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When the going gets tough, the Garcia girls get tougher.

Aspiring sportswriter Jordan McAllister never imagined she’d end up as a food critic for a small time newspaper. Writing the culinary column for the Ranchero Globe is a challenge, and even though she can’t make a grilled cheese sandwich without burning it, she has no problem finding  trouble wherever she goes.

When Rosie LaRue wakes up to find her ex dead on her couch with her ice pick protruding from his chest, Jordan knows that she and the Empire Apartments gang must act quickly to keep their friend out of jail. Although the list of people who wanted the man dead is long, things aren’t always what they seem.  And Jordan finds out the hard way when her search for clues lands her right in the hands of a crazed killer.

Excerpt | Reviews



Culinary column writer for the Ranchero Globe, Jordan McAllister, finds herself in the middle of another murder mystery. Her eccentric neighbors are back again to help her sort through the maze of clues as they struggle to prove that one of their own is not the murderer. I found this to be a well plotted page turner that kept me guessing till the end. I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable! -- Amazon reviewer Chloegirl

Once again Ms. Lipperman has hit one out of the ballpark with Smothered, Covered and Dead! I loved it, as well as all of her other books. From the beginning to end, it will keep you guessing with the twists and turns. My only question is, where can I find an apartment like Jordans along with a group of zany friends like hers? -- Amazon Reviewer Diane Peterson


“I’ve heard a lot about your famous desserts, Ray,” Jimmy Wharton said as he reached for his card. “My Rosie here says you make a better pumpkin pie than she does, and that’s saying a lot,” He leaned over and gave Rosie’s shoulder a squeeze, nearly causing Jordan to throw up in her mouth.

Rosie had an uncanny ability for falling for guys who probably had “most likely to end up a jerk” under their names in the yearbook, and Jimmy Wharton was no exception. He was Rosie’s ex—number one or number four, depending on how you looked at it. They’d met when she was only eighteen and barely out of high school. Jimmy had been the tight end at Grayson County Junior College, and with his good looks and jock status, he’d had his pick of the naïve country girls in Ranchero. But he’d suddenly dumped Rosie and began courting a shy farm girl whose father owned the biggest cattle ranch in Grayson county. Within two weeks, Jimmy was a married man, and Rosie was left wondering what had gone wrong. When he’d waltzed back into town after a stint in the military, suddenly single again, it hadn’t taken long for him to claim Rosie’s heart again. Two weeks later he’d placed a ring on her finger for the first time.

But it hadn’t taken Jimmy long to stray, and exactly six months after the wedding—to the day, according to Rosie—they’d divorced and both gone their merry way. Jimmy moved to Albuquerque, and from his account, made a fortune in real estate investments. Rosie went on to marry two more bozos, both of whom were quickly discarded because of one thing or another. Loser number one, Jimmy, had reentered her life when she was in her forties. When he’d flashed a wad of hundred-dollar bills in front of her, amnesia had set in fast.

She’d forgotten about their past history, his bad habits, and even the two ex-wives and promptly hopped a plane to Vegas with him.
After a night of serious gambling and heavy drinking, they’d ended up at an all-night wedding chapel. To hear Rosie tell it, they realized what they’d done after waking up to a crumpled marriage license, killer hangovers, and wedding bell blues. When she caught him flirting with the waitress at breakfast—less than twelve hours after she’d said “I do”—again—she’d known her chances of growing old with him were about as good as them walking away from Sin City with money in their pockets. They were divorced two months later.

Somehow, the man had wiggled his way back into her life— and much to Jordan’s chagrin—into the Friday night potluck card game. Something about Jimmy Wharton grated on her last nerve. Maybe it was the fact that in the four weeks he’d been crashing their game night, he’d never stopped bragging about how much money he had.

If he was so rich, why’d he drive a beat up old Chevy—or never offer to chip in for the food like everyone else did?

But despite her dislike of the man, it was impossible not to notice the way Rosie’s eyes lit up whenever he was around. Since Jordan loved the woman like the sister she never had, she tolerated the jerk. Knowing Rosie the way she did, she’d come to accept that her stylish friend who made her living selling homemade jewelry on EBay and who still had with the figure of a much younger woman, was like a bug drawn to a bright light whenever there was a good-looking rogue on her radar. If there was a twelve-step program for that, Rosie would definitely be the keynote speaker.

Tonight, Jimmy had brought his son with him because his car was in the shop, and Jordan found herself feeling sorry for the young man who’d barely spoken a word all night. Although he had Jimmy’s piercing green eyes and his smile, the similarities stopped there, making her wonder how a shy, unassuming guy like Richie Drake could come from the seed of a major jackass like Jimmy Wharton.