From Publishers Weekly
An urgent message summons Jane Lawless to an unexpected psychedelic spectacleâ"the entire wedding party of a schoolteacher acquaintance tripping outâ"in Lambda Awardâ"winner Hart's 11th assured mystery (after 2001's Merchant of Venus) to feature the Minnesota restaurateur and sometime sleuth. Someone has slipped a hallucinogenic mickey into Jane's catering staff's delectable comestibles, causing much embarrassment, litigation and one life-threatening injury when the groom leaps into an empty swimming pool. The poignant history of the groom's father, Alden Clifford, provides the ballast for this richly layered narrative, in which the suspense builds as the author slowly reveals the defining moment that overshadows all Alden's subsequent actions. Jane's longtime sidekick and co-investigator, Cordelia Thorn, is as diverting as ever, while the romantic atmosphere of Jane's Lyme House restaurant and the piquant offerings on the upscale menu will delight fans of culinary cozies. Touches of humor offset the heartfelt woe. Incorporating societal ills torn from the headlines, Hart bares the weaknesses in her well-realized characters as well as their strengths. Despite a plot refreshingly short on guns and gore, the tension is palpable in this spunky page-turner.
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Jane Lawless is back, causing fans of Hart's long-running series to cheer, and fighting crime again after a wedding she caters becomes chaotic and life-threatening because someone spiked the buffet with hallucinogens. At her side again is trusty, witty regional theater exec Cordelia Thorne. But what's this--Cordelia playing Auntie Mame to the toddler her sister dumped with her? Yup, and as Auntie educates the little one in the finer points of film noir while discovering the dramatic depths of Kermit and Miss Piggy, amateur sleuth Jane sorts through molestation accusations against a friend, a possible new love interest, a decades-old unsolved kidnapping and murder, magic mushrooms that implicate one of her catering staff, and a corpse or two. The narrative flashes back to the early 1970s, though the bulk of the action is set in contemporary Minneapolis, where Jane's fine restaurant, the Lyme House, may suffer from wedding-reception fallout. Hart keeps us turning the pages as she cleverly shows past sins contaminating current lives. Whitney ScottCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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