A mediocre mystery-writer (and thus a purveyor of red herrings), Ethelred Tressider has even less interest in writing his books than his (dwindling) fan base has in reading them, and his agentthe pesky, nosy, vulgar, chocolate-chomping Elsiehas no interest in them at all. But with a name like Ethelred, things can always get worse, and when Ethelred's dishy ex-wife turns up dead, they do. The Case of the Dead Dish is the most exciting project Elsie's come across in years, but however much she bullies Ethelred he refuses to take much interest in the mystery. Chalk it up to some pathetic mid-life crisis? Maybe. But how much more interesting would it be to note that Ethelred's lack of interest raises what might be called some extremely interesting questions? This first novel in the series was nominated for an Edgar award.