Who's Afraid of Virginia Ham? by Phyllis C Richman
A Chas Wheatley Mystery
Harper Collins - April 2001
ISBN 0060183896 - Hardcover
Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer, MyShelf.com
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Chas Wheatley is a restaurant reviewer for the Washington Examiner. The newly hired reporter, Ringo Laurenge, is attempting to undermine her position by stealing the story on which she has been working. Her best friend, Sherele Travis, theater critic, is brutally assaulted by Ringo. He attempts to put one of Chas' favorite restaurants out of business. Chas and Sherele try to look into Ringo's past in an attempt to stop him. There are others at the Examiner who have had dealings with this power hungry reporter. There is no lack of suspects when Ringo is killed... death caused by Virginia ham which he ate at work.

It is a clever plot: filled with descriptions of food which make the reader's mouth water; tips on how to run a restaurant; and the workings of a newsroom. There is much to read here in addition to the murder and the investigation into it. The development of the friendship between Chas and Sherele is handled nicely. The story is well written; the dialogue witty; the characters engaging... all in all well worth the time to read the book. A pleasant read.

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