Whoever's trying to kill Jillian Abernathy certainly is making a hash of the job.
New Year’s Day should herald a wonderful new year for the director of Los Angeles’ fabulous Elysium Spa. But how can Jillian savor her upcoming nuptials with handsome psychiatrist Benjamin Dixon knowing that her housecleaner, Esperanza Flores, has been disfigured by acid meant to be thrown in Jillian’s own face? Only by engaging actress/baker Piper Donovan (To Have and to Kill, 2010, etc.) to construct the perfect wedding cake. Abandoning her patient swain, FBI agent Jack Lombardi, to fly to L.A. for her all-expenses-paid week at Elysium, Piper is quickly drawn to Jillian. “I feel sorry for her. Talk about bad karma,” she says after a second attack leaves unmourned Esperanza dead. Many people, Piper soon realizes, have it in for her client. There’s Hudson Sherwood, the former Elysium director who’s now toiling as a lowly hotel clerk. And George Ellis, whose daughter Wendy lost most of her nose to a botched surgery by Jillian’s father, plastic surgeon Vernon Abernathy. And Kyle Quigley, the paramedical esthetician whose “sleep therapy” includes services his clients know nothing about. Undercover reporter Anastasia Fernands quickly enlists Piper to help get the goods on Kyle. But another Elysium guest will die before Piper finally realizes who the killer is—just in time to get attacked herself.
In a manner strikingly reminiscent of the author’s famous ex-mother-in-law, everything turns out in time for the diminished wedding party to enjoy a cake made from “the best pumpkin bread they have ever tasted.”