Ellen Hart is the author of twenty-six crime novels in two different series.� She is a five-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction, a three-time winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award, a recipient of the Alice B Medal, and was made an official GLBT Literary Saint at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans in 2005. � In 2010, Ellen received the GCLS Trailblazer Award for lifetime achievement in the field of lesbian literature. Entertainment Weekly�named her one of the �101 Movers and Shakers in the Gay Entertainment Industry.� For the past fourteen years, Ellen has taught �An Introduction to Writing the Modern Mystery� through the The Loft Literary Center, the largest independent writing community in the nation.
Slice and Diceby Ellen Hart
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If all goes according to plan, Connie Buckridge's culinary empire will soon boast a state-of-the-art cooking academy and restaurant in her home town of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Unfortunately, just when the kitchen queen and her bickering entourage hit town on a publicity tour, so does a bestselling investigative writer who is hot on her scandalous trail.
Primed by an anonymous e-mail informer, Marie Damontraville is preparing to cook Connie's goose with a major expose of her strategies for success. The one missing ingredient in this unsavory stew is murder, and when food critic Sophie Greenway finds a cooking colleague stabbed with his own kitchen knife, a fire that has been smoldering for forty years suddenly bursts into flame. . . .
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SLICE AND DICE, quite probably the strongest and most complex novel to date in Ms. Hart's 'Sophie Greenway' books, is an expertly-crafted, utterly satisfying addition to a rock-solid series as well as a moving, stand-alone thriller. By way of sheer lagniappe, the icing on this particular cake is a sizeable expansion of Ms. Hart's always knowledgable insider's take on the culinary world itself: gourmet cooking as big business, the role of the critic in the restaurant scene and the in's and out's of the hospitality industry which adds an especially intriguing depth and dimension to the fast-moving plot action and makes for an unforgettable read. SLICE AND DICE finds Sophie and her husband Bram faced with crises in both their marriage and their professional lives. Sophie has spent a hectic winter trying to adjust to taking-over as owner-manager of the Maxfield Plaza Hotel while still keeping up the occasional restaurant reviews which have now brought her an offer she doesn't want to refuse: the food editorship and primary restaurant critic status for the Times Register newspaper. With the hotel beginning to shape up nicely and her son and his life partner away on holiday in Europe, she's eager to tackle this new challenge, but Bram, despite his own successful career as a radio talk show host, is already feeling pushed-aside by the demands of her career and strongly opposes the idea. In the meantime, the 'circus'...media, that is...in the form of America's culinary royalty, the dysfunctional Buckridge family which includes Nathan, one of Sophie's former beaux (who would like nothing more than to rekindle that old flame), has come to town and is headquartering at the Maxfield Plaza. There to promote a new cookbook and possibly expand her already sizeable academy/restaurant empire into the St. Paul area at the expense of Sophie's family friend, Harry Hongisto (owner of the financially-troubled Belmont restaurant), culinary diva Constance Buckridge...a Martha Stewart-type...is being trailed by professional scandal-monger, Marie Damontraville, who is plotting a no-holds-barred, tell-all expose of Connie and her family and thinks Bram would be exactly her cup of tea. The fat is really in the fire when Sophie finds the Times Register's restaurant critic (who savaged the Belmont making it ripe for takeover) stabbed to death, and Harry is arrested for his murder. Things happen fast and furiously from that point on as Sophie is forced to search deep into the past to find answers in the here and now and eventually risk her life to uncover the real proof of the pudding...and her marriage...while unmasking a cunning and desperate killer. This mystery is bound to please even the most discerning palate and has only whetted my appetite for more of Sophie and Bram's adventures.
Connie Buckridge is the matriarch head of a culinary empire that includes her son, daughter, and stepson. Connie feels elated because she is coming home to Minneapolis-St. Paul to open up a cooking academy. However, on the eve of Connie¿s biggest personal triumph, Pluto, a Deep Throat like character keeps sending E-mails to investigative reporter Marie Damontraville. The missives state scandal and nasty skeletons prominently lie in the Buckridge closet. Perhaps it is her belief that this Betty Crocker clone could not be so perfect or just her natural cynicism that comes with her job, but Marie believes the messages. She plans to expose Connie¿s darkest secrets that will in turn crumble a growing culinary empire. Meanwhile, the biggest detractor of the Buckridge kitchen is local food critic George Gildemeister of the Tomes Register. However, someone kills George and newly hired food critic Sophie Greenway finds the body. Suddenly a scandal that dates back to 1963 threatens to boil over and destroy the Buckridge empire. The latest Sophie Greenway culinary mystery, SLICE AND DICE, is an entertaining story that will thrill genre fans. The fast-paced story line is filled with negative relationships that appear ready to explode at any moment. Though there are too many charcaters to keep up with (thank goodness a score sheet exists), most are fully developed with their motives understandable. One does not have to be a food critic to enjoy Ellen Hart¿s tasty morsel. Harriet Klausner
The story was interesting. There are so many typos that it made me want to stop reading. There are at least two or three mistakes on every page.