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by Maddie Day

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-4967-3565-2
Publisher: Kensington

Murder disrupts a reality show that’s being filmed at a small-town pancake joint.

Robbie Jordan, owner of Pans ’N Pancakes, is pleased as green punch when a national production company decides to film its St. Patrick’s Day episode of Holiday Hot-Off in her rural Indiana cafe. She decks the walls with shamrocks and listens carefully as producer Tara Moore ticks off the rules: All recipes must include Hoosier Brewing Company’s Irish stout, everything must be cooked on the spot, and no baking in an oven is allowed. Tara’s such a stickler for detail that Robbie’s surprised when neither she nor her assistant, Jaden Routh, turns up at the restaurant the morning of the shoot. Surprise turns to agitation when Jaden arrives without his boss and finally gives way to panic when Robbie discovers Tara dead in her B&B. There are so many suspects with so many motives, from rivals whose recipes Tara stole for her cookbook to production company hopefuls who are after her job, that Robbie can hardly concentrate on the asparagus specials she wants to offer on her spring lunch menu. But much as she’d like to keep her mind on her cafe—and on her plans for starting a family with her husband, Abe—Robbie can’t resist the itch to investigate, with results that should surprise no one.

A cafe cozy plus a TV-show cozy equals no value added.