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So Dear to Wicked Men

by Takis Iakovou Judy Iakovou

After several years of hard work, Nick and Julia Lambros have made a real success of the Oracle Cafe in the college town of Delphi, Georgia. That is, until one of their regular morning customers keels over in his coffee. Someone in the group of local businessmen who meet daily for breakfast has poisoned unlucky Glenn Bohannon and made it look as though Nick's cooking is to blame. With their livelihood - and then their lives - on the line, Julia and Nick must find out who killed Glenn and why, in order to save themselves. From The Critics Kirkus ReviewsA first novel set in the Georgia college town of Delphi, where Nick Lambros, a Greek immigrant, and wife Julia, a sometime speech pathologist, own the Oracle Cafe. The two work long, hard hours, starting with the regular breakfasters, the Buffaloes-a group of local businessmen. One morning Glenn Bohannon, a recent arrival from Texas exploring the start-up possibilities of a Tex-Mex restaurant, is sitting with the group when he keels over and dies-poisoned. Nick and Julia are redneck Sheriff Cal Taylor's prime suspects. They're also fighters, know they're being set up, and decide to investigate on their own, starting with Bohannon's affair with banker Morgan Fox's oh-so-proper wife Dina. Dina's brother Bobby, crippled and near speechless after a car crash, manages to provide a useful lead. So does Nick and Julia's new cook Spiro, a massive Greek who drives a huge old Pontiac and rents in an area with an ever-changing Spanish population. His rental agent is gorgeous Connie Santos, another of Bohannon's amours, who works for Delphi Rental Properties-ownership carefully obscure. Obscene phone calls, attacks in the night, and another killing spur the feisty couple on-their risky illegal entries and thefts of crucial records eventually uncovering a pillars-of-the-community conspiracy headed by a ruthless but talkative killer.A kind of Nick and Nora for the '90s, this couple radiates warmth and charm, as do some of the minor characters: a slightly overplotted but well-written, fast-paced debut.

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