By Kate Carlisle, author of A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY
Award winning author Kate Carlisle spent over twenty years working in television production as an Associate Director for game and variety shows, including The Midnight Special, Solid Gold and The Gong Show. She traveled the world as a Dating Game chaperone and performed strange acts of silliness on The Gong Show. She also studied acting and singing, toiled in vineyards, collected books, joined a commune, sold fried chicken, modeled spring fashions and worked for a cruise ship line, but it was the year she spent in law school that finally drove her to begin writing fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Those professors are breathing easier now that Kate spends most of her time writing near the beach in Southern California where she lives with her perfect husband.
A lifelong love of old books and an appreciation of the art of bookbinding led Kate to create the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Find Kate online at www.katecarlisle.com.
From what I can tell, there are two breeds of celebrity chef: those I fantasize about murdering, and those I don’t. (It’s okay, don’t call the cops. I’m a mystery writer. It’s my job to kill people.)
For instance, I would never want to murder the Barefoot Contessa. I want to be her best friend. I want to be invited for an elegant yet casual brunch in the garden of Ina Garten, where we’ll sip tea and softly trill with laughter over our rascal neighbor’s latest bon mot.
Jamie Oliver seems like a real bloke. The man is working his cute little tail off to promote a healthy school lunch program – in the U.S., which isn’t even his native country! How could I even think of murdering a chef who was trying to eradicate childhood obesity? He loves kids, ergo, I love him. He’s off the hit list.
Paula Deen is safe from me, y’all. She’s as sweet as banana cream pie, as homey as gingham draperies, as friendly as a three-legged dog at a barbecue. (Too far?)
Then there’s Baxter Cromwell, the obnoxious celebrity chef in A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY, my latest Bibliophile Mystery. Baxter is one of those chefs who yells at everyone in his kitchen. He belittles others to make himself feel good. He’s bombastic and vain, and after years of offending others in kitchens around the world, he has more enemies than recipes.
And yet, somehow he parlayed that charming personality into a successful TV show and a string of restaurants.
He’s also Brooklyn Wainwright’s sister Savannah’s ex-boyfriend. Savannah has asked Brooklyn to restore a 230-year-old cookbook so she can give it to Baxter. Brooklyn, book lover that she is, can’t believe the priceless treasure is going to belong to such a cad. He is, as she puts it, “as endearing as a badger.”
Baxter has come to San Francisco to open a high-end restaurant, and he’s invited Savannah and some of their old Cordon Bleu classmates to serve as guest-chefs during the star-studded premiere week. While Savannah lives in the area, the others are flying in for a class reunion of sorts… but it soon becomes clear that one of them has more than reminiscing in mind.
Baxter is murdered on opening night – and Savannah is discovered hovering over his body with a bloody knife in her hand. Brooklyn knows her gentle sister would never kill anyone, even the man who did her wrong, but the only way to prove that to the police is to track down the real killer. Otherwise, Savannah might be forced to change from chef white to prison orange.