British writer Whitehead's latest mystery, again set in York ( The Dean It Was That Died ), delivers more empty calories than lasting satisfaction. Chocolatier Pierre Fontaine offers his newest recipe to longtime associates at Benn's chocolate factory, where he's installed in a private laboratory to whip up a few test batches. When he vanishes only days after his arrival, the Benn sisters and the police must consider whether Fontaine is a victim of industrial espionage. While Whitehead deftly keeps the reader wondering about the chocolatier's fate, her subplots nor characters are not as well developed, and some details--otherwise competent policemen failing to check the missing man's trash for evidence, for example--also ring false. Confectionery lore may please sweet-toothed readers, but others will find this mystery less tantalizing. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1993 Release date: 03/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
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