Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beef Stolen-Off-Liz Lipperman

Beef Stolen-Off

Liz Lipperman

Berkley, July 3 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425251423

In Ranchero, Texas Jordan McAllister is the food columnist for The Ranchero Globe though she can't boil water without burning it and wants to cover the sports beat. Her column has a big readership so cattle baron Lucas Santana invites her to attend the Cattleman's Ball. He hopes a good review by her will increase beef sales hammered by the recession. To further insure she has a good time reflected in her column, he arranges for his ranch manager prime Texas beef Rusty Morales as her escort.

During dinner, Rusty feels ill. He steps outside for air with Jordan following him to make sure he is okay. Instead he dies. The autopsy reveals Rusty was poisoned. Jordon believes someone paid the waiter to add the toxin to either Rusty’s food or champagne. Lucas is euphoric with Jordan’s wrote-up; he invites her to his Santana Circle Ranch so she can taste a different beef recipe once a week. Her brother Danny, a law enforcement official, is sent to Ranchero to arrest those who are involved in cattle rustling, which makes the ranchers happy. Jordon provides her sibling with the clues that point him in the right direction though her actions come to the attention of a cold blooded killer.

The second complex Clueless Cook Mystery (see Liver Let Die) is an enjoyable cozy that sub-genre fans (even Vegans who should skip the recipes) will appreciate. The entertaining storyline contains red herrings and several suspicious characters. The key to the whodunit is that the heroine does not try to solve the homicide, but instead stumbles into the path of the murderer when she learns no good deed goes unpunished as she helps a friend with an alleged haunted house.

Harriet Klausner

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