Berkley, Nov 2007, $6.99
After much delay, Carolyn Blue’s cookbook “Eating Out in the Big Easy” is finally being published by Pettigrew Publishing. To celebrate the company is throwing a party in Carolyn’s honor. They even persuade Carolyn to make TURKEY FLAMBÉ. When she ignites the cognac that soaks the turkey, a loud explosion occurs. The room is on fire and the two turkeys that combusted are tossed out a window. One slams on a car driven by a Chinese-American who ends up in a coma; while the other falls on the Benamian ambassador.
The FBI and the State Department are involved because the Feds believe this was a deliberate attack on a moderate Arab politician attending to his business. The police lean towards Carolyn being guilty as they consider negligence as the cause. Carolyn knows someone sabotaged her turkeys causing the initial explosion. She begins her own investigation to clear her name because she believes the cops will not look beyond her.
Nancy Fairbanks has written an exciting, humorous amateur sleuth starring a cookbook author who will remind readers of the Perils of Pauline, as she jumps from the frying pan filled with adventure into a simmering stew of danger. Carolyn is quirky and courageous while the support cast is a loyal eccentric friend, a government official, or a suspect (at least in the heroine’s mind). The recipes in this culinary whodunit are mouth watering so that TURKEY FLAMBÉ should not be read on an empty stomach.