Alicia Krupa has turned her hobby of making scented soaps and lotions into a small, but thriving business. To launch a new line of products, an extravagant party is being held at her home and the products are well-received. But the party comes to a sudden end when Alicia appears at the head of the stairs, screams, then falls to the bottom of the stairs dead. An investigation ensues.
After an intriguing set up and murder scene, the book quickly took a turn for the worse. What credible police department would allow a group of women whose day job is running an ice cream parlor to all but take over a murder investigation? The premise of many cozies have a talented amateur or two looking for clues in parallel with the official investigation, but this one has a tag team of amateurs who take turns attending interrogations, poking around crime scenes, and telling the police detective what he should do. If the graduate students working at the shop were majoring in criminology, psychology, or some other related disciple, it might be plausible to have one or two of them around the crime scene as interns or trainees, but for English and civil engineering majors to not only be invited to observe but actually to be asked to assist with the investigation and taking on the bulk of the work from the police? No, I'm not buying the scenario.
The mystery itself has lot of red herrings and dead ends mixed in with a lot of wheel spinning by the semi-official investigators. The solution of the crime was credible, but the investigation would have been even more credible without the ice cream girls seeming to be in charge instead of remaining in a supporting role to the real investigation.