The Pumpkin Butter Murder
The Pumpkin Butter Murder
by Meg Benjamin
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
Their gourmet dinner turned deadly. And now the murderer is after her. Roxy Constantine is looking for a way to spend her winter down time. Her true love Nate Robicheaux has a suggestion: she can serve as his sous chef when he prepares a dinner party for possible investors. But when several guests become ill and the hostess herself dies after eating their food, Roxy and Nate could be in deep trouble. Now they need to find out what really happened, and who wanted their hostess dead, before their culinary reputations go down in flames and the murderer turns his attention to Roxy herself.
Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt:
“Okay,” Fowler said. “What were you saying about the leftovers?”
“They’re in the refrigerator.” Nate opened the refrigerator door to show Fowler his neatly labeled bags. “We don’t have samples of everything. Roxy washed up the salad bowl and the salad plates were in the dishwasher. The fruit tart we had for dessert was finished off, but the dessert plates have remnants and we didn’t wash the tart pan.”
Fowler frowned as he examined the bag of charcuterie. “Very thorough. Whose idea was the piece of freezer tape?”
“Mine.” Nate gave him a level look. “I saw a bunch of people being violently sick after eating food I cooked. I want to make sure the leftovers get a full analysis. I’m as certain as I can be we didn’t feed those people anything that would make them throw up, but I know nobody’s going to take my word for it.”
The corners of Fowler’s mouth edged up marginally. “No, I’m guessing they won’t. I’ll make sure the lab guys treat these with respect. Did anybody clean up the dining room?”
I shook my head. “Alex and Siggi, the wait staff, brought in the dirty dishes before people started getting sick, but we didn’t do anything beyond that. The…remains are still up there.” And he was welcome to them. I was doubly glad I wasn’t in charge of investigating all this.
“Right.” Fowler sighed, then turned to Nate. “I hate to make you do this, but I need you to show me where Tera Bloomfield was sitting when she took sick.”
Nate’s jaw tensed, but he nodded. “I can do that.”
The two of them stepped through the kitchen door. I stayed where I was. Unless my presence was specifically requested, there was no way I was going into that dining room again.
Nate returned a few minutes later, his face pale. “The forensics people have arrived. Fowler says we can go home now, but he told me to leave everything here until their lab people can get their samples.”
I nodded as I grabbed my jacket. “Okay, let’s go then.”
“Right.” Nate blew out a long breath. “I guess there’s nothing more for us to do here anyway.”
I wanted to tell him everything would be all right, nobody could believe our food had made people sick, but I knew better. I was as sure as Nate was we hadn’t poisoned those people, but I also knew people who heard the story of Tera’s dinner party and its aftermath would probably assume our food was to blame. And unless we could prove it wasn’t, they’d probably go on believing it no matter what we said.
About the Author:
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of romance. Meg’s Konigsburg series is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Salt Box and Brewing Love trilogies are set in the Colorado Rockies (all are available from Entangled Publishing and from Meg’s indie line). Her new cozy mystery series, Luscious Delights from Wild Rose Press, concerns a jam-making sleuth based in the mythical small town of Shavano, Colorado. Along with contemporary romance, Meg is also the author of the paranormal Ramos Family trilogy from Berkley InterMix and the Folk trilogy from Soul Mate. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers, the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers, and the Award of Excellence from Colorado Romance Writers.
Meg’s Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com.
Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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