I am woman, hear me roar. I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan. Song lyrics and catchy slogans have become my philosophy ever since I divorced my skirt-chasing, ambulance-chasing hubby of twenty-some years. Hi! My name’s Piper Prescott, and I’m the proud owner of Spice It Up! in Brandywine Creek, Georgia, a town so small you practically need a magnifying glass to find it on a map.
It isn’t always easy being me. I used every red cent of my divorce settlement to purchase a building dating back to Prohibition. The original building burned to the ground when a still exploded in the basement setting fire to half the town. Folks still bemoan the fact, our town got little press since the event coincided with the St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago. I’ve hit a few bumps in the road since opening day, but I’m happy to report my little shop and I are doing just fine these days, thank you very much.
One of my favorite ways to draw customers into Spice It Up! is by hosting cooking demonstrations. My very first one wasn’t exactly a rip roaring success but it was memorable. No doubt about that. Folks are still talking about how I ended up downing the wine instead of adding it my sauce. But I like to think I’ve learned from my mistakes. Doug Winters, local veterinarian, gourmet cook, and my sorta boyfriend, has agreed to show everyone how to make spicy chicken curry. It’s hard to hold people’s attention, however, when sirens start blaring and emergency vehicles barrel down the street. Was I the only one who noticed the coroner’s van? I wondered.
And that was only the beginning of trouble with a capital “T.” You see, my best friend in the whole wide world, Reba Mae Johnson, had made a perfectly innocent remark about wanting a certain someone dead. Naturally, it didn’t take long for hunky police chief, Wyatt McBride, to get wind of this. When the “certain someone” turns up deader ‘n skunk, the spotlight of suspicion falls on Reba Mae. What kind of BFF would I be, if I didn’t help a friend in need? So, I took out my sleuthing skills—much to McBride’s chagrin—and did everything I could to find the real killer and prove Reba Mae’s innocence.
Curried Away is the fourth book in the Spice Shop mystery series, published by Minotaur Books, December 2016.
Piper Prescott, proprietor of Spice It Up!, has persuaded Doug Winters, the mild-mannered vet she’s been dating, to demonstrate Indian cuisine at her shop. But before Doug’s presentation of classic chicken curry is completed, Ned Feeney, local handyman, bursts in with news of a murder.
Sandy Granger, the director of a local production of Steel Magnolias, was found strangled in the third-floor balcony of the Brandywine Creek Opera House. Sandy, it seems, had not endeared herself to cast or crew. Complaints about her ran the gamut from her management style to her lack of people skills. Everyone connected with the production falls under suspicion, including Piper Prescott’s BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, who made it well known how unhappy she is that she was cut from the cast.
When the spotlight for the dastardly deed shines on Reba Mae, Piper rushes to her friend’s defense. Who among Sandy’s detractors was angry enough to wrap a silk scarf around her neck―and pull tight? Will Piper succeed in solving the case before she becomes the killer’s encore performance? And will she ever learn just how to prepare the perfect curry? As delicious as it is charming, the latest entry in Gail Oust’s mouth-watering Spice Shop Mysteries is sure to delight both old fans and new.
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About the author
Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement. While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington. It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery. Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL. In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries complete with new titles and a whole new look. Gail is currently writing the Spice Shop Mysteries for Minotaur/St. Martin’s. When she isn’t reading, writing, or sleeping, she can usually be found on the golf course or hanging out with friends. Connect with Gail at gailoust.com.
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