This is the 2nd book in the Deadly Landscaping series. The genesis for this plot came to me when I was watching one of those cooking shows. I think it was an Iron Chef or something like that.
I thought about a friend of mine who learned chef-ing while he was in the service. When he got out, he had a terrible drug problem because of an injury. A character in the first book ("Lilacs") had an alcohol problem, so I thought I'd pair the chef with her.
I had to put the chef in danger and get my primary heroine involved (Cassie, from the first book). I thought, "What better place to murder someone than a restaurant?"
And I was off and running ...
Here's Book 2 of the Deadly Landscape series, where Cassie *almost* gets her inheritance and the romance between her and Sam hits a bumpy spot in the road.