Delacorte, Jan 2001, 22.95, 272 pp.
Her family asked Eugenia Potter to return home to Devon, Rhode Island to help her grandnephew Jason stays clean following his possession conviction. Unable to say no, Genia leaves Arizona for the East Coast. In Devon, gourmand Stanley Devon persuades Genia to join with him in producing a cookbook, The Secret Ingredient Cookbook. Six guest chefs are providing their favorite recipe.
A special dinner at Genia's rented cottage is arranged for the chefs. On his way over to attend the dinner, someone kills Stanley. Unable to ignore the murder of her long time friend, especially since Jason is the prime suspect, Genia begins to investigate in hopes of finding who had a motive. To Genia's shock, many of the locals, including the guest chefs, preferred seeing Devon dead.
Renowned author Nancy Pickard (see the Jenny Cain tales) affectionately pays homage to the late Virginia Rich by continuing the latter's popular Genia Potter series. The story line does justice to the original novels especially its star, leaving most readers unable to discern any differences between the two writers. As expected with a culinary amateur sleuth tale, the novel is filled with delectable recipes and savory food descriptions. Although the support cast is amusingly stereotyped to the extreme, there is no secret that this novel is a gourmet's delight.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner