The second annual weekend symposium of the Society of Historical Gastronomes abruptly ends when its co-founder, well-known food-writer Digby Cary, is stabbed to death with his boning knife. His cousin, caterer Darina Lisle, whom he'd boorishly propositioned while he was still married, is his chief beneficiary, and needs money to open her own establishment. But it's also true that Society co-founder Prof. Turvey was inordinately jealous of him; a restauranteur loathed him for panning his food; a writer whom he'd plagiarized detested him; several jilted lovers resented him; and his deceased wife's cousin truly hated him. The solution, as you might expect, is secondary to the meals the suspects consume while the police do their investigating, and the denouement depends, naturally, on a description of an intricately decorated tart--seen only by its maker and the murderer. Like so many first attempts at a souffle, this debut has been overworked by a heavy hand, though the food descriptions are mouthwatering: from buttered oranges to Yorkshire Christmas Pie (a pigeon inside a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey inside a goose inside a standing pastry case). Well-bred in a low-key British style, but its doubtful that anyone will want seconds.