From Publishers Weekly
TV writer Farmer's seventh breezy culinary mystery (after 2003's Mumbo Gumbo) smoothly blends all the right ingredients - Beverly Hills money mania, tart humor, romance and, of course, murder. The Woodburn School of Music's fund-raising soiree, the Jazz Ball, catered by party planner Madeline Bean and her Mad Bean Events, looks to be a great success, until someone steals the silver saxophone that went for $100,000 at the charity auction. Later that night, one of the waitresses at the event turns up dead in Maddie's own bed - now how in the heck could that happen? Enter a flickering old flame and a brand new sparkler. A former boyfriend of Maddie's, police lieutenant Chuck Honnett, steps in to work the whodunit and to put some kindling on their relationship's embers. Dexter Delano Wyatt, a trust-fund cutie, is hoping for more immediate fireworks. Cheating hearts, insurance fraud, art theft and a second dead body have Madeline unsure whom to trust and certain that her own life is in danger. She's followed, spied on, shot at and pursued by the good, the bad and the ugly, but comes through with a taste or two of justice, and perhaps a whole new lease on her muddled love life. Farmer's menus and decorating descriptions, glimpses into the high-end Hollywood lifestyle and warmly conversational tone will delight fans of lighter crime capers.
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Madeline Bean, Los Angeles party planner for the rich and famous, outdoes herself catering the Black and White Ball, a fund-raiser for the prestigious Woodburn School of Music's Young Artists Program. After the ball, she lends her car to a desperate employee and catches a ride with Woodburn committee cochair, Zenya Knight, whose husband leaves her stranded downtown, late at night. Finally arriving home after being rescued by Zenya' s brother, Dexter, Madeline finds a woman has been murdered in her bed, and she may herself be in danger. A missing saxophone, a neighbor's personal papers, and possible fraud complicate Madeline's hunt for the killer. While solving the mystery, Madeline must also come to terms with her feelings for Dexter and with the fall-out from her breakup with a married police officer. A lively pace, sympathetic characters, a glimpse into the lives of the very rich, and some tempting descriptions of food add to the story line in this sixth in a series. Sue O'BrienCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved