Beef Stolen-Off (A Clueless Cook Mystery)
by Liz Lipperman
Cover Artist: Ben Perini
Review by Mel Jacob
Berkley Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425251423
Date: 03 July 2012 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Jordan McAlister, a food journalist, meets a handsome cowboy, but he dies in her arms on their first date. Soon however, it becomes a case of murder. Some one is rustling expensive cattle, and her brother Danny is investigating the case. Rumor has it the cowboy was involved.
She lives in an apartment building where everyone knows everyone else and functions as a surrogate family for her. The tenants also take an interest in the death of the cowboy and assist her as she tries to solve the murder. They also try to encourage her love life. She’s having a long distance romance with an FBI agent, but his job keeps him away.
Jordan wants to be a sports writer, but she is stuck with Personals and the food column. She can't cook and has to rely on the tenants and others for recipes to use in her column. In addition, her boss is adept at using sporting events tickets to bribe her into cooperating on various assignments she'd prefer to avoid. At the cowboy’s funeral, she meets his mother Maria who recently suffered from a stroke. Jordan is convinced the woman fears something or someone and needs help. Her husband tries to ensure Jordan has no opportunity to learn why.
A friend at the newspaper Jordan works for may lose her deceased grandfather’s beloved lake home. She believes a ghost haunts it. Jordan convinces another friend and fellow tenant, Lola, to hold a séance to convince the girl the ghosts are gone. When they all think they hear ghosts, they are all in for a surprise.
Multiple murders, blackmail, and family secrets keep the pages turning. Most readers will enjoy the read. A number of the recipes mentioned in the novel are included. Beef Stolen-Off is the second Clueless Cook Mystery. A third, Murder for the Halibut, will be appearing later. Lipperman also writes as Liz Roth for romantic suspense mysteries.