Recipe for Murder
By Janet Elaine Smith
Pagefree Publishing, 2001
ISBN #1-930252-48-X -Trade Paperback
Cozy Mystery

Reviewed by Ellen Edwards Kennedy, MyShelf.Com
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Grace Johnson was once a resident of the NYC homeless shelter where she now works and Patrick O'Malley is a retired cop. In the series opener, In St Patrick's Custody, the two have apparently formed an affectionate, possibly romantic bond as they solved a mystery.

Now, in Recipe for Murder, Walter, another homeless shelter alum who has gone home to the Midwest to attend a funeral, writes Grace and Patrick an intriguing letter. When they investigate, they find that Walter was found hanged in an apple shed and that authorities have labeled the death a suicide. That's enough to motivate this elderly duo to travel Albany, Nebraska, to find out what's what.

If a mystery could be called "gentle," this is the one. The relationship between the two main characters is warm and affectionate, laced with humor, rather reminiscent of Mary Higgins Clark's "Alvirah and Willie" stories. The puzzle unravels itself without a great deal of suspense, but with an interesting twist at the end. As an added bonus, readers are treated to an excellent recipe. While judicious editing could have resulted in a tighter, more polished novel, Recipe for Murder is a cheerful read for cozy fans.

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