Two cups flour, a pinch of salt, and murder

Two new mystery novels – or at least, two novels new to the Lennoxville Library! – have a lot in common. To start, they’ll send you right into the kitchen for a snack.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Both feature female amateur sleuths, and both these civilians do rather dumb things as they investigate murders. Both include reporters as pivotal characters. The tomes are second volumes in each of their series, and so the detectives have a bit of history behind them.
Both books are good reads for foodies – one protagonist is a baker who runs a pie shop in a small town, the other is an ex restauranteur who now inspects eateries before awarding them permits to serve edibles. And both mention rats, the bane of anyone in the food industry (not to mention their customers), so finish up those nibblies earlier rather than later.
First, make the acquaintance of the sweet and savory baker, Hanna Denton, who moved back to her California hometown and was gifted a pie shop when granny decided to retire. In Never Say Pie (2012), the exhibitors at an inaugural local food fair are reviewed by a journalist. His comments are so vicious that there is much talk of murdering the despicable slime.
Someone promptly does.
Denton is a suspect, interviewed by the handsome and single police chief Sam Genovese. They shared a kiss in high school, and Denton is still quite taken by the bad boy who turned his life around. (Author Carol Culver is a successful writer of multiple Harlequin romances.)
Who really dunnit? When Denton’s not cooking in the kitchen, she’s on the case.
She’s also nabbed by an officious dork of a health inspector. But for the other side of that story, read Stick A Fork In It (2012), narrated by culinary cop Poppy Markham, who goes ashen every time she discovers another food infraction. And she explains why.
But she can’t explain the dead restaurant owner at the new Austin, Texas eatery she’s inspecting. At least, not for the first 250 pages.
The resto is a new concept. Author Robin Allen folds in a bit of sobering, if cock-eyed, reality into the fun of a murder mystery: the place serves the last meals requested by those on death row. (Cheez Doodles and a Coke for serial killer Margie Velma Barfield; for Dennis Wayne Bagwell, a medium-rare steak with A1 steak sauce, fried chicken breasts and thighs, barbeque ribs, French fries, onion rings, bacon, scrambled eggs with onions, fried potatoes with onions, sliced tomatoes, salad with ranch dressing, two hamburgers, peach pie, milk, coffee, and iced tea with real sugar. This charmer murdered a family, the youngest member being four years old.)
With that kind of crime scene, how can you tell a clue from the decor?
The reporter in this book is a love interest, trying to woo back Ms Markham after he’s wronged her.
Both these novels are in the New Arrivals section. They’re quick reads with linear plots.
And they’ve one more thing in common: Both were donated to the library by Jim Napier as part of our Adopt-A-Book campaign. Check out Napier’s own mystery book review (and more!) website, Deadly Diversions, at deadlydiversions.com/.
Pie maker Hanna Denton spends a day a week at the local food fair. It’s packed full of organic veggies and meat from happy pigs and coddled free-range chickens, as well as chocolate, pies and more made by local artisans. If dawdling about a farmer’s market sounds like a perfect Saturday morning to you, Lennoxville’s Famers’ Market returns on June 8 from 10 a.m. to noon, then every two Saturdays until October 12. On College across from Clarke And Sons.
— Eleanor Brown, May 24, 2013

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About BiblioLennLibrary

The Lennoxville Library, in Quebec's Eastern Townships, offers free memberships to all residents of Sherbrooke. We have a great selection of books in French and English, plus books on tape and CD, too! Check out our large-print section, our graphic novels... La Biblio Lennoxville se situe dans les Cantons-de-l'Est du Quebec. Les residents de Sherbrooke peuvent devenir membre gratuitement. Nous avons une grande selection de livres en francais et en anglais. Venez donc nous voir! Hours/Heures d'ouverture: Mardi-Tuesday, 10am to 5pm -- 10h a 17h Mercredi et Jeudi -Wednesday and Thursday, 10am to 6pm -- 10h a 18h Vendredi-Friday, 10am to 5pm -- 10h a 17h Samedi-Saturday, 11am to 4pm -- 11h a 16h Pour plus d'info, vous pouvez nous trouver au http://www.bibliolennoxvillelibrary.ca/ Click on the above to get to our website!
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