Life couldn't be sweeter for Tres Amigas Café chef Rita Lafitte, decorating sugar skulls and taste-testing rich, buttery pan de muerto in anticipation of Santa Fe's Day of the Dead bread-baking contest. That is, until her friendly landlord, Victor, is found dead next door.
Although the police deem Victor's death a suicide, Rita knows something is amiss. To uncover the truth, she teams up with her octogenarian boss, Flori, the town's most celebrated snoop.
The duo begins to sift through long-buried secrets and to take full measure of duplicitous neighbors, but the clock is ticking and their list of suspects is growing ever longer. Just as the clues get hotter than a New Mexican chile, one of their main suspects winds up dead. Rita fears that the killer is dishing out seconds—and her order might be up.
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Bread of the Dead
Cinco de Mayhem
Cinco de Mayo brings margaritas, guacamole—and murder—to the menu in the second Santa Fe Café Mystery. (March 29, 2016)
Tres Amigas Café chef Rita Lafitte is whipping up green chile soufflés and chocolate flan cake to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and prepare for a romantic dinner date. If only her friend Linda, the daughter of Rita’s octogenarian boss Flori, could get into the festive spirit. Linda’s humble food cart, Tía Tamales, is under siege from Crepe Empire, the hottest stand in Santa Fe, and its owner, a pompous star chef named Napoleon.
Linda confronts Napoleon in a public argument that leaves her dying from embarrassment. However, it’s Napoleon who ends up dead. When Linda discovers his body, stabbed and pinned beneath her tamale cart, she becomes the number-one suspect. Determined to prove Linda’s innocence, Rita investigates. From Napoleon’s disgruntled former employees to a shady health inspector, the list of suspects grows longer than Flori’s strings of dried chiles. And when another corpse surfaces, Rita must scramble to catch an elusive killer with an appetite for murder…
Holly, jolly, and downright deadly—the third Santa Fe Café mystery unwraps surprises both naughty and nice… (fall 2016)
It’s the most picturesque time of the year in Santa Fe, and Chef Rita Lafitte of Tres Amigas Café hopes the twinkling lights and tasty holiday treats will charm her visiting mom. Rita is also planning fun activities, such as watching her teenage daughter, Celia, perform in an outdoor Christmas play. What she doesn’t plan for is murder.
Rita discovers a dead actor during the premier performance but vows to keep clear of the case. Sleuthing would upset her mom. Besides, there’s already a prime suspect, caught red-handed in his bloodied Santa suit. However, when the accused Santa’s wife begs for assistance—and points out that Celia and other performers could be in danger—Rita can’t say no. With the help of her elderly boss, Flori, and her coterie of rogue knitters, Rita strives to salvage her mother’s vacation, unmask a murderer, and stop this festive season from turning even more fatal.