The 27-Ingredient Chili Con Carne Murders

Nancy Pickard, Author Delacorte Press $18 (296p) ISBN 978-0-385-30227-2
Using notes and recipes of the late Virginia Rich ( The Cooking School Murders), Pickard, author of the Jenny Caine mysteries, serves up a fourth satisfying, chatty tale about master cook and amateur sleuth Eugenia Potter. In her home in New England, the widowed Mrs. Potter receives a call from Ricardo Ortega, manager of her Arizona ranch, who hints at trouble. Alarmed, she flies out to find that Ricardo and his granddaughter have disappeared. As neighboring ranchers and friends conduct a search, Mrs. Potter tries to determine the cause of Ricardo's unease. To feed the volunteers, she cooks up a huge pot of her 27-ingredient chili. Ricardo's body is discovered badly battered after an apparent fall, but Linda remains missing. The savory supper somewhat comforts the searchers, who leave with containers of leftovers. The next morning Mrs. Potter's elderly hired hand and two illegal immigrant boys are found dead, poisoned by the chili. Aiding the forthright sleuth in her ultimately successful pursuit of the killer and the missing girl is a rediscovered former lover. Suspense with dollops of romance and gossip makes this offering irresistible. Mystery Guild main selection. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1992
Release date: 12/01/1992
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