Read Black Beans & Vice Online

Authors: J B Stanley

Black Beans & Vice


The Battered Body

"Fans of cuisine cozies should eat up this fifth serving ... a treat for
readers who enjoy mixing food with murder."-Mystery Scene

"One of the best entries in this series to date."-The Mystery Reader

"[The] BEST yet. I hope there will be many, many more"-Cozy Library

Stiffs and Swine

"Spot on ... Foodies and mystery fans can pig out on this one."
- Richmond Times-Dispatch

"While many of the antics are hilarious, Stanley's characters really do
have depth, the plotting is well executed, and the series becomes better with each installment."-Booklist

Chili con Corpses

"Mexican recipes, the cozy hometown setting, and a touch of romance make [Chili con Corpses] a pleasant read."-Kirkus Reviews

"Heavy on fun, light on gore, this savory mystery comes complete
with yummy recipes." -Publishers Weekly

Fit to Die

"J. B. Stanley's Fit to Die will appeal to anyone who's experienced the
horror of dieting."-BookPage

"A well-plotted mystery sprinkled with delightful characters and topped
with a dash of suspense." -Romantic Times Book Review

Carbs & Cadavers

"A refreshing entree from a menu of serial mystery and amateur sleuthing. Recommended." -Armchair Interviews

CUi ce


Carbs and Cadavers

Fit to Die

Chili con Corpses

Stiffs and Swine

The Battered Body




Black Beans & Vice: A Supper Club Mystery © 2010 by J. B. Stanley. All rights reserved. No part of this e-book may be used or reproduced in any matter whatsoever, including Internet usage, without written permission from Midnight Ink, except in the form of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. As the purchaser of this e-book, you are granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. The text may not be otherwise reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, or recorded on any other storage device in any form or by any means. Any unauthorized usage of the text without express written permission of the publisher is a violation of the author's copyright and is illegal and punishable by law. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

First e-book edition © November 2010 E-book ISBN: 978-0-7387-2775-2 Book design by Donna Burch Cover design by Ellen Dahl Cover image © 2010 Linda Holt-Ayriss/Susan and Co. Interior art by the Llewellyn art department Midnight Ink is an imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. Midnight Ink does not participate in, endorse, or have any authority or responsibility concerning private business arrangements between our authors and the public. Any Internet references contained in this work are current at publication time, but the publisher cannot guarantee that a specific reference will continue or be maintained. Please refer to the publisher's website for links to current author websites.

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"I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the
time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder
of animals as they now look upon the murder of men"



To Jessica Faust of Book Ends:
Vegetarian, Uber-agent, Friend


the brochure as though the glossy, trifold paper covered with photographs of
happy, healthy people might suddenly
ignite in his hands. "You want us to get
hypnotized?" he asked, his voice rather

High school art teacher Lindy Perez
nodded calmly. "Hypnotherapy is a very effective weight loss method.
Or so I've read. There are loads of testimonials on the Internet."

Tossing the brochure on the surface of the circulation desk,
James reached for a glass bowl filled with jellybeans. Picking out
two black ones, he popped the candies into his mouth and chewed
thoughtfully. "I'm having a moment of deja vu, Lindy," he declared
once his mouth was empty. "It doesn't seem too long ago that I
met you right here for the first time. You had schemes then too, remember, and you were seeking permission to hang a flyer on the
bulletin board-"

"In search of folks to join a dieter's supper club!" Lindy finished for him, her brown eyes glimmering at the memory. "You
were mighty nervous about becoming a member back then too,
and look how that's turned out!"

James couldn't help but grin. "One of the best decisions of my
life, no doubt about it. What would I do without all of you? You're
my best friends." He gestured at the brochure. "Still, this is a bit
out there. I could picture Gillian appearing at one of our meetings
with this brochure, but not you, the ever-so-sensible Lindy Perez.
You're too level-headed to be reaching for these mumbo-jumbo

Lindy's eyes flashed and James shrank back a little, worried that
his friend was about to demonstrate her infrequent but fierce Brazilian temper. "I may be Ms. Practical, but I've also gained fifteen
pounds over the last three months. I was maintaining my weight
until your stepmother's sister had to go and get herself murdered.
After that, PLOP!" Lindy smacked her palms together. "I fell off
the wagon in a big way. Now, I'd like to gain control over the way
I eat once and for all. I'm sick and tired of food controlling me,
James, and I am not looking for another diet plan." She pointed a
finger at her temple. "We're never going to change our bodies until
we fix what's going on in here."

"And a hypnotherapist can do that?" James was doubtful.

Lindy nodded enthusiastically. "What's the one thing you can't
seem to resist? When you go on a diet, what food do you miss

"Cheese puffs," James answered right away. "And in a close second, anything made with sugar" He held up another jellybean.
"Like these, for instance."

"Exactly!" Lindy cried and several library patrons sent frowns
in her direction. "Sorry," she whispered and gave a self-effacing
wave to those browsing the new-release section.

"We're all addicted to sugar. Candy, cake, soda, ice cream,

James held out his hand. "Enough! Do you want me to drool
all over the barcode scanner? I don't think it's waterproof."

Lindy picked up the brochure and gave it a triumphant wave.
"See? Sugar is ruling you even as we speak. How many of those jellybeans have you had?"

Embarrassed, James shrugged. "Um, I don't know. Enough to
turn my tongue black?"

"Pick a number," Lindy insisted.

"Well, since I've only been eating one color out of five possible
shades and I bought a jumbo-sized bag, I'd say twenty-five."

"Okay! Let me give you a brief lesson in mathematics. I might
be an art teacher, but I can demonstrate some basic addition that
will have your black tongue hanging on the floor." Lindy dashed
over to the shelving cart, grabbed a few books, and pushed them
against James' soft paunch. He automatically reached out to grab
them. "Feel those books? Would you say they weigh somewhere
between two and three pounds?" Lindy asked expectantly.

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