The Sophie Greenway Books
Starting in 1994, Ellen Hart began working with a new sleuth, Sophie Greenway. Amateur sleuth Sophie and her husband Bram figure in this classy series of whodunits. Not since Nick and Nora Charles have I been so entertained. I should have started reading these a long time ago!

This Little Piggy Went To Murder (1994)

It's election year in Minnesota, and Jack Grendel, the charismatic son of a Duluth shipping magnate, is running hard for the U.S. Senate. But as the countdown approaches, a pair of grotesque murders threaten to destroy him. One is the bizarre hanging of a consultant for Grendel Shipping. The other is the shooting of Jack's own father, rather too soon after he withdraws financial support from his son's campaign. In the ugly fallout from the crimes, Jack's charm shows signs of wear. His sister, Amanda, grows edgy and secretive. And more than ever, it seems that Jack's redheaded wife would kill to get him elected. Food critic Sophie Greenway, a family friend since childhood, observes these changes with sharp dismay and discreetly starts snooping. Amid rumors of corruption, adultery, and blackmail, a grim fact holds firm: one of her oldest friends is a killer. Which friend she may not discover -- until her own life is on the line.


For Every Evil (1995)
For every evil under the sun,
There is a remedy or there is none.
If there be one, seek till you find it,
If there be none, never mind it
-Mother Goose

The stylish new art exhibit at the Chappeldine Gallery pulled in all the important movers and shakers in the Twin Cities. Except one. Powerful critic Hale Micklenberg and his wife remained home, chatting with police about the bullet that had shot through their living room window. As Micklenberg had promised the show a bad review, he wasn't missed. Nor was he mourned when another bullet killed him. Food critic Sophie Greenway was troubled to learn that her own son could be involved in the murder. But so could a host of others, including the "unhappy" widow who was tired of keep a scandalous secret at her own expense. Guided by rumor, a bizarre phone message, and Micklenbert's obsession with an obscure artist, Sophie canvasses for a killer. Among the cheats, adulterers, and sleaze balls lurking beneath the civilized skins of her friends and colleagues, she find what she's looking for -- and it's a deadly surprise.

The Oldest Sin (1996)

The historic Maxfield Plaza hotel in downtown St. Paul is packed to the rafters with two national conventions -- the members of The Church of The Firstborn, and delegates to the annual Daughters of Sisyphus convention. Five old college roommates are reunited: food critic Sophie Greenway, now owner of the hotel; Adelle, who married into the founding family of the Church of the Firstborn; Lavinia, mastermind of the Daughters of Sisyphus; and Bunny and Cindy, Lavinia's top aides. But when a death terminates one of the gang, Sophie senses that not everyone is devastated by the loss. As Sophie delicately probes the private affairs of her hotel's star guests, she recalls another loss -- of a young woman who had been the group's sixth roommate. The buried secrets of that long-ago death are exhumed as a clandestine killer stalks the halls of the Maxfield plaza, preparing a taste of the oldest sin for the final victim.

Murder in the Air (1997)

The Yuletide revival of a vintage Twin Cities radio serial isn't just for fun -- dealing as it does with a scandalous unsolved 1950's murder. But an even deeper mystery intrigues radio personality Bram Baldric and his sleuthing wife, Sophie Greenway: Why has the station's owner insisted on airing this particular show when her own son happened to have been the prime suspect in the old murder case? Merriment and mistletoe are out this Christmas; menace and murder are in.

Slice and Dice (2000)

If all goes according to plan, Connie Buckridge's culinary empire will soon boast a state-of-the-art cooking school and a new restaurant in her hometown of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Unfortunately, just when the kitchen queen and her bickering entourage hit town on a publicity tour, so does a bestselling investigative writer who is hot on her scandalous trail. Primed by an anonymous e-mail informer, Marie Damontraville is preparing to cook Connie's goose with a major expose of her strategies for success. The one missing ingredient in this unsavory stew is murder, and when food critic Sophie Greenway finds a cooking colleague stabbed to death with his own kitchen knife, a fire that has been smoldering for forty years suddenly bursts into flame.


Dial M For Meatloaf (2001)

As Minnesota housewives race to meet the deadline for the Times Register's meat loaf contest, an unsavory small-towner named Kirby Runbeck is blown to smithereens by a car bomb.

Days later, the town's former mayor, John Washburn, near death from a stroke, confesses to the killing. His wife and two children vehemently deny it, but when Sophie Greenway, food maven and friend of the family, happens upon an old snapshot, a bundle of letters, and a tattoo of a red-eyed snake, she wonders about Washburn's innocence. Unlike the recipe for a prize meat loaf, this murder is seasoned with spicy secrets and a generous portion of scandal, which Sophie dares to bring to a roiling boil.

Death on a Silver Platter (2003)

Far from being the idyllic home Carl Veelund envisioned when he built Prairie Lodge years ago, the log mansion has become the repository of many terrible secrets. Two women are dead -- and truths long hidden are about to be brought to light. When restaurant reviewer-cum-sleuth Sophie Greenway stumbles upon an old diary, she has no idea it will toss her into the center of the family tragedy unfolding at Prairie Lodge. Sophie discovers that being a friend to Elaine Veelund, daughter of mansion's designer, has become dangerous. Sophie soon realizes that in a recipe that calls for deceit, sibling rivalry, old grudges and ultimately murder, she may be the main ingredient.

No Reservations Required (2005)

Twin Cities businessman Ken Loy is the first to die; shot between the eyes during a sunset bike ride. Half an hour later, Bob Fabian, the rich and handsome owner of the Minneapolis Times Register, meets a similar fate. It was a year ago when Loy broadsided the VW Beetle driven by Fabian’s wife, Valerie, killing her instantly. Coincidence? Sleuthing food critic Sophie Greenway doesn’t buy it.

Indeed, the elegant Rookery Club, where the upper crust gathers to drink, dine, and gossip, is already simmering with rumors–about the murders, about a Times Register reporter’s shameless fabrication of news stories, about rifts in two high-profile relationships. So when Sophie turns up the heat, the lethal bouillabaisse of twisted love, sadistic rage, and insatiable greed boils over. It seems that poisonous concoction murder du jour is back on the menu. . . .

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This page updated December 4, 2009

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