Quirky characters, spicy Tex-Mex recipes and an unusual murder mix like a perfect meal, making every bite of Fairbanks' latest culinary mystery a delicious treat.

Food writer and inveterate traveler Carolyn Blue has a tendency to find murder wherever she roams. This time, when a colleague of Carolyn's professor husband is found dead after ingesting huge amounts of guacamole, trouble comes home to El Paso.

When the cop assigned to the case ignores crucial evidence suggesting foul play, Carolyn decides to take matters into her own hands. Retired policewoman Luz helps her crack the case.

The relationship between cranky, semi-invalid Luz and impeccable society matron Carolyn develops with hilarious sweetness, as they track clues from a Texas strip bar to a Mexican border town.

Everything about this book is a delight, but the irresistible Carolyn, who, when nervous, feels compelled to relate historical anecdotes, is especially appealing. So, along with a highly entertaining mystery, you get history, recipes and even a selection of Carolyn's food columns. (Nov., 288 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison