Once Savannah Reid, owner and operator of San Carmelita’s Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency (Peaches and Screams, 2002, etc.), watches her client Eleanor Maxwell (“The Queen of Chocolate” to her fans, but the Queen of Mean to everyone who works with her) keel over dead on the set of her Gourmet Network show one bite into her just-baked torte, Savannah’s job as bodyguard should logically come to an end. But whether it’s from guilt over losing the client she was hired to protect, concern over what will happen to Maxwell’s granddaughter Gilly without Eleanor to stand between her and her neglectful mother Louise, or plain old southern curiosity, Savannah can’t let it go. She convinces police detective Dirk Coulter to let her tag along while he interviews Eleanor’s maid Marie, her chauffeur Sydney Hinton, her producer Kaitlin Dover, and her business manager Martin Streck. She also tails Eleanor’s ex, Burt Maxwell, checks the contents of local dumpsters, and drives social worker Angela Herriott crazy trying to get a better deal for Gilly. It’s left to Tammy Hart, her assistant, to keep Moonlight Magnolia afloat and run interference between Savannah and her straitlaced younger sister Cordele, who’s flown all the way from Georgia to spend quality time rehashing old grievances against their parents—and forcing Savannah to the brink of her very own homicide.
A pinch of puzzle, a dash of romance, and a heaping tablespoon of family conflict: McKevett’s recipe may be tried and true, but it still delivers the goods with zest.