|Plot Summary of Beat Until Stiff|
Poisoned Pen Press, Dec 2002, 24.95, 214 pp.
Pastry chef Mary Ryan graduated from the Ecole d'Epicure cooking school and found a great job working at American Fare, the top restaurant on the west coast and considered by gourmands to be one of the top three restaurants in the country. She should be very happy since she loves to cook but her divorce turned her into an acrimonious, emotionally upset person.
Her attitude goes downhill when she arrives early for work only to find the corpse of pastry assistant Carlos Perez stuffed in a laundry bag. Besides the shock of discovery, Mary has no clue why anyone would kill him. When the owner of the restaurant also turns up dead, the victim of a homicide, Mary starts asking questions to see if the two deaths are connected and almost winds up as victim number three.
BEAT UNTIL STIFF is a delicious culinary mystery that shouldn't be eaten on an empty stomach because the food descriptions will make the reader ravenously hungry. Despite being upset about her divorce, the audience will take the heroine into their hearts because she is really vulnerable and in “kneed” of kindness. Though why she turned sleuth chef even to insure her own safety seems questionable, Claire M. Johnson shows a lot of writing talent as she bakes a mystery epicure's delight.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Beat Until Stiff|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 60%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 20%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Difficult, but some clues given
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- amateur citizen investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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