cover image Death on a Platter: 
Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper

Death on a Platter: Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper

Elaine Viets. Obsidian, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-451-23524-4

In Viets’s engaging seventh Mystery Shopper cozy (after 2010’s An Uplifting Murder), Josie Marcus feels a little apprehensive about her new assignment—a culinary tour of St. Louis that includes sampling not only pizza and toasted ravioli but also two unappetizing sandwiches, brain and pig ear. At Off the Hill restaurant, which is owned by 76-year-old Tina Minnelli, a friend of Josie’s mother, Jane, perennial drunk and troublemaker Clay Oreck collapses and dies after demanding and getting hotter sauce for his ravioli. When Tillie is arrested for Clay’s murder, Jane insists that Josie find the real killer. Josie identifies a number of possible suspects, including Clay’s wife, Henrietta; his girlfriend, Gemma Lynn Rae; and chef Jeff Bartlett-Smith. Meanwhile, Josie dithers a lot over her relationship with veterinarian Ted Scottsmeyer. Readers will discover some surprising facts about St. Louisans’ favorite foods. (Nov.)