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The Grave Gourmet (Capucine Culinary Mysteries) Hardcover – June 29, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Capucine Culinary Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758246692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758246691
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Campion's debut introduces a beguiling heroine, 28-year-old Lt. Capucine Le Tellier of the Paris judicial police. Bored with her deskbound job pursuing white-collar crime, Capucine jumps at the chance to get involved in a possible murder investigation. The body of Jean-Louis Delage, the président-directeur général of the automaker Renault, has turned up in the refrigerator of Diapason, a three-star restaurant, where Delage dined earlier that evening with his lawyer. Diapason's owner, eminent chef Jean-Basile Labrousse, is well known to Capucine's restaurant critic husband, Alexandre. What at first appears to be a case of food poisoning is soon ruled a homicide. Capucine's family connections help open political doors and provide useful contacts as she uncovers a plot involving foreign nationals and industrial espionage. Full of amusing characters, this diverting gastronomic mystery builds to a most satisfactory conclusion. Readers will want a second helping. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This new series offers a uniquely blended mix of “hooks” that will appeal to a vide variety of mystery lovers. The heroine is Capucine LeTellier, an elegant young Parisian police detective. So far she has worked white-collar fraud, but she longs for a more spectacular case. She gets exactly that when the body of an automobile executive is found in the food cooler of a famous French restaurant—a fortuitous crime scene, as Capucine's husband, Alexandre, is a food critic. Despite the bumbling of her team of detectives, Capucine gradually pieces the case together, tracing the crime's origins to industrial espionage and the CIA. So we have a culinary mystery set in Paris but blended with a police procedural and a little espionage, all taking place around the inner workings of the French wine and food industry. It really is an appealing combination. While recipes are not included in the text, the dishes sound delicious, and the intrepid cook can visit the author's Web site for details. --Judy Coon

More About the Author

Alexander Campion started out as a true New Yorker, graduating from Columbia and migrating downtown to Wall Street. Early on, someone proposed, a little apologetically, he spend six months maximum in Paris helping out with a new food venture his firm had just acquired. He stayed thirty-five years, eventually becoming a restaurant critic and progressing inevitably to gastronomic thrillers.

He is currently living in Toronto--with his wife and his very headstrong Basset Hound--planning to return to Paris in the near future.

Customer Reviews

Intelligent, witty, great characters, good plot twists.
L. Sorenson
This detective story is trying too hard to impress readers with big words, at the expense of the plot.
anotherbibliophile
I'm an avid reader and find I'm dreading opening this book to finish reading it.
KNoble

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 115 people found the following review helpful By ST on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Am I the only one to question the writing skill displayed in this book? The storyline was interesting and it could have been a good book...if someone had only edited the writing. It is horribly overwritten. Overused -ly adverbs and 'big' words bog it down. You have sentences like this: 'Alexandre was saved from the need of a retort by the sacrosanct rogations of ordering food and drink.' Not to mention questionable character development. Am I supposed to like a female character who's thankful she got a promotion because she didn't wear a bra? I quote 'Capucine thanked the guardian angel who had talked her out of the bra when she was choosing her outfit that morning.' Really, where was the editor? What a shame, the premise was good but the writing so bad I couldn't finish it.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By KNoble on July 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have over 400 Kindle books and have enjoyed most that I've read so far. I'm an avid reader and find I'm dreading opening this book to finish reading it. The characters haven't been developed, the story line is confusing, and the behavior of the French police and holding of innocent 'suspects' was alarming. Alexandre - who is he and how did he and Capucine meet and marry???? Capucine seems to enjoy the 'nicer things' - what's her background? These were just a few questions I had and continued to have, even as I'm toward the end of the book. The story premise is quite boring and Capucine seems to just blunder along until something pops up. I have no plans to order any other books by this author, or to continue with this series (if it's going to be a series). I bought it because the summary made it sound interesting and I liked the illustrated cover. Very disappointing.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Sweet Diva Reader (SDR) Marla on August 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I normally enjoy culinary mysteries, but this one was just kind of blah for me. The story features Capucine Le Tellier a French policewoman who is assigned to investigate what she sees as boring white collar crimes when she'd rather be out on the street solving "real crimes" like murder and her significantly older husband Alexandre (this point is made frequently) who's the restaurant critic for Le Monde. You guessed it, she's finally assigned to work a murder that took place in a restaurant because it is believed that because of her connection to her husband she'll have extra expertise in this area to help solve it.

The problem mainly is that none of the characters were fleshed out giving us no real reason to care about them or what happens in this story. There is absolutely no back story of any kind about any of the characters which in my opinion is much needed in a first book of a series. Also the middle third of the book drags along so slowly with almost nothing of importance given to us that drives the plot. It just plods wordily along.

The concept was there for a solid story, but the writing that took us on this journey just wasn't strong enough to pull it off. I may try another from this series in the hopes that the author learned and improved from this book, but I can't guarantee that.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Patricia G. Cottrell on June 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, after reading nearly 20% of this book, and struggling with definitions of words that don't even appear in our "free" dictionary, I had to stop reading this book. I rarely give up on a book, and getting in 20% does mean I had invested some reading time, but it just got to the point where I could read it no more due to the writing style. Some characters were juvenile in nature, and the "heroine" of our story was using her sexuality to achieve results, which aren't storylines I like to read. It made it seem as though she couldn't do something herself, and had to resort to tricks of her gender.

I was lucky to have gotten this book for free, and I see it's now selling for over $9. If you're a walking dictionary of all things French, by all means this is the book for you, but if you're not, don't waste your time. (My personal opinion only.)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Terri Abraham on June 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I should have tried a sample, because right away the poor writing put me off. The author tries too hard to use big words and foreign phrases to make the book sound like something it isn't. It was free, and I did stick it out for a couple of chapters to see if it got better, but it didn't by the time got sick of it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Chef Jean-Basile Labrousse owns the three-star Diapason restaurant. When he kicks a bag of squash in his freezer, it feels more like meat to him. He opens the bag to find the body of Jean-Louis Delage, the president-directeur general of Renault; who dined there earlier in the evening with his attorney.

With everyone else tied up, Le Commissaire Talon assigns twenty-eight years old Parisian Police Detective Capucine Le Tellier for the lead on the case; her first field crime scene assignment as her work has been office reviews of white collar crime. She receives insider help on the restaurant side of her investigation from her dining critic husband, Alexandre. At Renault, she learns the firm is working on a fuel efficiency process that would allow vehicles to run on one third the amount of gas; and that several countries and rival companies have industrial spies trying to steal the secret. Capucine knows if she wants more homicide work, she must resolve the case with its international implications as well as the country's frenzy over an icon being murdered.

With a lighthearted look at the City of Lights through the eyes of delightful droll Parisians and foreign nationals, readers will enjoy dining in Paris with Capucine (who is not remotely close in performance to The Pink Panther of Inspector Clouseau) as their tour guide. The Grave Gourmet is a wonderful French police procedural that highlights the industrial espionage threat to nations and companies as even allies spy on one another. Alexander Campion provides a mesmeric opening act starring a magnifico female protagonist.

Harriet Klausner
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