The food processor whirred as Julia dropped in a wedge of Maytag blue cheese and a handful of crushed pink oxycodone tablets and watched them blend into a soft purplish paste. The tannic smell of the cheese made her mouth water and as she flicked off the food processor she stared down into the mixture and smiled. It was hard to imagine something looking so harmless and smelling so delicious would kill the woman she had grown to loathe. Rita Featherson.
Julia went by Julia Stethersford these days. The month before, she’d gotten the last name off an L.A. Times’ article about a woman who robbed a liquor store with nothing more than a clothespin under a handkerchief and severe blind luck. New to L.A. after her mother sent her packing from Iowa City to be near her Uncle Mitchell, Julia quickly makes enemies including the has-been actress Rita Featherson.
Julia prides herself on being a problem solver so, during her uncle’s 43rd birthday party filled with Hollywood’s “Who’s Who”, she seizes the opportunity to stage Rita’s greatest death scene by killing her with poisoned martini olives.
Murder. One olive at a time.
But the other party goers aren’t about to let a murder slow them down and even as LAPD’s grizzled Captain Maly and his trusted, if not star-struck, Lieutenant Dooley conduct their investigation the party plays on. After all, there are movie deals to strike, clandestine affairs to arrange and secrets to cover up. But why was Rita murdered in the first place? The reason may surprise everyone including the killer.