Murder for the Halibut

Murder for the Halibut - Liz Lipperman 3.5 starsThis 3rd book in the series is what got me to read the other two. Let me explain: This book was offered as a free ebook; but it's book #3, and I hate coming into the middle of a story and established characters, so, of course, I bought the 1st two books (clever marketing, eh?) and already read them. If I hadn't liked the characters and mysteries, I'd have cut-and-run.BUT I've grown quite fond of our Heroine, Jordan, and her apartment crew. This little adventure was set up in the previous book, when Michael's radio station job sets him up in the perfect position to hire his friends for this Cooking Competition Cruise. Since Jordan has the infamous Kitchen Kupboard byline and has established herself as a "gourmet", she's to be one of the judges. Yikes! Jordan is far from a gourmet girl, as she's already proven in book 1 with a hilarious and somewhat disastrous encounter with pate and in this book while judging an appetizer made from sweetbreads (which she has no idea are cow glands).One of the chefs vying for the chance to win a coveted spot to represent a commercial food product dies during the appetizer quick fire challenge. Turns out, his basket included spices that had ground peanuts - and he was highly allergic. None of the other chefs' spices include the ground peanuts. While awaiting the official autopsy results, the head of security for the Carnation Queen boat goes missing... and then another body turns up - on stage. What's going on?Who's behind all of this? Is it one of the 2 gal cooks who've schemed together to use their wiles to win? The chef who's wife just delivered a newborn son that's probably not his child? The high-powered gorgeous entertainment lady lawyer with the rough early life? The celebrity chef whom everyone loves and no one would suspect? The rich, smug, spoiled, chases any skirt married slug of a 3rd judge who owns a sweets company that he built on the stolen recipe of a girl he trashed in high school? Micheal's boss, the owner of the radio station, who grew up with the smug sweets company rich judge and hates his guts? Or someone else?LOVE that Alex shows up in the middle of this Caribbean cruise. Alex and Jordan together are sigh-worthy! But it's Jordan who saves the day, as always!