Hot Stuff

Don Bruns. Oceanview (Midpoint, dist.), $25.95 (296p) ISBN 978-1-60809-061-7
Bruns’s lukewarm sixth semicomic “Stuff” mystery (after 2011’s Too Much Stuff) finds inexperienced and immature Miami PIs James Lessor and Skip Moore of “Moore or Less Investigations” going undercover to solve the stabbing murder of sous chef Amanda Wright. Skip’s girlfriend, Emily Minard, the victim’s longtime friend, helps persuade chef Jean Bouvier of the posh restaurant L’Elfe, Amanda’s last job, to hire the two to eliminate his staff as suspects. James’s culinary arts degree gives him credibility as Wright’s replacement, and anyone, Skip learns, can be a dishwasher. Fragile egos and shady backgrounds, from absent dishwasher Juan Castro to owner Bouvier, provide suspects aplenty, but it’s revelations about Amanda herself that prove most revealing. A rough introduction to Det. Ted Conway morphs into uneasy cooperation, but doesn’t keep James from becoming a suspect before the bumbling amateurs discover the secret to a killer’s cold dish. Bruns concocts a recipe for mystery too bland to inspire many return visits. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-3147-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-3149-5
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Open Ebook - 296 pages - 978-1-60809-062-4
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Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-60809-098-3
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