Synopses & Reviews
Was it cholesterol? Or was it murder? In this highly praised fiction debut, Washington's best-known and best-loved foodie, Phyllis Richman, cooks up a tempting tale of murder, mayhem, and mousse.
Washington's finest French chef, Laurence Levain, is dead, and all of D.C. thinks the culprit was too much foie gras. All, that is, except for Chas Wheatley, the city's most famous restaurant critic. Still carrying a torch for Levain after a passionate romance they shared years before, she's convinced that his death was more than a simple case of too much cholesterol -- it was a case of murder. Enlisting the aid of detective/gourmand Homer Jones, she launches an investigation and soon finds herself in more trouble than she bargained for.
A delicious entree into the increasingly popular culinary mystery genre, The Butter Did It is a fun, fast-paced whodunit by a true insider of the restaurant and newspaper worlds. Part culinary extravaganza and part old-fashioned mystery, it is just the thing for readers hungry for some intrigue with their dinner.
"What fun!... Features a memorable cast of foodies and a unique look at the goings-on behind the swinging doors to some of those famous restaurant kitchens". -- Diane Mott Davidson, author of The Grilling Season
"How to describe this book? Sue Grafton meets Wolfgang Puck? Sam Spade meets Julia Child? Warner LeRoy dines alone? The Butter Did It is great fun and food for thought. I'd tell you more, but I don't want to give away the spicy parts". -- Mark Russell
It is the eve of City Tastes, Washington, D.C.'s gourmet gala featuring the delectable handiwork of the city's culinary stars. Renowned restaurant reviewer Chas Wheatley expects to fill her biting Washington Examiner
column with reports of a sassy soupe en chamise
or a poor palourde en beignets
. But when chef Lawrence Levain's heart suddenly stops the night before the event, everyone is quick to name his soaring cholesterol as the culprit. Except Chas, whose discriminating senses smell murder.
Armed with her saber-sharp pen and critic's eye for things amiss, Chas circuits the restaurant scene, doling out biting reviews and delicious recipes, while probing into Lawrence's untimely demise. With a dollop of help from her loved ones at home and a soupcon of advice form a secret admirer at work, Chas's tastebuds lead her down a dangerous trail of revenge and murder, where her next bite could be her last.
About the Author
Phyllis Richman has been the Washington Post food critic for more than twenty-two years. She's the author of the Agatha-nominated Washington bestselling dining books including The Washington Post Dining Guide. She been an award-winning syndicated columnist and food editor and serves on the executive committees of the James Beard Restaurant awards and the Julia Child awards. She lives in Washington, D.C.