Carolyn Blue, food column writer and heroine of four previous books, is in Barcelona, catching up with an old friend while her academic husband attends a nearby conference. She plans to see the sights and try the cuisine but on Carolyn's very first day she discovers a body in the midst of an elaborate performance art piece, a body that in many ways resembles that of her dear friend and Miro scholar Roberta, resident at the museum.
Before she knows it Carolyn is waist deep in art, intrigue, run-away step-sons (Roberta's, not hers), seedy underbellies, suspicious police, murderous cabbies, pubs of ill-repute, amazing food and revenge.
This is a light and frothy series, ideal for a mentally break from more pressing concerns but far from substantial. The characters are sufficiently developed, the recipes amusing (though I have no intention of recreating any), and the plot diverting. I also liked the unusual setting, and Fairbanks' inclusion of Catalan history, language, culture and cuisine into the text - Alex