Allergic to Death by Peg Cochran
Published August 7, 2012; Berkely Paperback
Genre: mystery, cozy
"Did you happen to notice if she ate anything while she was at the theater?"
"As a matter of fact, yes." Gigi began closing up the containers. "I'd just delivered her lunch ---" (ch. 2)
Gigi Fitzgerald delivers her home-prepared meals to customers in her hometown, Woodstone, Conn. Someone tampers with the food container meant for a restaurant reviewer and pours peanut oil over the melba toast appetizers.
The reviewer goes into a fatal anaphylactic shock after popping one of the toasts into her mouth, driving off, and crashing her car headlong into a tree, Gigi insists to police she never uses peanut products in her recipes, especially knowing her customer's allergy.
There are several people who might have wanted the reviewer dead, however: the cast of the play rehearsing at the Woodstone Theater; the reviewer's ex-husband or his current wife; a restaurant owner who was terrified he would be given a bad review that could ruin his business, other people who have had bad reviews in the past...
Comments: The plot was very well developed and though death-by-allergic-reaction-to-food is not a new device in mystery novels, Allergic to Death was especially well done. It kept you guessing, even though at the very end, the identity of the culprit was not a complete surprise. The motive was a surprise, however.
Gigi is a new character on the cozy mystery scene and she has two love interests which I can tell will be developed in the next books. I am looking forward to the next in this new series.
Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book.