A Sheetcake Named Desire
Berkley, Aug 2 2011, $7.99
Two years have passed since pastry chef Rita Lucero and chef Phillipe Renier legally separated. Now Rita demands Phillipe sign the divorce papers. Instead he ignores her requests not returning her attempts at contacting him nor that of her lawyer. Exasperated that her appeals to him failed, Rita travels to New Orleans to confront Phillipe.
At Phillipe’s place of business, a cake is sabotaged and he is killed with a chef's knife protruding from his back. Rita learns someone has tried to destroy his shop over the past four months. After talking with the police, Rita fixes the cake. Afterward she goes with a detective to inform her mother-in-law Miss Frankie that her son is dead. Grief stricken Miss Frankie asks Rita run Zydeco in order to find the killer. Rita is the sole beneficiary since she was still married to Phillipe who had no will. Miss Frankie hopes her widowed daughter-in-law remains in New Orleans as she has a house and a high end cake business. However, as she deals with running Zydeco loking for a killer and a saboteur, her husband’s killer watches Rita’s activity.
A Sheetcake Named Desire is a combination amateur sleuth tale inside of a family drama. Rita’s sleuthing is fun to follow though it is standard sub-genre fare including the title; but the relationships the heroine has (and had) bring freshness to the entertaining whodunit. Readers will learn who Phillipe was by comparing the relative filtered opinion of those who knew him like his mom, employees, and widow. Readers will relish Jacklyn Brady who bakes an engaging first entry starring a heroine who takes the cake.