A restaurant owner with a reputation as a sleuth reluctantly adds murder to her plate.
Sally Solari is still helping her dad at Solari’s, the family’s Italian restaurant, even as she takes on more duties at Gauguin, the restaurant she inherited from her murdered aunt. Despite all these responsibilities, she’s found time for an old love she’s been away from for years: singing with a chorus. Encouraged by her former boyfriend Eric and her old friend Allison, both members of the chorus, she auditions for Marta, a tough but fair choral director a lot more popular than sarcastic tenor Kyle, who ends up dead when he apparently falls from an upper-story window at the practice venue. Sally thinks his death is suspicious and finds it hard to say no when Kyle’s girlfriend, Jill, begs her to investigate. The piece they’re preparing is the Mozart “Requiem” in a previously unknown version that Marta discovered in a Prague bookshop and sold for quite a lot of money. The police write the death off as an accident, but more sinister motives emerge when Kyle’s will, which leaves bequests to Jill, his brother, and his son from a former marriage, turns out not to be legal, entitling his son to the whole estate. Identifying other suspects who might have reason to kill Kyle, Sally struggles to choose which one may have done the deed while juggling duties at two restaurants and perfecting her unexpected solo.
Karst (Dying for a Taste, 2016), who’s done many of the things she gives her heroine to do, provides a mystery that rings true and features several unexpected twists along with the appended recipes that are de rigueur for culinary cozies.