Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hickory Smoked Homicide - Riley Adams

Hickory Smoked Homicide
A Memphis BBQ Mystery
Riley Adams
Berkley Prime Crime


It seems that almost everyone who knew her had a reason to want Tristan Pembroke dead.  She was running the family business into the ground, angering her sister.  As a pageant coach and judge, she was apparently known to be biased and dealing in ‘insider information.’  (Pageants are serious business in Memphis.)  She had an affair with a married man, then dumped him, angering both the man and his wife.  She was verbally and emotionally abusive to her only daughter, Steffi.  And she’d commissioned a portrait of herself, only to refuse to pay for it.
The painter was Sara, daughter-in-law to Lulu Taylor, the owner of Aunt Pat’s, a bbq restaurant and local institution.  When Tristan ends up dead at the end of her charity art auction event, Sara is the most likely suspect.  The two women had a fairly public to-do about the portrait, after all.  But Lulu knows that Sara had nothing to do with it.  The problem is, there were so many people there that night, and so many of them had a reason to kill Tristan, that it’s hard pick out just one.  The police seem to be having the same problem, so, with the assistance of her good friend, Cherry, Lulu decides to investigate another murder.
This is the third in this entertaining series, following DELICIOUS AND SUSPICIOUS and FINGER LICKIN’ DEAD.  It’s probably the most well-crafted and convoluted of the plots so far, which makes it the most interesting.  Many different credible suspects from several different walks of life make for a lively mystery.  Many regular characters appear, as well, making Lulu’s corner of Memphis feel a lot like a small town. Obviously, a huge part of Southern culture is based around food, so there’s a lot of eating and several recipes included at the end.

Rating: 7 ½
November 2011
ISBN# 978-0-425-24460-9


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