“What a Sinister Stew in San Carmelita!”
(Thursday, January 15, 2015)
Reviewer: Nancy Narma
What a delight to travel back to sunny San Carmelita and see what the “Spitfire from Georgia”, Private Investigator Savannah Reid and her much-loved, often embarrassing, Detective Sgt./ Husband, Dirk Coulter are up to. We find them undercover as a pair of oldsters, hoping to nab the perpetrators that have been attacking unsuspecting Senior Citizens. As much as Savannah loves a good stake-out and possible arrest, her mind (and stomach) are focused on the sampling menu of their friends, John Gibson and Ryan Stone’s new restaurant, “ReJuvene”. Alas, by the time the determined duo is finished with their bookings, the Chef’s Audition was over and the restaurant dark. But don’t feel bad, for they soon had another chance to sample the obese, arrogant, nasty, famous Chef Baldwin Norwood’s gourmet fare—and it would be a night to remember! While nibbling their way through some extraordinary dishes, the peaceful atmosphere was abruptly penetrated by the sounds of breaking glass and angry shouts—so much so, that it forced Dirk and Savannah to peek in the kitchen while John tried to restore peace. While resuming the enjoyment of the dessert offerings, the peaceful atmosphere was short-lived, as blood-curdling screams emanated from the kitchen. What now? Just the discovery of the lifeless body of Chef Norwood sprawled out in a pool of blood in front of the stove. Savannah and Dirk had both seen their share of murder scenes, but this one seemed especially vicious. Chef Norwood was noted as a demanding, overbearing lout, but who could hold such hatred that they would commit this heinous crime? Or, should the real question be—Who had the most to gain by his death? Perhaps, his girlfriend Perla Viola? Or maybe, his overworked Sous-Chef Francia Fortun? Maybe blackmail was involved somehow? It was definitely time for the “Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency” to don their sleuthing caps and come to the aid of their friends. As per the norm, the path to discovery is not a bumpless one for Savannah, Dirk, Tammy and Waycross, even when Granny Reid arrives to assist in the investigation. The Author leads us (Willingly) down many a wisteria-strewn path, both investigatively and within the lives of the Reid Family. I’ve previously enjoyed Savannah’s adventures, but I believe this is, by far, my favorite ( with the exception of Savannah getting the best of her Sister-“Killer Honeymoon”), —perhaps because I can identify with Savannah or, just because the Reid clan never fails to make me chuckle, cry and ultimately sigh with relief. Cozy Lovers, make room on your shelf for this one, you won’t be disappointed and it will leave you wanting more, more, more.