Cover image for Kill 'em with cayenne
Title:
Kill 'em with cayenne
Author:
Oust, Gail, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Minotaur Books, 2014.
Physical Description:
309 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
"Spices are flying off the shelves of Spice It Up!, and Piper Prescott couldn't be happier. It's that time of year again--time for the annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival. Soon contestants and BBQ aficionados from all over the Southeast will converge on the town. Many of Brandywine Creek's citizens plan to participate in the week-long festivities and are busily concocting savory rubs and sassy sauces. Among the locals vying for the grand prize are Becca Dapkins and Maybelle Humphries. The women have been arch enemies ever since Buzz Oliver dumped Maybelle after a thirteen-year courtship and started seeing Becca. When Becca's body is found near one of the festival booths, bludgeoned by a brisket, Maybelle becomes one of Chief Wyatt McBride's top suspects. Determined to help clear her friend's name, Piper begins her own investigation, much to McBride's consternation. As the festival draws closer, will Piper and Reba Mae be able to find the real killer and clear Maybelle's name? Will Piper make it to the annual shag contest with Doug Winters, the mild-mannered vet she's been seeing? And, who will win the BBQ cook-off? "--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250011053
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Kill 'Em with Cayenne , a brand new finger-lickin' good mystery from Gail Oust, featuring small-town Georgia spice shop owner Piper Prescott, a smart and spunky amateur sleuth.

Spices are flying off the shelves of Spice It Up!, and Piper Prescott couldn't be happier. It's that time of year again--time for the annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival. Soon contestants and BBQ aficionados from all over the Southeast will converge on the town. Many of Brandywine Creek's citizens plan to participate in the week-long festivities and are busily concocting savory rubs and sassy sauces. Among the locals vying for the grand prize are Becca Dapkins and Maybelle Humphries. The women have been arch enemies ever since Buzz Oliver dumped Maybelle after a thirteen-year courtship and started seeing Becca.

When Becca's body is found near one of the festival booths, bludgeoned by a brisket, Maybelle becomes one of Chief Wyatt McBride's top suspects. Determined to help clear her friend's name, Piper begins her own investigation, much to McBride's consternation. As the festival draws closer, will Piper and Reba Mae be able to find the real killer and clear Maybelle's name? Will Piper make it to the annual shag contest with Doug Winters, the mild-mannered vet she's been seeing? And, who will win the BBQ cook-off?


Author Notes

The author of the Bunco Babes mystery series, GAIL OUST is often accused of flunking retirement. Hearing the words "maybe it's a dead body" while golfing fired her imagination for writing a cozy. Ever since then, she has spent more time on a computer than at a golf course. Kill 'Em with Cayenne is the second novel in her Spice Shop mystery series. She lives with her husband in McCormick, South Carolina.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Piper Prescott's shop, Spice It Up!, on the town square in Brandywine Creek, Georgia, is a busy place in the days before the annual Barbecue Festival, attracting local cooks and visiting ones alike, all seeking the edge they need to be the best. In full view of two out-of-towners, Maybelle and Becca squabble, again, over Maybelle's former and now Becca's current boyfriend, with Becca's parting shot being, Over my dead body! Unfortunately, Becca's dead body is found the next morning by Piper's dog. Things heat up still more when flashy, buxom Barbie Q, a food-show host, sails into town hoping to do a segment on the festival. Except that what she really wants is to expose her hometown as the place she endured as Barbara Bunker, bookish teenager from the wrong side of town. Barbie Q's past isn't the only history Piper and her pal Reba Mae uncover in an effort to keep their friend Maybelle from being arrested. For readers who enjoy the small-town camaraderie of Laura Childs' series or Carolyn Hart's Death on Demand series. Includes recipes and a guide to peppers.--Muller, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In Oust's tasty sequel to 2013's Rosemary and Crime, the annual Brandywine Creek, Ga., barbecue festival is a boom time for Spice It Up!, the shop of fresh and exotic spices of divorced mom Piper Prescott. The return of Brandywine native Barbara Bunker Quinlan, who hosts a new show on the Cooking Network, adds an unexpected jolt to the festival. With a chip on her shoulder and scores to settle, Quinlan immediately clashes with attractive Becca Dapkins, who has already clashed with Maybelle Humphries, manager of the town's chamber of commerce, whose boyfriend Becca stole. When Piper finds Becca under an azalea bush, bludgeoned to death with a frozen brisket, police chief Wyatt McBride views Maybelle as his prime suspect. Sleuthing takes a backseat to such relationship difficulties as Piper's attraction to dangerously handsome Wyatt and her 16-year-old daughter Lindsey's infatuation with an older boy. Plenty of spice lore adds flavor to this amiable mystery. Agent: Jessica Faust, BooksEnds. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Piper Prescott's spice shop in Brandywine Creek, GA, is flourishing, and the town is gearing up for the annual barbecue festival. Things are great until the body of Becca Dapkins is found bludgeoned by a brisket, and Piper has to investigate to clear her friend's name in this sequel to Rosemary and Crime. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

CHAPTER 1 "CHANGE IS A good thing, right?" I wasn't quite sure how to respond to my BFF's question. Sometimes change wasn't either good or bad, it was just change. And I ought to know. Ask anyone in Brandywine Creek, Georgia, and they'll tell you Piper Prescott was the Queen of Change. Not only had I divorced the low-down lying skunk I'd been married to for over twenty years, but I traded being a country club wife for proprietress of a fledging business, Spice It Up!, in a building older than Methuselah. Since a certain cute veterinarian arrived on the scene, I'd also abandoned all thoughts of entering a convent in order to avoid further contact with the opposite sex. When it came to change, I could write a book. "Well, girl, don't just stand there; say somethin'?" Reba Mae pirouetted in front of me. "Do you like my new do or don't you?" I set aside the yogurt I'd been eating before Reba Mae burst through the door. Reba Mae owned and operated the Klassy Kut. "The best little ol' beauty shop in the South," as she liked to tell folks. One of her favorite pastimes was changing hair color. "It's s-so ... so ... black," I stammered. She smoothed her fringe of bangs. "The box called it Bewitched." Canting my head, I studied the transformation more closely. Yesterday she'd sported magenta locks. Today her hair was dark as a raven's wing. Regardless of her adventures in Crayola-land, Reba Mae Johnson is a striking woman. At five foot seven, she towered over my petite five foot two even without the high heels she favors. Platforms, wedges, stilettos, bring 'em on. "Bewitched, eh? If I meet up with Dracula, I'll tell him where to find you." "Seriously, hon, is it too much?" she asked. "No, no," I said. "It's edgy ... striking." The style with its shaggy bangs, cheek-hugging wisps, and mold to the nape was sort of punk-meets-pixie. "I was aimin' for sophisticated." Sophisticated? You could cut my tongue out before I'd tell her she'd missed her target by a country mile. Reba Mae, bless her heart, was about as "sophisticated" as Minnie Pearl. She'd once confessed over margaritas that the only time she'd ever left Georgia was to attend a stylist convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Call me a snob, but family vacations on pristine beaches aside, I have trouble equating a place that hosts a biannual Bike Week with cosmopolitan. Harley-Davidson gear is hardly my notion of haute couture. "It's just going to take some getting used to, is all." "Reba Mae? That you?" We turned to see Maybelle Humphries, manager of the Brandywine Creek Chamber of Commerce, push through the door. "Why, I didn't recognize you," Maybelle gushed. "That new look of yours puts me in mind of a gypsy." "Gypsy...?" Reba Mae looked crestfallen. "I thought it made me look chic." "'Chic,' that's the word I wanted," Maybelle hurriedly corrected herself as I tried to hide a smile. "I always admire your sense of style, Reba Mae. You're never afraid to experiment. Take me for instance. I've worn my hair this way since high school." In Maybelle's case, change might be just the ticket. Her salt-and-pepper bob looked like a do-it yourself scissor job over a bathroom sink. Maybelle was sweet as they come but outwardly as plain as vanilla pudding. "Fess up, Piper," Reba Mae said. "Aren't you even a teensy bit tempted to try a new look? With your fair skin and green eyes, you'd make a fabulous blonde." "Thanks, but no thanks." I tucked a wayward red curl behind one ear and changed the subject. "What brings you here, Maybelle?" "These are hot off the press." She plunked a pile of brochures on the counter next to my antique cash register. "It's that time of year again--the Annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival. Mayor Hemmings wants all you merchants to pass out flyers to customers." Picking one up, I read it out loud, "'Blues concert, street dance, fireworks, shag contest.'" Reba Mae's eyes lit up. "Shag contest?" Maybelle nodded. "The mayor persuaded the town council to approve funds for a shag club in Myrtle Beach to come and show us how it's done." "Sign me up," I said. "I've always wanted to learn how to dance the shag." Reba Mae perched on the counter and swung one long leg over the other. "The shag's considered the official dance of South Carolina. I learned the basic steps years ago, but could stand a refresher course." "According to the brochure the group sent, it's a cross between swing dancing and the jitterbug," Maybelle said. Reaching for the half-finished yogurt, I scooped up a spoonful. I felt proud of myself for adding crystallized ginger to the granola topping I concocted. It added a sweet, citrusy note. "Are you entering the cook-off this year?" I asked Maybelle. "The Chamber's kept me so busy, I haven't had time to perfect a decent Cajun-style rub." "As long you're here, Maybelle, take a look around. I got a new shipment of chili powders that might inspire you. Feel free to browse." "I'll do just that." She took one of the little wicker baskets I kept on the counter for customers' use and wandered off. Reba Mae glanced at the regulator clock on the wall. "Wish I had time to browse, but I got highlights waitin' on me." She'd no sooner left when two gentlemen I'd never seen before strolled into Spice It Up! The pair paused just inside the door. They stood there, unsmiling, for such a protracted moment that I began to feel jittery. Who were they? The board of health? Had someone reported me for keeping a dog on the premises? I darted a look over my shoulder and sighed with relief. Casey, the little mutt I'd rescued, snoozed peacefully behind the baby gate erected across the storeroom. Casey's bladder was worse than his bite. His most serious offense thus far was peeing on a customer's very expensive Ferragamo sandal. In my humble opinion, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person. At last, the taller of the men strode forward and stuck out his hand. "Tex Mahoney." I set my now empty yogurt carton on the counter. Before returning the handshake, I swiped my hands down the sides of my sunny yellow apron with "Spice It Up!" embroidered over a red chili pepper. "Piper Prescott." "Nice place you have, ma'am." The man's deep voice had a definite twang that suited his rough-and-tumble appearance. He was tall, rawboned, with a weather-beaten face and mop of brown hair gone mostly gray. The elaborate silver belt buckle he wore was befitting a rodeo champ. Only things missing to complete his Western ensemble were spurs and a six-shooter. "Thank you, Mr. Mahoney," I said. "Are you in town for the barbecue festival?" "Yes, ma'am, I am. And, please, everyone calls me Tex." "Are you looking for anything in particular, Tex? You'll see that I carry a wide range of spices. Everything from A to Z ." The second man stepped closer. "Z...?" " Z for zedoary, also called white turmeric," I said to Mr. Fancy Dresser. "In its powdered form, zedoary is a common addition to curries." "I'm impressed," he said with a thin-lipped smile. "The lady knows her spices." The complete opposite of his companion, this man was a natty dresser in a striped short-sleeved button-down dress shirt with a horsey logo and dark pants with a razor-sharp crease. He had a sturdy, compact build, eyes the color of mud, and a gleaming bald head. "My livelihood depends on it, Mr...." He reminded me of an actor, but I couldn't recall a name to go with the face. Maybe Yul Brynner, the star of one of my favorite musicals, The King and I ? No, I decided with a shake of the head, not Yul. The name would come to me ... eventually. "Porter." He extended his hand. "Wally Porter, certified master barbecue judge." We shook hands. I noticed his were smooth, callus-free, the nails buffed. "Nice to meet you," I said. "Did I hear someone say 'barbecue judge'?" Maybelle asked, coming out from behind a row of freestanding shelves. Shame on me, I'd forgotten Maybelle was in the shop browsing. Not to be be mean, but the woman had that kind of effect on people. "Yes, you did," Wally said, turning to Maybelle. Tex gave her a warm smile and, taking her basket, peeked at the contents. "I reckon you must be a mighty fine cook judging by your choice of spices." Maybelle looked flustered in the machismo-charged atmosphere, so I proceeded with the introductions. "Maybelle not only runs the Chamber of Commerce with the precision of a Swiss clock, but she's one of the finest cooks in the county." Embarrassment turned Maybelle's usually sallow complexion into a becoming shade of pink. "Piper's too kind," she said, dismissing the compliment with a wave of her hand. "I take it you two gentlemen are well acquainted?" "Our paths cross from time to time on the circuit," Wally explained. "Are you one of the judges, too?" Maybelle asked Tex. "No, ma'am. I'd druther be on the cookin' end than the judgin'. I'm always experimentin' with various rubs and sauces. Tryin' to find the perfect combination of spices." "Tex happens to be a champion pitmaster," Wally told her. "Quite by chance, we both happened to arrive in town early for a little relaxation before the festivities begin in earnest." I removed the items from Maybelle's basket--juniper berries, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns. "Have you found a place to stay yet?" I asked the men. "If not, I can recommend a nice bed-and-breakfast." "The Turner-Driscoll House?" Wally unfastened the lid on a jar of Grenadian nutmeg, sniffed, then nodded his approval. "Tex and I just checked in. Mrs. Driscoll--Felicity--said she was expecting her final guest to arrive shortly." Maybelle handed me her credit card. As I started to run it through my machine, I noticed she was staring at a figure in the doorway. Maybelle's features contorted with dismay. I followed the direction of her gaze. A woman dressed head-to-toe in pink had her hand on the knob about to enter Spice It Up! Uh-oh, I groaned silently. Here comes trouble. Copyright © 2014 by Gail Oust Excerpted from Kill 'Em with Cayenne: A Spice Shop Mystery by Gail Oust All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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