Five food-loving friends accept an offer to serve as judges at a barbecue contest where murder is a side dish.
Despite their differences, members of the Supper Club have had some success as amateur sleuths (Chili con Corpses, 2008, etc.). But they don’t expect to need those skills at the annual Hudsonville Hog Festival, where they’ve been tapped to judge the Queen Sow Contest. The friends arrive at a delightful inn, where the hostess is a great cook and her daughter a great beauty, only to be confronted by the obnoxious Jimmy Lang, an ex-con contestant with a profitable sideline and a secret to success. When Jimmy’s found dead by propane poisoning in his trailer, Supper Club member Gillian is suspect No. 1. Gillian is an aging, animal-loving hippie whose peaceful attitude to life was blasted when she confronted Jimmy and accused him of murdering her husband, a man her friends never knew existed. Ever since his current squeeze, reporter Murphy Alistair, has cooled off, librarian James Henry has enjoyed spending time with his former girlfriend, sheriff’s deputy Lucy Hanover. Now Murphy’s appearance in town to write about the crime brings the pot to a boil. The friends do everything they can to find the real killer of Lang, whose enemies included his competition and his girlfriend.
The fourth in Stanley’s food-loving series is no great mystery, but foodies will love the recipes and fans the new adventures of the five friends.