Friday, May 02, 2008

Pg. 69: Claire M. Johnson's "Roux Morgue"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Claire M. Johnson's Roux Morgue.

About the book, from the publisher:
San Francisco pastry chef Mary Ryan is back at her old alma mater. Initially ecstatic to be teaching, Mary finds herself trying to straddle both worlds, caught between her original mentors and her contemporaries.

To make matters worse, Homicide Detective O‚’Connor has enrolled as a student, claiming to be on disability from the San Francisco Police Department.

In the middle of this turf war, Mary is confronted by the dean Robert Benson. Mary must either force Coolie Martin to leave the school or lose her job. Why would Coolie‚’s father, a member of the Board of Directors, allow this to happen? But when faculty and staff begin dying, Mary thinks that Coolie‚’s forced exit might only be part of a larger, more sinister plot.

Acting on a hint from O‚’Connor, Mary contacts the only person who can help her: nemesis Thom Woods. Will Mary and Thom uncover the truth before another chef bakes his last pie?
Among the early praise for the novel:
"The growing rift between the 'dinosaurs' and the 'young brats' on the teaching staff at San Francisco's École d'Epicure fuels the highly amusing action in Johnson's superior second cozy to feature funky pastry chef Mary Ryan (after 2002's Beat Until Stiff). This enjoyable romp should gain Johnson new fans."
--Publishers Weekly

"Girl Power! The chick-lit mystery subgenre has been reinventing itself for a while.... Claire Johnson uses a culinary school in Roux Morgue to illustrate how a young chef can be exceptional both at her profession and snooping around solving murders."
--Library Journal

"Sexual tension, cooking tips and a neatly packaged mystery. All in all, a tasty tale."
Learn more about Roux Morgue and its author at Claire M. Johnson's website and her blog.

Claire M. Johnson's first novel, Beat Until Stiff, was nominated for an Agatha for Best First and won the 1999 Malice Domestic Writers Grant.

The Page 69 Test: Roux Morgue.

--Marshal Zeringue