Detective Zack Martinez knew two things; his wife would have him for dinner if he forgot to get take-out from Bubba's Grill on the way home, and the barbecue sauce on the corpse of Jimmy "The Condiment King" Miller wasn't just a marinade. His instincts pointed to Adamo Adelchi, master chef and runner-up in last week's Dade County Pork Pull Bonanza. Mr. Adelchi was a sour dish after losing the big competition that had earned him last year's bread and butter. It wasn't beyond reason that someone from Fantastic Foods was bitter about the outcome as well. The pig pickler's loss was soaked in bad press that wouldn't do any good for sales of his popular Rocket Rib Rub. Throwing a steaming kettle of pig parts at the winner wasn't exactly good PR.
Martinez had two clues. The first was a slip of paper shoved in Jimmy's mouth that read "non abbastanza salsa calda" that translated to "not enough hot sauce". The second was a HIC Harold Imports wooden spoon from Italy shoved up Jimmy's ass. Either this was one sloppy Italian Job, or someone wanted Adelchi out of the topping tournament for good.
When the Medical examiner moved the body, they found a crushed 28 ounce can of imported Italian tomatoes from near Vesuvius. AH, the inspiration -- sweet tomatoes and hot peppers. How very Italian. How very Pompeian. How very Cosa Nostra. The DOP insignia was fake, unreal, misspelled. Jimmy Miller's porcine bulk crushed the tell-tale tin can. Adelchi had no gardens in Italy. He was growing hot tomatoes in Minneapolis and branding the cans as imported. If the Condiment King hadn't been so paranoid about his crown, HIC Harold imports and Adelchi might have got away with it forever, or at least until their basil ran out. Inferior tomatoes passed off as the royalty of Pomo D'Oro. More motive than my cheating unfaithful bitch, thought Martinez.
Opening: Aimee States.....Continuation: Dave F.