The Diva Runs Out of Thyme
Berkley, Oct 2008, $6.99
Sophie Winston and Natasha Smith have known each other for years as friendly acquaintances who seemed to always compete against each other. Both write food columns for differing newspapers. Sophie’s is down to earth with simplicity as the idea while Natasha’s are sophisticated almost works of art. While going to a grocer, a man asks Sophie if she wants a cat; she says no but changes her mind.
She sees the cat by a dumpster. When she goes over to look she sees inside a corpse. The police find her name and number on the victim so coupled with her reporting the body she becomes a person of interest. At the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown Contest, the sponsor Simon Greer asks her for a date and when she goes to find him after she turned him down, she sees him dead bashed in by the Turkey trophy. The same detective catches both cases; he thinks Sophie is a killer using the ploy of finding corpses to throw off the scent; or she is a bad luck innocent. Sophie wants her record cleared so she is helped by her family and friends on her investigation before she ends up reviewing prison cuisine.
“Sugar and spice” is not as Sophie should know the omen for the week that begins with the ingredients for her entry turn up missing. Two murders later, one peeping Tom, and the police make for a harrowing week except Sophie has one thing going for her: she is alive although at a breaking point. She suspects everyone and can’t relax for a moment out of fear of dining on jailhouse food or being the third victim. Although a food reporter going sleuthing is hard to swallow even if circumstantially she fears the cops will give her the FBI anthrax treatment; Krista Davis provides an enjoyable whodunit starring THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME.