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Cover image for Bread on arrival
Bread on arrival

1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
viii, 263 pages ; 22 cm
Number in series:
Restaurateur Heaven Lee investigates two murders during a convention of bread bakers in Kansas City, including that of a world-famous baker. Lots of recipes and detail on the making of bread.
Electronic Access:
Contributor biographical information http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0738/98022316-b.html


Call Number
MYSTERY Temple, L.

On Order



A major voice on the culinary mystery scene returns as the author's saucy Kansas City, chef, Heaven Lee, take on the world of bread baking.

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Kansas City restaurant owner Heaven Lee‘and her creator, Temple‘move from paperback (Death by Rhubarb, etc.) to hardcover in a thin mystery that sometimes spends more time on the technicalities of bread-baking than storytelling. Kansas City bakers and restaurant owners prepare for the arrival of the ARTOS convention, a gathering of bread bakers who promote natural breads and loathe assembly-line products. Heaven plans to attend the events with her daughter, soon to return to college, and her baker, Pauline. Tragedy strikes when General Irwin Mills, head of an experimental grain laboratory, falls to his death from a silo in front of hundreds of ARTOS members. A former attorney with a youthful boyfriend, Heaven gathers her resources to expose the cause of the general's death‘and then a second ARTOS-related death occurs. Temple includes a variety of recipes from the heartland, in traditional culinary mystery fashion. But her humor is too often smothered by a thick dough of cooking digressions and stilted conversations. Her plotting is nimble enough, but her characterizations are weak, ultimately producing a mystery that, despite some heat, fails to rise. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

Temple's hardcover debut features energetic, meant-to-be-lovable Heaven Lee, the five-times-married mother of 22-year-old Iris; girlfriend of medical resident Hank; and owner of Cafƿ Heaven in Kansas City, Missouri. Pauline, the restaurant's baker, is a board member of ARTOS, a national bread-baking group hosting a convention in Kansas City and environs. The group has plans to visit experimental farms growing new wheat varieties, and also to stop in at the plant of the very commercial, much-scorned BIG BREAD, which has been funding the cloning research of General Irwin Mills. During the ARTOS visit to BIG BREAD, said General falls to his death from atop a silo--perhaps to the satisfaction of scientist Walter Jinks, whose ideas on feeding the world are directly opposed to those of Mills. Yet another track is that of Mennonite Ernest Powell, whose mission is to put a bread-making machine into every kitchen, using traditional red turkey with wheat flour, of course. The convention's last days bring death to a world-famous baker and a kind of mass spaciness to the participants. It takes a hairbreadth escape from her own demise for Heaven to get to the bottom of it all. An imaginative if off-the-wall plot, a hep heroine, and a slew of clip-worthy recipes help to offset the never-ending lectures on enzymes, glutens, wheats, ryes, and more. Heaven's further adventures, preferably breadless, are anticipated. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Here are two more titles to add to the extraordinary number of mysteries that feature characters who constantly eat luscious meals, share their recipes for the choicer dishes, and do a little detecting in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Biggie Weatherford--last seen in Biggie and the Mangled Mortician [BKL Je 1 & 15 97]--the grande dame of Job's Crossing, Texas, and grandson J. R. work in a few bouts of sleuthing while eating a heavenly sounding mix of Cajun, Creole, and Tex-Mex cooking prepared by housekeeper Willie Mae, who also sidelines as a voodoo conjure woman. This time around, the mystery involves local poultry king Firman Birdsong, found shot to death in the kitchen on opening day of his latest business enterprise, the Fresh-as-a-Daisy Chicken Restaurant and Takeout. That's bad enough, but the body has been covered in gravy and garnished with tomatoes and parsley. As with earlier installments, it's the town's colorful citizens that give this nutty tale its charm. Temple's Bread on Arrival marks the hardcover debut of Heaven Lee, chef and owner of Cafe Heaven in Kansas City, Missouri, whose recipes are every bit as tempting as Willie Mae's. In her fourth adventure, Heaven worries about her bad gluten as she attempts to learn the subtleties of good breadmaking. Then she finds a fellow baker face down and dead in a huge pan of bread dough, and she must figure out who's intent on killing off the cooks. Although this novel is sometimes marred by stilted dialogue, Heaven is a likable protagonist, and Temple knows how to construct an entertaining plot. And with recipes for vegetables root bake and peanut-butter shortbread, who can resist? --Stuart Miller

Library Journal Review

Kansas City restaurant owner Heaven Lee, recently bitten by the bread-making bug, learns more than she bargained for at a bread group's conference held in town. Experimental researchers hoping to use bread for peace compete with big business trying to increase crop production at the expense of the land. When the differences lead to murder, Heaven investigates. Subplots dealing with Heaven's much younger lover, her daughter's much older lover, and recipes of items mentioned in the text provide relief from an abundance of wheat-related facts. For fans of this series (Stiff Risotto, St. Martin's, 1997) and other culinary mysteries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.