Cutesy, red-haired, five-times-married Kansas City chef/restaurateur Heaven Lee (Bread on Arrival, 1998, etc.) is invited to New Orleans to participate in a fundraiser for the Sisters of Holy Trinity. But she barely has time to write out her recipe for Nola pie, a mouthwatering concoction of pralines, berries, and enough butter to clog every Zydeco band in town, when some nut is writing hate-mail to her, she’s being choked on a park bench, her rental car is pushed into a ditch while she’s still in it, her rear window is shot out, and a really beefy gent is following her everywhere. Then the Sisters’ precious ancient crucifix is stolen and coffee-bean importer Truley Witten, the husband of Heaven’s old friend Mary, is murdered just before the fundraiser’s dessert course—and that’s Heaven’s deboning knife sticking out of him. Was there something more than beans in the Colombian coffee Truley imported—something like drugs or emeralds? And does Mary know that Truley was having an affair with beautiful television reporter Amelia Hart? For that matter, did he know that Mary was probably playing footsie with his best friend, realtor Will Tibbets? Using retired madam Nancy Blair as a sounding board and lunch partner at the tastiest cafes in town, Heather finally separates Truley’s murder from the Sisters’ theft and heads back to Kansas City for a cuddle with her current beau.
Wacky plotting, but that madam is well worth spending an evening with—and the cuisine will have readers salivating.