Out of the Frying Pan (Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop Series #3)

( 1 )


Death for Dinner

Health inspector Poppy Markham suspects murder when a popular chef buys the (organic) farm.

Feast in the Field is the event of the season for Austin foodies. A fine-dining affair hosted by the Friends of the Farm, it’s Poppy Markham’s favorite opportunity to drink boutique wine and get the latest scuttlebutt from her pals in the restaurant business. But this year’s hottest dish of gourmet gossip won’t be whispered over a plate ...

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Out of the Frying Pan

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Death for Dinner

Health inspector Poppy Markham suspects murder when a popular chef buys the (organic) farm.

Feast in the Field is the event of the season for Austin foodies. A fine-dining affair hosted by the Friends of the Farm, it’s Poppy Markham’s favorite opportunity to drink boutique wine and get the latest scuttlebutt from her pals in the restaurant business. But this year’s hottest dish of gourmet gossip won’t be whispered over a plate of cucumber crudités. Instead, it will be the announcement of the organization’s new president-elect. The competition between the candidates has been hotter than horseradish, and when the winner—uptight restaurateur Dana White—is struck down in her own kitchen, it’s up to Poppy to figure out who took her off the menu.

“A must-read for cozy lovers.”—Publishers Weekly

“Allen delivers a breezy and likeable menu.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Allen’s engaging third culinary cop mystery (after 2012’s Stick a Fork in It), Dana White, the new president of Friends of the Farm (a community-sponsored agricultural farm outside Austin, Tex.) and guest chef for the farm’s fundraising dinner, expires after drinking what she thinks is a glass of champagne. That it’s actually concentrated hydrogen peroxide clearly shows Dana’s death is no accident. Poppy Markham, an endearingly sincere investigator, uses her position as a public health inspector to work behind the scenes and find out who wanted to do Dana in. The presence of two suitors—Drew Cooper, general manager of her family’s restaurant, and Jamie Sherwood, a food writer who she’s still forgiving after an infidelity—provides romantic distraction. Allen presents the social politics of the restaurant industry without lingering on descriptions of dishes or kitchen sex. Agent: Kimberley Cameron, Kimberley Cameron & Associates. (July)
Library Journal
Poppy Markham quickly whips out her food inspector badge and goes official when a chef dies in the kitchen as Austin's local food movement is rocking the night away at its big Feast in the Field event outside. The first clue that this death isn't natural is the foamy liquid coming out of Dana White's mouth. Homicide is a given when Poppy figures out that superstrength hydrogen peroxide was the poison. Dana had just won a coveted position as president of the local food collective, and Poppy wonders if jealousy is enough to ignite murderous tendencies. Curious Poppy desperately wants to solve the mystery before the night is out, even if the murderer needs to eliminate her, too. VERDICT Allen's public health inspector protagonist makes for a different twist on the culinary closed-room cozy; this is her third entry (after Stick a Fork in It). Poppy's romantic dilemmas keep the narrative light and humorous, as do her family interactions. However, this entry seems overpopulated, which unnecessarily complicates and slows down the plot.
Kirkus Reviews
The character-heavy mystery of a murdered chef. Poppy Markham's latest visit to Good Earth Preserves has nothing to do with her role as a Special Projects Inspector with the Austin/Travis County Health Department. The Feast in the Field is a yearly fine-dining dinner that promises pure pleasure. Poppy's glad to be accompanied by her date Drew Cooper, even though the presence of her ever-demanding stepmother puts a damper on the evening, which becomes significantly more dramatic when Dana White, head chef and newly elected president of Friends of the Farm, collapses before the dinner's over. In spite of Poppy's best efforts, Dana doesn't survive. Poppy's convinced that she can make the best progress by investigating the potential murder while all suspects are still at the farm. Her usual partner in crime-solving, Jamie Sherwood, shows up unexpectedly to offer Poppy a hand, though Poppy isn't sure she should accept help from the man who once again wants to anoint himself her only boyfriend. Given the grocery-sized list of potential suspects, Poppy wonders whether there's anyone who didn't have opportunity and motive to kill Dana and whether she should be seeking help from Jamie or from Drew--for this case and for the future. So many characters that a cast list might have helped. Though many of them pass through without leaving much of an impression, Poppy's boss, Olive, and the quirky Trevor, each of whom appears only briefly, are worth savoring; Allen (Stick a Fork In It, 2012, etc.) should take note.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738727967
  • Publisher: Midnight Ink
  • Publication date: 7/8/2013
  • Series: Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop Series , #3
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,500,842
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Allen is the author of the Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop Mystery series. Her writing has also appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Country Woman Magazine and Writers' Journal. In addition to writing, Allen has worked as a food server, cocktail waitress, bartender, and barista. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is a member of Austin's Heart of Texas Sisters in Crime (SinC) chapter. She can be found online at RobinAllenTX.blogspot.com.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2014


    'Wt<3>fri' result sixxxxx. c;

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