently from a shellfish allergy, Mary marks it as murder and looks to him for help. Allison was engaged to be married to a mystery man who Mary fears is one of her mentors. The pressure mounts when the wealthy father of her best student, Coolie Martin, insists that Coolie be forced to quit the school, and a secret regarding sex with a student is revealed. Meanwhile, Sparks fly between Mary and O’Connor, who continues to deny that he’s undercover. Though cooking may be her life, it’s Mary’s talent for crime solving that will save her.
Sexual tension, cooking tips and a neatly packaged mystery. All in all, a tasty tale.