Albert Smith, a retired Kent police detective who was widowed “exactly one year ago yesterday,” is embarking on a culinary tour of his native England with his “assistance dog,” Rex Harrison. The German Shepherd is “the only dog in the history of the Metropolitan police to have been fired for having a bad attitude,” but he and Albert are fond of each other and work well together.
Their first stop is Agnew’s Perfect Pork Pie Emporium, where Albert has signed up with the premier pork pie maker for a class that will teach him exactly how to make their famous pork pies. However, his class is abruptly halted when a fellow student finds a human thumb atop her neat pile of pork. With the company shut down and no class to keep him occupied, Albert reverts to form and begins looking into how a severed digit ended up in the pork pie shop.
In the meantime, Donna’s mother, Agnew’s owner, is in hospital after an emergency appendectomy, and Donna is worried about the continuation of their longstanding company combined with the threat of Simmons Perfect Pork Pie Palace directly across the street. so she and Albert team up to root out the origin of the thumb and just who is threatening Agnew’s and why. Rex is indispensable in the search — he quickly tracks down the site where the thumb was separated from its owner, but is frustrated by his inability to communicate with his master. Although they can’t speak to each other, Albert recognizes many of his clues and signals, and they eventually zone in on the culprits, only to find themselves in peril.
Steve Higgs has cooked up another sizzling mystery for fans of his cozy mysteries. It’s a delicious treat for all.