J.B. Stanley once again teases our taste buds and sates our appetites with Chili Con Corpses, the third installment in her utterly delicious Supper Club Mystery series. On this occasion, we bump into two supper club members, James and Bennett, working hard at the gym when Murphy Alistair, the editor of The Shenandoah Star Ledger, walks into the Y, accompanied by two drop-dead gorgeous strangers - twins Parker and Kinsley Willis. Later, while James and Bennett are rewarding their hard work at the gym with a treat from the Custard Cottage, Murphy and the twins show up again, and introductions are made. Parker is a vet who attended Virginia Tech with Murphy, and Kinsley is her quirky twin sister from New York.
The supper club members, a.k.a. The Flab Five, are five Quincy Gap, VA residents with very different backgrounds and interests, who get together on a regular basis for friendship and moral support in their quest to lose weight and improve their health. Since they have all made great strides toward their goals but are getting a bit tired of constantly dieting, Lindy suggests they try something new - so the club members all sign up for 10 Saturday cooking classes at Fix ân Freeze - to have fun and allow themselves to splurge on Mexican cuisine once a week.
James Henry, local librarian and supper club member, figures prominently in this particular supper club mystery. He's having some health issues, is having some problems in his romantic relationship with fellow supper clubber, Lucy, is worried about his father, is trying to resolve a dilemma dealing with a lottery ticket left at the library, and is unfortunate enough to stumble upon a very dead body while serving as a chaperone at Lindy's behest on a school field trip. When things start to look really bad for Lindy, the supper club members decide to do some sleuthing on their own. They are actually downright clever and come up with several ingenious ways to ferret out information about the possible suspects, although it isn't until all five of the club members are involved and working together that things really start to heat to boiling.
This is a thoroughly delightful cozy mystery, with a wonderful cast of realistic main characters, any of whom this reader would enjoy meeting in person, enough suspense and action to keep the story moving right along, and, as if that weren't enough, there are also several scrumptious Mexican recipes included! All in all, Chili Con Corpses is a very satisfying read, and I'll be waiting anxiously for J.B. Stanley's fourth Supper Club Mystery!
Carol Ann H. 3/24/2008
Third in the Supper Club Mystery series. Once again, the dialogue is a little stiff and the characters sometimes seem a bit slow ("An alibi - good point!") , but they are very likeable, although a little less so here than in the past two. These weird relationships of James' are confusing and distracting (what does he want?) Still a short easy recommended read for cozy fans only.
3rd in the series that just keeps getting better. If you ever tried to lose a few pounds, live on "diet" food or face the world believing you are fat, you will relate to these characters. Join their Supper Club, and enjoy both great recipes and a good mystery.
Excellent Mystery filled with romance and humor. I downloaded this for free for my Kindle. I'm hooked. I will certainly be reading more of J. B. Stanley!
The Flab Five of Quincy's Gap are all living some excitement again, with a new homicide. I love this series, and how the main characters are evolving, but this one installment in the series left me confused, and had a very winding road, which was too hard to follow for the mystery part. I just ended up kind of giving up on who was who (other than the 5, and Jackson, and Milla)-it was too convoluted. The group itself held my interest, especially James and his new Murphy interest. It was not the best in this series, but not bad enough to stop following the Supper club.
In Stanley's delicious third supper club mystery to feature the Flab Five (after 2007's Fit to Die), lovable librarian James, newly svelte deputy-in-training Lucy, trivia maven Bennett, spaced-out herbalist Gillian and self-effacing high school teacher Lindy sign up for a Mexican/Spanish-themed Fix 'n' Freeze cooking class in Quincy Gap, Va. Their classmates include Shenandoah Star-Ledger editor Murphy Alistair and her old college friends, drop-dead gorgeous twins Parker and Kinsley Willis. When Parker is murdered during a school field trip to Luray Caverns, the amateur sleuths vow to catch the killer. Spicing the proceedings are James's struggles to lower his salt intake, recover from his stormy breakup with Lucy and figure out what to do with a winning lottery ticket found in the library book drop. Heavy on fun, light on gore, this savory mystery comes complete with yummy recipes.