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Death of a Chef (Capucine Culinary Mystery) Hardcover – June 25, 2013
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Campion’s smart, delicious French procedural series returns for a fourth adventure. Commissaire Capucine LeTellier receives a call from a good friend, who has discovered a body in her just-delivered vintage Louis Vuitton trunk. The dead man is three-star-rated Chef Jean-Louis Brault, recently scorned by restaurant critic Lucien Folon. Capucine and her restaurant-critic husband, Alexandre, use their contacts to ferret out clues from the French dining and wine world. When the body of a famous politician turns up next, with ties to the Brault case, Capucine is discouraged from snooping further, but she and her colleagues pursue several lines of inquiry quietly, looking into the chef’s bankrupt hotel, a mysterious childhood incident, his unusual collecting habits, and his girlfriend, among others. The dialogue and food references will entertain readers, while the many plotlines will keep them turning pages. This is another skillfully constructed mystery from the talented Campion. Fans of Katherine Hall Page will enjoy this one. --Amy Alessio
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Top customer reviews
This highly satisfying partnership in sophistication between author and reader is entwined in such a wide array of clues, motivations and unique plot developments, all wonderfully imagined in scenes colorfully and precisely depicted, that the book becomes irresistible. By the time I was half way through, and a good part of the day had passed in the blink of my eyes, I realized the problem was going to be what to do with myself after I had raced, entirely entranced, to its conclusion.
If you are already a Capucine mystery fan and an admirer of Alexander Campion's art, you will find that Death of a Chef not only builds on his first three novels in the series, but whets the appetite for more as you are reminded that here at last is someone who really knows what he is talking about and is not afraid to tell you. If you haven't yet tried the Capucine series, I must say I envy you the generous banquet that awaits you.
The plot is well done. The characters are interesting, with a kind of depth rarely found in modern mysteries.
One quibble: at a funeral, the author describes the actions of a priest sprinkling holy water with a ciborium. Not accurate. If one had googled holy water sprinkler, the accurate term would easily had been found. I have a hunch that the author would enjoy that very arcane word.