Chili Con Corpses is the third book in Stanley's Supper Club series. As in the first two books in the series, Carbs and Cadavers and Fit to Die, James, Lucy, Lindy, Bennett and Gillian, (known as the “Flab Five,”) are still trying to lose weight. After trying a low carb diet in the first outing, then a point based diet and exercise program in the second book, they've hit a bump in the road. They are all sick of eating diet food every day. So when Lindy sees an ad for Fix 'n Freeze, a new cooking school, they agree to take the Mexican cooking class even though Mexican food is hardly on any diet. However, when James is diagnosed with high blood pressure, he is told to start watching his sodium intake. While there is diet theme in this book, complete with chapter lead ins listing the sodium content of various foods, there is not as much tie in between the diet and the Supper Club as in the first two books.
The Supper Club again becomes involved in a murder investigation. Lindy, a teacher, needs chaperons for a field trip and she manages to convince her friends to help her out. While they are in the cave, one of the students finds a woman's body. Everyone assumes it's Kinsley Willis, a fellow teacher, but it turns out that at the last minute, Kinsley had asked her twin, Parker, to stand in for her. Because the victim was not supposed to be on the trip, the question becomes, who was the intended target? Since the sisters are new in town, there is much about their background for the group to discover.
I really liked the first book in the series, but was left a bit cold by the second. I think this book is much better than the second one as the characters have been allowed to grow individually as well as in their relationships. Anyone who has ever struggled with weight issues can't help but laugh at some of the dead on descriptions of the diet entrees, exercise programs and the general dissatisfaction with long term dieting throughout these books.
REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR
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