“Au Revoir to Pastries and Perpetrators”
(Wednesday, August 6, 2014)
Reviewer: Nancy Narma
Part-time reporter and feature writer for Tinker Cove’s “The Pennysaver” newspaper, Lucy Stone has always dreamed of going to Paris. She is a bit envious when oldest daughter, Elizabeth is re-assigned by the Cavendish Hotel Chain, having to change her address from Palm Beach to Paris and Elizabeth hates it! Little did Lucy know that all of her envy would soon disappear. Norah Hemmings, host of her own Emmy-winning daytime TV show is doing a special show on “Women Who Make a Difference”—and it is scheduled to be taped in, none other than, Tinker’s Cove! Lucy and her best friends, Sue, Rachel, and Pam plan to attend—and through Sue’s daughter, Sidra, a producer for Norah’s show, they have front row seats. How exciting to see a live taping! But what the ladies are about to discover is that, through their 20 yrs.of tireless work with the “Hat and Mitten Fund”, they’re the women who have made a difference and will be honored with a reward. What a reward it is!! An all-expense paid two week trip for 8 (Husbands included) to Paris! The marvelous prize also includes a week’s worth of lessons at “Le Cooking School” from renowned pastry chef, Larry Bruneau. The women were agog, and before they could say “Eiffel Tower”, they were on a plane and on their way to Parisian adventures. Some surprises awaited them—such as the so-called luxurious apartment, including Lucy and Bill sleeping on a sofa bed in the living room. Between the language and cuisine, there was much to get used to in Paris, and the couples explored some art and historical factions prior to their culinary lessons. All were anxious to learn new skills leading up to delectable treats—that is, all but snarky Sue, who is disappointed that they must start with the basics, when, according to her, she is sooo beyond that. The first class goes smoothly and the next day’s class promises tackling the techniques of making “Pate ‘a Choux” (dough for tiny cream puff-like confections). After stuffing themselves with their class projects, they ready themselves to go out in the pouring rain and to a café lunch. Lucy forgot her umbrella and went back up to the classroom to fetch it—only to find trays of profiteroles scattered about along with the motionless, bleeding body of Chef Larry with a knife sticking out of his chest. With her recollection of High School French, Lucy calls for help. When Police Commissaire LaPointe arrives and begins questioning, who do fingers start pointing to? Lucy! Surely, Lucy had nothing to do with this horrible attack, but how does she go about clearing her name? With their passports relinquished and their vacation days tick away, Lucy dons her familiar sleuthing cap and discovers there is more to this case than meets the Americans’ eyes. Who would want to hurt Chef Larry? Could Elizabeth’s co-workers Serge, Malik and Adil be involved? I have previously read some other “Lucy Stone Mysteries” and enjoyed them--this one not as much. Lucy needs to realize that Elizabeth is an adult, and Lucy’s friend Sue needs to mellow out and not be so snarky…although (as the old saying goes..) “friends, like fish, begin to smell after three days”—and with the four couples cooped up together for two weeks, nerves are bound to fray. Cozy lovers, be sure to check out this fast and easy read.