Death at the Table

Janet Laurence, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-15105-8
Give three out of five stars to the fare in this lively culinary mystery from Laurence (Death and the Epicure). English cookbook writer and sometime amateur detective Darina Lisle is drawn into the back-stabbing world of series television when she is invited to join a food show called Table for Four. With the reluctant support of her fiance, Detective William Pigram, Darina looks forward to her debut and to appearing with Australian wine maven Bruce Bennett. The cocky yet charming Bennett helps get the series off to a rousing start, but shock hits the staff and crew when the hefty Aussie expires in front of the cameras. Darina harbors no thoughts of foul play until she receives a strange communication from Bennett's sister, Kate, which is shortly followed by a second death. Darina suspects almost everyone on the show, from David Bartholomew, the Nigerian production manager, to Lynn Winters, the home economist who had been involved with Bennett. Laurence's gripping twists and turns come to a screeching halt in a perversely methodical finale as Darina confronts the murderer in her Chelsea home. Despite that and a few overly analytical falterings midway, this epicurean mystery is a sprightly offering, given flavor and dash by its culinary complement. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997
Release date: 04/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 339 pages - 978-0-7838-8255-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-373-26316-5
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