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Book Review: Beef Stolen-Off by Liz Lipperman

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Let me state I am a Lipperman aficionada. This chick could rewrite the Twi-snore series and I’d read it while ramming pencils in my sockets with every letter I absorbed. Please, please universe don’t give La Lipperman any ghastly ideas. Por Favor! I mean, I’ll behave for a good minute or three… okay, okay–for three seconds. Oh! Good gravy… one. One sec. Can the sec take place as I devour Taylor Kinney in Chicago Fire? I mean, I’ll be heated and all. Aaahhh… I tried. A zebra can’t change her spots. Okay, geez, tough crowd. Ah, I was tryin’ to pull a fast one. I just confessed so ya got a good sec outta me. So, no, nada, Twi-bore rewrites from the fabulous Texas diva. Deal? Cool beans!

While diamonds are a girl’s best friend, cozies are mine. I just love to feel those piercing chills and thrills as things go bump in the wee hours of the night… no, I am not referring to dreams of the Prince or Taylor Kinney. Really! I did not have naughty fantasies of those men. Yep, I went there, but not as much as I could have. I am behavin’–enjoy it while it lasts, folks! I mean, I just love to solve puzzles and Beef Stolen-Off is chockfull of yummy nuggets.

Lipperman delivers the charm, capers and culinary decadence like a virtuoso at Lincoln Center and keeps the reader on their toes like Jordan did back in the day and LeBron does now. Lipperman pens this tale lithely and has superb synchronicity when it comes to pulling readers into the plot and powerfully delivers the punch like De la Hoya. Ooohhh, this is mystery par excellence to say the least, and I can only imagine what she would have scribed if she allowed her heart to go with the flow. I’d be popping fizzy bubbles like champagne on New Year’s Eve. Aaahhh, there was no mention of the Prince or Kinney, but my thoughts did wander… Hey, I ‘fessed up!

While the enigmatic Jordan McAllister had ambitions to become a brash and witty sportswriter, life navigated her to the entrails of peptic critiquing in the bucolic climes of Ranchero, Texas. Jordan is a fiery tamale with brains, beauty and bravado that tends to get her entangled in mayhem and mischief. Granted, as the food columnist for The Ranchero Globe, Jordan will be the first to admit she may not know whether or not there is a difference between a crimini and a portobello, yet, she is determined to give her all to whatever is tossed her way or what is spread before her.

Cattle baron Lucas Santana invites the captivating Jordan to the Cattleman’s Ball, anticipating an optimistic write-up for the gala will increase the county’s flaccid beef revenue. To ensure Jordan has a blast at the annual shindig, Santana plays matchmaker and hooks her up with Rusty Morales. Jordan’s elated to accompany the cowboy hottie to the gala and shake her tail feathers Texas style. Unfortunately, she lands in the emergency room with her companion as cold as gazpacho!

When Rusty’s mother entreats her assistance, Jordan realizes she must step in to round up this mystery and lasso a killer.

What I love most about series mysteries is visiting old family and friends, stumbling across bodies and the charismatic locales. Lipperman executes the continuity without skipping a beat, delivers a concrete mystery and the narrative is fiercely rock-solid. Clearly, Lipperman is the rising Texas mystery phenom and Beef-Stolen Off proves she is the eponymous beneficiary to Dame Christie–Texas style. Yee-Haw!

While Lipperman’s sophomore outing in Berkley Prime Crime’s Clueless Cook Mystery series doesn’t disappoint in unfolding a delectable mystery, it is evident her heart just wasn’t in effecting Jordan’s tale with the crisp, joyful love she peppered in Liver Let Die. Seems Lipperman may have gotten sidetracked by her ever-expanding wings. Let’s face it, you just can’t corral talent and ask it to remain in place, and Lipperman has talent as a storyteller like nobody’s business. Multitasking is good, but it’s not for everybody… or no longer what one wants to do. Lipperman has skills in spades and is savvy, sophisticated and sassy enough to whip up many a series for many a publisher–so Dame Lipperman, let’s keep Jordan rockin’ and doing her thing. Aaahhh, chop chop, Lipperman, shouldn’t you get to penning another suspense novel? Muy pronto!

Shout out to Berkley Prime Crime’s talented art department for the stunning cover!

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About Diane Morasco