I'm not all that big into "cooking mysteries," but that fine mystery author Nancy Pickard has breathed new life into Virginia Rich's series about Maine/Tuscon denizen Eugenia Potter. In this book, set in Tuscon, Mrs. Potter must figure out what happened to her missing ranch manager and his granddaughter--and who really poisoned her dinner guest. Surely it wasn't her 27-ingredient chili?
Eugenia Potter receives an urgent call from her ranch manager in Tucson. Ricardo wants her to come there - immediately. Upon arriving there, whe finds Ricardo and his granddaughter, Linda, both missing.
Throw in several eccentric ranch owners, an old love from 40 years ago, a recipe for chili that contains 27 ingredients, and several mysterious deaths and you have the recipe for a great mystery on your hands!!
FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Using notes and recipes of the late Virginia Rich ( The Cooking School Murders), Pickard, author of the Jenny Caine mysteries, serves up a fourth satisfying, chatty tale about master cook and amateur sleuth Eugenia Potter. In her home in New England, the widowed Mrs. Potter receives a call from Ricardo Ortega, manager of her Arizona ranch, who hints at trouble. Alarmed, she flies out to find that Ricardo and his granddaughter have disappeared. As neighboring ranchers and friends conduct a search, Mrs. Potter tries to determine the cause of Ricardo's unease. To feed the volunteers, she cooks up a huge pot of her 27-ingredient chili. Ricardo's body is discovered badly battered after an apparent fall, but Linda remains missing. The savory supper somewhat comforts the searchers, who leave with containers of leftovers. The next morning Mrs. Potter's elderly hired hand and two illegal immigrant boys are found dead, poisoned by the chili. Aiding the forthright sleuth in her ultimately successful pursuit of the killer and the missing girl is a rediscovered former lover.
This is the first I've read from this author and from this series, and will be looking up other books by Nancy Pickard as well as other Eugenia Potter stories. Eugenia Potter is a character originated by Virginia Rich, who had started this book before her death; Ms. Pickard has finished it for her, and I love Ms. Potter already! Ms. Pickard's writing style has a way of carrying itself.
I especially enjoyed the Spanish (Mexican) language utilized (and translated), being from near the border myself. Quite appropriate. A very enjoyable read, and I think I'll try the chili recipe. :)
When Eugenia Potter receives an urgent phone call from the manager of her ranch near Tucson, she's only too happy to drop everything and fly home. Something inside of her is calling her back to the desert. Why else would she be preparing spicy Mexican meatball soup at her cottage in Maine when the menu clearly calls for clam chowder? But once she arrives home, Mrs. Potter discovers that her ranch manager and his granddaughter are missing from her ranch, Las Palomas, and feared dead. When a guest at a dinner gathering thrown by Mrs. Potter is found poisoned -- apparently from eating her famous 27-ingredient chili -- she knows she must act quickly before the murderer strikes again. And it doesn't hurt to have the help of a long-lost beau to spice up the danger with romance....