Berkley, Jan 2004, 25.99, 304 pp.
Ever since her children have grown up, Carolyn Blue is doing things that she wants to do. She is a syndicated food columnist, published writer and jets around the world, accompanying her husband to science conferences. Of course she always finds time to solve murder investigations along the way.
Carolyn is currently in Barcelona visiting her friend Roberta Hecht, who is working in the research project at the El Esperit de Gaudi i Miro museum. When Carolyn goes to the museum she makes it a point to see the interactive exhibit “Tapas Triage” but is startled to find a dead woman who looks like her friend. It turns out that the woman was the mistress of the owner of the museum. In the xenophobic chauvinistic eyes of Inspector Pojol, who doesn't have a high opinion of American women, Roberta is the only suspect. Carolyn feels obligated to prove her friend's innocence without implicating Roberta's stepson who thinks he might have killed the victim.
THE PERILS OF PAELLA is obviously a title twist of “The Perils of Pauline” as the heroine goes from one dangerous adventure into another one. Nancy Fairbanks has some mouth watering descriptions of Catalonian repasts so don't read this culinary mystery on an empty stomach something this reviewer learned first hand. However, my spouse rejected my placing culpability on Ms. Fairbanks for a large dessert I devoured. There are enough suspects to keep the storyline interesting without overwhelming the audience with trivia. This fast and funny who-done-it will have readers in stitches.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner