Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey Flambe - Nancy Fairbanks

Turkey Flambé
A Culinary Mystery
Nancy Fairbanks
Berkley Prime Crime


The good people of lower Manhattan could be forgiven for thinking that a terrorist attack was underway one afternoon when a couple of apparent fireballs came raining down on the street. One hit a publisher, briefly setting his beard ablaze, leaving him shocked but unhurt. The other, larger, fireball hit a limousine carrying foreign diplomats, causing the limo to crash into another car. The most seriously injured person ended up in the hospital, in a coma. Various police and anti-terrorist agencies responded quickly to the event.

As it turns out, those fireballs were flaming turkeys, thrown from an upper floor reception room by a couple of panicky people who hoped to keep the room from catching fire. The reception was in honor of Carolyn Blue’s new cookbook. She was demonstrating how to flambé turkeys using a mixture of reduced cognac. The huge fires that resulted were definitely not on the menu, and Carolyn instantly suspected sabotage. To prove her theory, she managed to save the last, unburned, turkey; and talked her good friend, Luz Vallejo, a retired cop, into helping her investigate.

The story is told in alternating chapters, from the points of view of both Carolyn and Luz. In less skillful hands, this might have been confusing, but the two women have such unique voices and perspectives on events, that it’s always quite clear. The author includes a note, explaining that the flaming turkeys were inspired by the annual increase in house fires around Thanksgiving, due to attempts gone wrong at deep-frying turkeys. As always, there are many recipes included along with a fun and involving mystery.

Rating: 7
November 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21904-1 (paperback)


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