In A Corpse in the Soup by Morgan St. James and Phyllice Bradner, Godiva, author of the “Ask G.O.D.” syndicated advice column, lures her chef niece, Chili, to her home in Beverly Hills from Alaska, where Chili lives with her mother, Godiva’s identical twin, Goldie, with the promise of tickets to some major cooking shows. But at the first, that of the award-winning Chef Romano. But when Chef Romano asks Godiva, as a celebrity, to taste the dish he has just made, she ends up in the hospital with poisoning from bad mushrooms, clearly another piece of sabotage that has been happening to Chef Romano.
After getting well again, Godiva invites Chef Romano to cook dinner for herself and her family, consisting of Goldie, who has rushed to her sister’s side, Chili, and the sisters’ mother Flossie and Uncle Sterling Silver. At this dinner he finds his new assistant in Chili, who happens to be a beautiful redhead as well as a talented chef. The sabotage continues, but Chili is able to head off much of it by careful attention. Then comes the Gourmet Gladiator Tournament, described as the Super Bowl of cooking, in which Chef Romano must defend his string of titles against several other chefs including Chef Biff Wellington, whom Romano suspects of committing the sabotage.
On the morning of the second day of the competition, Chef Wellington, known as the “aerobic chef” for doing workouts during his cooking, fails to appear, giving Chef Romano a huge win. This is clouded when Chef Wellington is found murdered, with his face in the soup, and Chef Romano is the chief suspect.
As Chef Romano’s new girlfriend, Godiva determines that she must investigate to free him, and Goldie, who despite being her identical twin, is nothing like Godiva, goes along to help. In addition, Flossie and Sterling, both vaudeville performers, dress up as cleaning people and go undercover in the search for the real killer.
The narrator of this book, Stephanie Brush, does an excellent job of embodying the different characters and making them come to life.
This book had a lot of promise, but it just didn’t grip me. It got rather ridiculous at times and over the top. I wanted to love the book, but I just could not. So I give it three stars.
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