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The Supper Club Mysteries - Murder and A Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Updated on January 1, 2013

The Hi Carb Plate


Carbs and Cadavers: A Supper Club Mystery, by J. B. Stanley

Carbs and Cadavers is a refreshing entree from a menu of serial mystery and amateur sleuthing by our talented hostess, J.B. Stanley. Halfway through this main course, I was already anticipating a second helping from her first sequel.

Moving back to his home in Quincy's Gap, Virginia from William and Mary College after a stinging divorce, blooming obesity, and the news that his father needshim, James Henry feels like a loser. As the town's new librarian, he hides in books, amid mounds of cheese puffs. He makes some efforts to interact with local townspeople and joins a supper club for dieters, hoping to make new friends and lose fat.

Potato, Potato

(public domain)
(public domain)

The "Flab Five" comprises a supper club. The members include a lonely ex-literature professor named James Henry. Others are the mailman Bennett, an aging hipster - Gillian, a law officer - Lucy, and a current teacher named Lindy. It is amusing that James' name is the reverse of that of the famous writer Henry James. Actually, many of the characters made me smile for one reason or another.

Many of the crew of this novel demonstrate real-life concerns, along with real dreams and talents. American society may see overweight people as gluttonous airheads - especially in movies and on the playground at school - but that is not the tone in this novel. The author gives these people a chance.

Certain lines in the story create images of James looking 150 pounds overweight, rather than just 50. In his own mind he may feel that he is looking like an elephant. This is a pointed insight into the heart of dieter's really trying to lose weight; and writer Henry James's brother William was a pioneer in psychology. The reference is about body image and eating disorders as well as the circumstance of America being stuck on "Thin and Rich."

A mysterious death drives the dieters to action and the group shed pounds and seeks out a killer at the aptly named Sweet Tooth Bakery. There is bloodshed, kidnapping, and all manner of danger for the heroes; and their handling of it kept my interest high. There are many surprises as well, such as what James's father is doing out there alone in the shed all the time.

This novels features easy recipes, while its chapter titles are the names of specific menu items that focus on each dieter's eating adventures. I first made the "Crustless Pumpkin Pie," and found it particularly easy to make. Quincy's Gap may become your second home in literature, as has Moose County and its recipes and players for fans of Lilian Jackson Braun.

The crustless pumkin pie is very flavorful.

Imagine this pie without the crust - more pumpkin goodness (public domain)
Imagine this pie without the crust - more pumpkin goodness (public domain)

Supper Club Mysteries at

In the 18th and 19th  Centuries, being fat was a sign of wealth,  but during WWII, something happened to change that stereotype 180 degrees. I like the new series of mysteries from the Supper Club, because it stars a denigrated minority of American society in the 2000s- overweight individuals that no one takes seriously as a result of their size. Why should this be the status quo in our country today? Many in our culture believe that fat people are lazy and intellectually inferior, dishonest, dirty, and a number of other poor qualities. Carbs and Cadavers proves otherwise. 

The group of weight-conscious friends in this book decided on a plan to their lives in such a way as to become proud of themselves and one another. At the same time, they gain respect form their community. The trick, however, is to be proud of yourself where you are now. The highlight is that the Supper Club is talented enough that they are, indeed, proud of themselves. They solve murder mysteries and make their community a safer place to live. They learn better values along with the procedures that create of lasting friendships. In subsequent editions in this series, romance and family play bigger parts as well.

JB Stanley is an entertaining and witty writer, offering delicious recipes in her books that I have prepared and enjoyed. 


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I hope you like these books. Different characters than Perry Mason, for sure, but likeable.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      I'll need to look into this new series. Chapters here I come. (As if I'd need an excuse to go to chapters)

      Thanks Patty for another "sounds like fun" suggestion.

      regards Zsuzsy