ONLY WHEN I LAUGH by Len Deighton - BOOK - ADVANCE READING COPYSee all titles by Len Deighton.
With two straight number one Los Angeles Times bestsellers, three consecutive Agatha Award nominations, two Anthony nominations, and Lefty and Macavity Awards already in the pot, mystery author par excellence Jerrilyn Farmer is cookin'! Now her oh-so-delectable creation, spunky Hollywood event planner and caterer to the stars Madeline Bean, finds herself in a murderous stew once more, in an exceptionally tasty hardcover debut simmering with intelligence and outrageous humor and spiced with real surprises.
It's another great gig for Mad Bean Events: catering the gala season wrap party for the runaway TV hit, gourmet cook-off game show Food Freak. But Madeline's going to have to keep her delicious Cajun treats simmering on the stove a while longer now that the studio has decided to film one more episode . . . and the head writer has mysteriously disappeared. The good news is the show's producer must replace the missing writer and offers Maddie the temporary position, since there's no one in L.A. who's more up on her food facts than La Bean.
Joining the show's oddball staff, Maddie must quickly meet the demands of this intense, new, behind-the-scenes world of television, and is soon busily creating clever culinary puzzles for the show's contestants. But in her new office she immediately uncovers tantalizing hints as to the missing writer's whereabouts. And solving puzzles in real life is a Maddie Bean talent second only to her superb knowledge of edibles. Certain clues she finds scattered around the workspace -- including a troubling Post-it note that hints of homicide -- have her wondering whether the AWOL writer truly flew the coop ... or was written off for good!
A Hollywood writer's life had sounded sweet, but Maddie finds the whirlwind of twisted off-camera affairs of the Hollywood demi-mighty -- where ego-wrestling is an extreme sport -- can leave a bitter aftertaste, especially when a rare and priceless packet of Kool-Aid, an amorous celebrity chef, and a bubbling Cajun gumbo from hell leads her indirectly to a murder. Suddenly, Madeline Bean's having-her-cake-and-eating-it-too temp job becomes a recipe for disaster, setting the cagey caterer in the lethal sights of a killer.