Chile Con Corpses
Midnight Six, Jan 2008, $13.95, 288 pp.
James, Bennett, Lindy, Lucy and Gillian are members of the Flab Five, a club who supports the members concerning proper diet and exercise so they can lose weight. It is a diverse group with Lindy trying to get up the courage to tell the high school principal she likes him. James and Lucy are an entry but the two are drifting apart and the relationship ends when he sees her with another man who is helping her pass her test to be a police officer.
James is drafted into being a chaperone at the Luray Caverns where art students can paint after hours. While everyone is in a different area, one of the students finds the body of Parker Willis who they later find out is an heiress who was in practice with veterinarian Collin Crabtree. Her twin sister Kinsley is distraught so the group members try to console her. They once again start sleuthing to find the killer while Kinsley lets her ex-boyfriend Gary console her.
CHILI CON CORPSES is as much a tale of friends with common interests as it is an amateur sleuth mystery. The five members of the support group know each other’s strengths and faults, but like each other despite of their weaknesses. James is the glue that holds the story together as he takes care of his father, tries to remain friends with Lucy while pursuing another relationship and guiding the investigation so that nobody is in danger.