The Sourdough Wars is the second volume of Julie Smith’s Rebecca Schwartz Mysteries. It is set in early 1980’s San Francisco where Rebecca is a thirty-year-old attorney with a penchant for finding dead bodies of people she knows. Her very-Jewish mother and successful-lawyer father are, of course, upset and concerned each time it happens.
Peter Martinelli, a struggling actor, inherited the sourdough starter–it is required to make San Francisco’s famous bread–from his parents. His sister got the fabulous house, but wants the starter, too. The Martinelli sourdough was once the best, but the bakery went out of business. The parents, hoping to recoup lost glory, put some of the starter in frozen storage. When Peter needed money to save a struggling theater, Rebecca and her partner suggested he auction off the starter. Several interested (and interesting) people arrive to bid, the starter is missing, Peter is murdered, and the Sourdough War ensues.
As with the first Rebecca Schwartz mystery, the story proceeds with a touch of San Francisco, a bit of Jewish family life, and a measure of humor. Smith moves the story along to a somewhat unexpected and action filled conclusion.
I found this cozy mystery to be a satisfying and entertaining read.