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Friday, April 20, 2007

Mum's the Word

**** Mum's the Word by Dorothy Cannell. Mystery.

I got this one in a Secret Santa exchange a couple of years ago. Apparently, it, or the author, had been recommended, and I'd requested it, but I couldn't remember who or why. Also apparently, this is the fourth book in a mystery series.

Ellie Haskell is pregnant and looking forward to taking full advantage of the pampering she's undoubtedly due when her husband Ben is invited to join an exclusive secret society of chefs dedicated to discovering and preserving antique recipes. The invitation includes a Christie-esque stay on an island resort with the other candidates. In America.

The other candidates are all oddities--a child prodigy, a French magician, and a kitchen witch, for example, and the resort belongs to an actress whose daughter has just written a scandalous biography of her. The chef society activities are shrouded in secrecy, and when people start disappearing, Ellie takes it on herself to investigate.

It's a fun mystery romp, and Ellie is an engaging, if slightly self-absorbed and spoiled character. What was even more fun was seeing Ellie's impressions of and reactions to America, which were amusing and believable... and, now that I think of it, may have been the basis for the recommendation.

I'm not sure if I'll look for any more books in this series, but I did enjoy reading this one, and if I run across another, I won't turn it down.


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