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© 2012 Honora Finkelstein & Susan Smily
The Chef Who Died Sautéing is the first novel in the series about  amateur sleuth Ariel Quigley. (This  edition includes the complete 51  page "Killer Cookbook #1”) Ariel Quigley is a 32-year-old  English instructor who talks to  ghosts, reads tarot cards, and has  precognitive dreams. Early in the  book Ariel moves in with her friend  Bernice Wise, a psychotherapist  with a large Colonial house in  Alexandria, Virginia, college-age  twins—and a resident ghost from  the pre-Civil War era, whose murder  Ariel uncovers.  Bernice introduces Ariel to the  crew at the Riviera, a nearby  French restaurant, where the  famous chef Daniel Lafayette  creates magic with food while the  waiters entertain the guests with  Monty Python humor. The head  waiter takes a shine to Ariel and  asks her out. But before their  romance can begin to bud, Ariel  finds herself embroiled in an  abortive bombing, a suspicious  death, a car accident that is no  accident, and a hurricane. (Is nature  a terrorist agent?)  Though she does Tarot readings  for fun, Ariel learns a lot about the  people around her from the cards.  And because she has a psychic hit  about the suspicious death, she  finds herself involved with a hunky  police sergeant—and then she  herself becomes the focus of the  killer. The Chef Who Died Sautéing  won the Love Is Murder “Lovey” award for best first novel in 2007 and was nominated for an Agatha award that same year.
The Lawyer Who Died Trying is the second novel in the series  about amateur sleuth Ariel Quigley.  (This edition includes the complete  60 page "Killer Cookbook #2") Set in Alexandria, Virginia, this  mystery is a bit darker and a bit  sexier than Ariel’s first adventure,  though just as quirky and funny. Thanks to her doctoral topic of  occultism in the works of William  Butler Yeats, Ariel is called upon to  testify as an expert witness in the  custody suit of a lady lawyer,  Jessamine Steele, who claims her  ex-husband is teaching an on-line  course on dark magic and isn’t fit to  be a custodial parent. She offers to  pay Ariel with stock in a fledgling  corporation called Aquavest, which is  developing a device to capture  electricity from ocean wave  movements.  Ariel, in company with Bernice  Wise, her psychotherapist sidekick,  meets the lawyer’s friends, a group  who call themselves the Loo-Loo  Ladies because in college they wrote  a book of limericks suitable only for  the loo. They and a handful of other  colorful characters are all involved in  the wave technology company. But  shortly after a corporate meeting,  Jessamine discovers what may be a  scam in the company and goes to  New York to investigate. Shortly after  she comes back, she turns up dead.  And the last person she spoke to  before her demise was Ariel.  Add to this plot Ariel’s first TV  appearance as a ghost hunter, some  interviews with people who have  their own ghost problems they’d like  her to solve, some spooky  encounters with Jessamine’s ex-  husband, a burgeoning romance  with hunky police sergeant Greg  Mason, and the granddaddy of all  Halloween parties. And then Ariel’s  own life is threatened...by a force  from the Spanish Inquisition! 
The Reporter Who Died Probing is the third novel in the series about  amateur sleuth Ariel Quigley. (This  edition includes the complete 72  page "Killer Cookbook #3”) What do Wiccan exotic dancers,  bomb threats, burning buildings, a  Gullah conjure woman, ghosts,  shape-shifters, and pirates have in  common? They're all a part of  psychic detective Ariel Quigley's  efforts to have a quiet winter holiday  with her police sergeant boyfriend,  Greg Mason, until she finds herself  involved in the murders of some  Washington, D.C. news reporters.  Ariel's winter semester break  starts peacefully enough, with her  looking forward to a variety of  seasonal celebrations, including St.  Nicholas Day, Solstice, Chanukah,  Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Year's,  and Twelfth Night. In addition, she's  hoping for a romantic interlude in  South Carolina with Greg, who  seems intent on making their  relationship more permanent.  But as the seasonal activities  increase in number and intensity, so  do the threats to Ariel's reputation,  livelihood, and life, culminating with  her involvement in the deaths of two  media personalities. And when she  gets an other-worldly warning from  her spirit guide known as the Fat  Man, Ariel realizes she herself may  be a target for murder.  Greg winds up in the hospital for  a brief stay after being evacuated  from a burning building, and Ariel  narrowly misses a threat to her own  life, so the couple hope for a respite  from the holiday mayhem by going  on vacation to Edisto Island, South  Carolina for a New Year's break. But  their longed-for peaceful beach  vacation involves them with pirates,  more ghosts, and a Gullah  practitioner of magic, and it  culminates with a sinister threat on  the high seas.
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