A chef to Britain’s royal family is suspected of murder when a waiter succumbs to a poisoned pie.
Carrie Ann Cole loves working in Kensington Palace, where she provides tasty, nutritious meals for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two children. Will and Kate love her. But Mrs. Worth, the palace’s head of staff, has her doubts about Carrie Ann’s fitness for the job, partly because she doesn’t think an American can be sufficiently familiar with British food culture to provide proper nourishment for the royal family and partly because Chef Cole’s previous assistant, Frank Deems, was murdered at the palace (Kale to the Queen, 2017), creating a flurry of unwanted publicity. So a second murder, this time of Wentworth Uleman, waiter at the Orangery, Kensington’s open-to-the public cafe, who dies after eating a slice of the lemon pie that Carrie Ann leaves as a gift for the Orangery’s Chef Wright, does little to cement her relationship with her boss. Nor does it seal her friendship with DCI Garrote, who views Carrie Ann as his chief suspect. The latest death leaves Carrie Ann’s best friend, Penny Nethercott, and her two handsome beaus, gardener Jasper Fedman and security chief Ian Gordon, to help her clear her name. Hampton displays an uncertain grasp of British vernacular (fellow chef Sandy Earnest hands Carrie Ann the snappy retort “So sue me”) and palace protocol (Mr. Deems’ replacement, Agnes Moore, arrives in the kitchen unannounced, having apparently walked through the Duke and Duchess’ private quarters unescorted).
Most likely to appeal to mystery-romance fans entranced by PBS’s The Great British Baking Show.