Friday, September 9, 2011

Death on a Platter-Elaine Viets

Death on a Platter

Elaine Viets

Obsidian, Nov 1 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451235244

Mystery shopper Josie Marcus eagerly takes on her new assignment of sampling local eateries that offer a variety of dishes unique to St. Louis. As part of her City Eats dining experience, Josie visits Tillie's Off the Hill Italian Restaurant known for their toasted ravioli.

The food is delicious but the fly in the soup is a loud mouthed bellicose drunk. In fairness to the full disclosure doctrine and to Tillie’s, Josie decides to try Tillie’s again the next day to see if the atmosphere is better. While the toasted ravioli is served to the intoxicated man, the belligerent drunk is in full tirade when he drops dead. SPD finds enough evidence to charge Tillie with murder. Josie does not believe the restaurateur is the killer so sets out to find who permanently shut the nasty diner although she goes it alone as Ted, her boyfriend, cannot accompany her.

The latest Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper (see An Uplifting Murder) is an entertaining amateur sleuth in which the heroine risks her life to identify the real server of the poisoned ravioli. Spunky Josie knows she needs to just say no, but cannot as her mom and Tillie are friends though her mother would prefer her not risking her life. Although there are clues to the identity of the killer, Monday morning quarterbacks including Ted will struggle to decide who done it.

Harriet Klausner

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