The Washington Post’s award-winning former food writer, Phyllis Richman, has cooked up a tempting tale of mousse, mayhem, and murder: a tautly woven insider’s look at the food and newspaper worlds.
Laurence Levain was a culinary superstar: the high-profile owner and chef of Chez Laurence, an internationally renowned restaurant in Washington, D.C. When Levain collapses in his clogs the night before a star-studded black-tie benefit dinner, all bets are on his soaring cholesterol level.
But one person has her doubts: Chas Wheatley, the Washington Examiner's saber-penned restaurant critic. Still carrying a torch for Levain after an affair they had years before, she breaks out all her investigative resources to find the culprit. But the big-city newspaper and food communities are deadly competitive.
©1997 Phyllis Richman (P)1997 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“[A] delectable tale of manslaughter, edibles and romance….Susan O'Mally's wry narration adds the appropriate amount of seasoning to this tale….This is a yarn worth savoring.” (AudioFile)
“A terrific and stylish first mystery by the Washington Post's restaurant critic….How can you not love a writer who includes a reference to the wry and passionate folksinging McGarrigle sisters? Four stars for a stunning debut.” (Booklist)
I enjoyed reading Phyllis Richman's first murder mystery. The plot to "The Butter Did It" is well constructed and it has plenty of suspects. You learn a lot about the main character, food critic Chas Wheatley. She is not perfect, which is something I like. All of the characters are easy to care about, and realistic. I thought I had the murder solved but was wrong. There were plenty of suspects and a lot of twists and turns. The descriptions of the meals and restaurants she reviewed made me want to find a food critic to befriend. I will definitely be reading the next two books in the series.
Disappointing - Too much time spent describing elaborate French food to the point of detracting from the characters and the story. I prefer Hannah Swenson (Fluke) and Goldy Bear (Davidson) for food related mysteries.
Although the food described is way out of my league, the writing is quick; the twists and turns unexpected and the personal reflections right on.
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