Chili Con Corpses: A Supper Club Mystery by JB Stanley is a very tasty murder mystery. This is the third of a series appropriately named "The Supper Club Mystery". I must say that the promise of the book, literally written around a group of friends who call themselves the "Flab Five" and love to cook, reminds me of a lot of Diane Mott Richardson's books.
For those of you who have not had the privilege to read either Richardson or Stanley, they write about people who in someway love food, get involved in solving murderers of people they know and throw in tasty recipes and fun food facts to try.
In Stanley's Chili Con Corpses, Lindy gets the other four members interested in taking their love of cooking to a cooking class on Mexican cuisine. All five have been working an afternoon summer at losing weight and toning up and she toes that need to have one night a week to "let loose".
They all agree this would be a fun distraction and jump right in. When they get there, a few others are involved in the class-a spunky reporter who has always liked James (one of the flab five), her twin model-beautiful and smart friends and one of their boyfriends. Lucy, a third member of the cooking club, has been having a romance of sorts with James, but suddenly has turned as chilly as a margarita. For James, the bean dip and cerveza is a welcome distraction from his relationship woes.
The leader of the class is a spunky and charismatic older woman who adds the right amount of motherly spice to not only the book but to James' father's existence. This is but a small little side dish of a story.
Unfortunately, as with all murder mysteries, someone gets killed. In this case, Lindy-an art teacher in the local school district-sets up a field trip and enlists all the supper club and some of the school's staff as chaperones for the event held in the local caverns. Two of the staff members are her school principal (which she has very strong physical feelings for) and one of the body beautiful twins from the cooking class.
An odd chaperone calling himself the grandfather of one of the students coming along.
Before you know it-the twin is found disturbed by two of the students and Lindy. The odd grandfather has disappeared. Lindy admits to the police that she inadvertently threatened to kill the twin. Seems she thought the young woman would try flirting with the principal and Lindy said loud enough in a public place that she'd "kill anyone who tries to get a date with him before I do"
The spunky and beautiful reporter and James come together to figure out who killed one twin and then tried to murder the other. The rest of the "flab five" all have their own assignments to help figure out just who and why someone would kill a relative new-comer to the town.
Chili con Corpses is a really quick and tasty novel. The first of the series is entitled A Killer Collection and the second was Carbs and Cadavers.
As for the author JB Stanley is a former middle school teacher who has also dumbled in the world of antiques and collectibles-even having articles published in Antiqueweek.