One of the things I have noticed lately is the number of books using food directly as a murder weapon or serving as a backdrop to crime, murder, and mayhem. One wonders why and one wonders if it is really safe to eat anywhere but home. Even then, one may not be safe depending on what gets recalled five months after it hit the nation’s food supply. Food and the creation of it is one of several themes in this recent release titled Patterns In Silicon: A Lea Sherwood Mystery by Maureen Robb.
Having someone you just served dinner to in your restaurant become ill and within a short time die at the hospital is pretty bad. Being accused of being the murderess or assisting in it is worse. Both things happen to Lea Sherwood in short order in this very good mystery.
Five months ago, Lea opened Panache in San Francisco. So for, critics have been kind, business is pretty good and other than the usual problems associated with running any small business, things have been going well. Her ex-boyfriend Keith Whitten also is doing well as head of Whitten Systems Corp. Just today Whitten’s company had taken over Decision Ace, run by her current boyfriend, Mr. Paul Boyd. Keith’s decision to come to dinner at her restaurant with a couple of his executives quickly becomes fatal as within hours he is dead, a victim of poisoning.
Having served him, Lea, quickly becomes the number one suspect in both the eyes of the police and the voyeuristic media hungry for another sensational cause. While she is the prime suspect and her business begins to suffer, the police don’t seem inclined to either publicly clear her or search for other suspects. Instead, it is left to Lea to snoop and ask questions both in her culinary world as well as Paul’s high tech computer world.
Using detailed scenes in the restaurant and the company the author shows readers a world where creative input is valued into both arenas. Lea, a complex character doing her best, is left to hang in the media whirlwind and forced to fight for her economic and personal survival with little help from others, several of whom she had previously thought of as friends. The result is an engrossing read that steadily moves forward towards a fully satisfying conclusion.
According to the small author bio at the back of the book, the author is currently working on the next novel in the series. That is very good news as this book provides an excellent foundation for a series while leaving plenty of character growth opportunities to be explored. This is definitely a series to keep your eyes open for in the future.
Patterns In Silicon: A Lea Sherwood Mystery
By Maureen Robb
Drake Valley Press
Large Trade Paperback
More next time and as always feel free to drop me a note here or at Kevin_tipple@att.net with your comments, observations, and suggestions.
Thanks for reading!
Kevin R. Tipple © 2005
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