cover image MURDER  LA MODE: A Savannah Reid Mystery

MURDER LA MODE: A Savannah Reid Mystery

G. A. McKevett, . . Kensington, $22 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-0460-8

An overly convoluted plot weighs down McKevett's 10th Savannah Reid mystery, but not sassy amateur sleuth Savannah, who retains her buoyant good humor throughout. As a birthday present, Savannah gets to appear on a TV reality show, Man of My Dreams , in which five contestants live in a faux medieval castle and vie for the affections of gorgeous male model Lance Roman. When Savannah, dissatisfied with the meager food on the set, leads a late-night raid on the castle pantry, a scream from the cellar brings Savannah and Lance running to the deep freeze: one of the other contestants has stumbled on the body of Tess Jarvis, a heartily disliked producer, her head bashed in by a tub of Killer Fudge ice cream. Further "accidents" follow, as Savannah navigates the treacherous labyrinth of intrigues and liaisons among the show's cast and crew. If Savannah comes close to losing her heart, she keeps a cool head in this amusing if contrived entry in this popular cozy series. Agent, Richard Curtis. (Jan. 1)

Forecast: The black cat reaching for a slice of pie à la mode on the jacket is misleading—no cats figure in the action—but will certainly cue the target audience.