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Starts slow but worth hanging in for.
on July 24, 2012
Stick a Fork in It is the second book in the Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop series. Poppy is a former chef at her family's restaurant and now works as a health inspector. In the course of her duties, she does the inspection for a new restaurant called Capital Punishment. The premise of the restaurant is that it will serve the last meals of famous killers. The owners of the place turn out to be old classmates of Poppy's-twin brothers who were part of the in crowd and their partner who was one of their bullying victims.
Poppy runs into problems with the inspection and has to keep coming back and eventually she is the one who finds a dead body on the premises. There are disgruntled employees, old grudges, possible illegal worker issues, and cheating spouses all in the mix. Poppy has her hands full dealing with the unpredictable owners while trying to solve the murder case.
During all of this action, Poppy is struggling with personal issues of her own. She has forgiven her boyfriend for cheating on her and they are working hard to mend the relationship. The fact that he is a restaurant critic and trying to pry details about the new place from her adds to the mild feeling of untrustworthiness. Add to the situation the re-emergence of Poppy's first serious love that left her in the lurch but has returned to the area, and Poppy has a lot on her plate (so to speak).
I don't know if it was the restaurant concept that bothered me, but I had a little bit of a hard time getting into the story. However, after the first couple of chapters, it really held my interest. I actually found all of the inspection references interesting and the characters were well fleshed out whether good and bad folks. The resolution of the murder was believable and there was a little twist towards the end and will keep fans of the series wondering about where Poppy will be going romance wise.