Recipe for Murder

Recipe for Murder by Carolyn Keene Read Free Book Online

Book: Recipe for Murder by Carolyn Keene Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carolyn Keene
I know that it can only be—” He broke off, his eyes widening.
    Nancy stood up and leaned over his desk, her sunglasses tipping from her crown. “It can only be who, Chef DuPres? Who?”
    She held her breath, watching his face slowly drain of color. “I really do not know,” he finally admitted. “I have only guesses. But, yes, Ms. Drew, someone has been threatening me.”
    â€œDo you have any idea why?”
    â€œNo.” He shook his head. “But I do know one thing: if Trent Richards was murdered, the murderer made a mistake.”
    â€œA mistake?” Nancy asked, puzzled.
    Claude DuPres drew a shaky breath. “Yes, a mistake. A very costly one. You see, the murderer was really after me.”


    N ANCY STARED AT him. “The murderer’s after you?” she repeated. “How can you be sure?”
    â€œBecause there have been attempts on my life before! That was no heart attack I had. I was—”
    Suddenly the door to his office burst open, and Paul Slesak stalked inside. “What kind of security do you have here?” he demanded. “Accident after accident! None of them should have happened!”
    DuPres’s cheeks flushed. “I agree with you. Since I was not here when the accidents occurred, I was hardly in a position to—”
    â€œThat is no excuse.” Slesak swept his arguments away with a dramatic gesture. “Trent’s death could have been avoided if there had been adequate maintenance and security. Which reminds me: someone has gone through my private recipes! Someone is trying to steal them. There is no security around this place! And if so much as one of my recipes is missing, I’ll hold you personally responsible!”
    â€œGet out of my office!” DuPres shouted, leaping to his feet. “You are no longer in charge. And I suggest you remember that!”
    Slesak’s look was murderous. He turned on his heel and stalked out, slamming the door until it shook in its casing.
    Slesak was so angry he hadn’t seemed to notice Nancy. Either that, or he had ignored her.
    DuPres muttered a few words in French, high spots of color on his cheeks. Shaking his finger at the door, DuPres said, “I take back what I said. Paul Slesak could want me dead! He could! He wants this school for himself!”
    â€œEnough to kill for it?” Nancy asked softly, waiting for DuPres to calm down.
    â€œMaybe,” he muttered, sinking slowly back into his seat. “Maybe.”
    â€œLet’s go back to where we were before Chef Slesak interrupted,” Nancy suggested. “You said the murderer must have made a mistake.”
    â€œThat is correct.”
    â€œWell, that may be,” Nancy said, treadingcarefully. “But you and Chef Richards don’t look anything alike. It seems more likely that whoever killed Richards did it on purpose.”
    DuPres leaned back in his chair, his face tired and pale. “The reason I say the killers were after me is because I did not have a heart attack. I was poisoned. The police have not leaked this to the press at my request. I did not want the reputation of the school jeopardized.”
    A chill ran down Nancy’s spine. She’d been right all along. “Do the police have any clues?”
    â€œNot yet. But I will make sure they put Chef Slesak on the top of their list of suspects!”
    â€œWill you tell me about the threats you received?” Nancy asked.
    DuPres took a deep breath. “Just before the poisoning I received a message—a message I could not mistake. It was a note with a skull and crossbones on it.”
    â€œWhere is it now?” Nancy asked.
    â€œIt is missing. Someone took it from my chef’s jacket sometime after I collapsed.”
    That could have been easy for Paul Slesak to engineer, Nancy thought grimly, but she kept her thoughts to herself.
    â€œBut that is not all,” Chef DuPres went

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