Castle bounces into the precinct carrying two cups of coffee. One is for him; the other is for Beckett, who isn’t at her desk. That’s because she’s laughing her way down the hall, a hot cup of java already in hand and Detective Tom Demming at her side. Castle overhears them plan a dinner date. But before he has time to drown his sorrows in that extra cup of coffee, the phone rings. Sometimes murder can be such a nice little distraction.
Balthazar Wolf, head chef at a restaurant called Q3, was frozen solid when liquid nitrogen was poured on him. Wolf’s boss was Madison Queller, an old high school friend of Beckett’s. Madison says Wolf usually worked non-stop, but had been disappearing for a few hours each day over the past few weeks. Castle is intrigued by Madison, probably because she knows some secrets about Beckett. For instance, she used to love watching reruns of “Saved by the Bell.” Hey, who didn’t?
David Nicolaides and his girlfriend, Cecily Burkett, say David’s family took in Wolf a long time ago and helped him get his start as a chef. Wolf’s success on a cooking show furthered his career, but he was still in financial trouble. Wolf asked David to buy out his portion of a diner they inherited. The mystery regarding money continues when it’s revealed that Wolf gave $5,000 to a co-worker in need. Apparently, that was just a small portion of the large amount of cash he was carrying in a backpack.
[break] Wolf wanted out of his contract with Q3. Madison had an insurance policy that would cover her if the chef died. This makes her a prime suspect. It also give Beckett a reason to crash Madison’s dinner date with Castle, just as they were enjoying a meal prepared by celeb chef Rocco DiSpirito. Beckett could have at least waited until the pumpkin gnocchi was served. It’s to die for! Guess turnabout is fair play, as Beckett’s dinner date with Detective Demming was interrupted, too. They were having Chinese takeout, in case you were wondering.
Madison thinks the reason Beckett broke up her date is personal. She says, “You’re hot for Castle. You want to make little Castle babies.” Beckett cringes when she hears this because she knows Castle is watching and listening behind the interrogation room window. Love it! [quote-right]
After offering to help out with the case, Demming tells Beckett that her murder victim was in trouble with a bookie. But Wolf made good on his debt and was able to get back an engagement ring he put up as collateral. But who was it for? And where is the ring now? Castle thinks he knows the answer to at least one of those questions.
[break] Wolf hid the engagement ring in a special cake he baked. It’s why he was working late the night he was killed. For the past two weeks, he’d spent hours sitting in a café watching the woman he loves at work across the street. He was trying to gather up the courage to propose. Who is this mystery woman? It’s Cecily Burkett, Wolf’s foster brother’s girlfriend.
Cecily is pregnant with Wolf’s baby. She loved him, but couldn’t handle his irresponsible, philandering ways. David was solid and dependable, so she made a choice to stay with him and tell him he was the baby’s father. But when David discovered the truth, he killed Wolf.
It seems to Castle that all this could have been avoided if Cecily had followed her heart. We know he was talking about the case, but don’t you think the same sentiment applies to a certain homicide detective and/or mystery writer, too? We sure hope Castle does, because it doesn’t look like Detective Tom Demming is going anywhere anytime soon.