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The prolonged story of her heroine's dysfunctional family weighs down the pseudonymous McKevett's otherwise lively, sharply humorous mystery, the eighth (after 2002's Peaches and Screams) to feature zaftig PI Savannah Reid. Savannah, owner of the Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency in San Carmelito, Calif., agrees to protect Eleanor Maxwell, aka the Gourmet Network's Lady Eleanor, after the self-titled "Queen of Chocolate" receives threatening letters. To Savannah's dismay, her client collapses after biting into a chocolate during a TV show taping and dies in her arms. Despite her seeming popularity, Lady Eleanor was notoriously bad-tempered-and worse, her recipes were a disaster. Aided and abetted by hungry, hardworking cop Dirk Coulter, Savannah encounters a number of coarse characters, notably the victim's vicious daughter and resentful ex-husband, in her search for the killer. Only one member of the Maxwell clan-Lady Eleanor's seven-year-old granddaughter, Gilly-elicits our sympathy. The unexpected arrival of Savannah's sister Cordele, who's determined to rehash the issues of their relationship and their harsh childhood, tests everyone's patience, including the reader's. Established fans may welcome the family analysis, but the uninitiated, especially those lured by the dark cat and chocolate goodies (brownies, fudge, cake, etc.) on the jacket, will find this caper a lot less cozy than meets the eye.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This novel has a main character with substance. She's has spunk and has a wonderful sense of humor. The book would be enjoyable to read even without the mystery plot! Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2004 by S. Vogt
This latest edition to the Savannah series will leave you wanting more. Very much an improvement from Peaches and Screams, the old wit and personality is back as well as a well... Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2003 by Stacey J. Springall