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The French Confection (Diamond Brothers) (Diamond Brothers) (Diamond Brothers) Paperback – Import, 2007
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About the Author
Anthony Horowitz has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he is also the writer and creator of award winning detective series Foyle’s War, and more recently event drama Collision, among his other television works he has written episodes for Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. Anthony became patron to East Anglia Children’s Hospices in 2009. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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For me, one of the best aspects of this and other works by Anthony Horowitz is the authenticity of the locations and the background detail. "The French Confection" describes a journey on Eurostar from the old Waterloo terminus: I have made this journey myself, and the train does indeed move off without any warning and passengers often do not notice anything. This story could be used as a guidebook to certain areas in Paris. The return journey is by ferry and the Diamond Brothers go downstairs to order fish & chips. I have done this myself a few times, it is a way of saying "I'm home" I think.
The authenticity of the background is balanced by the incredibility of the boys' adventure: such things could never happen in real life, but I suppose that the intended readers still think that they could. The characters are mostly the same old stereotype villans, the Diamond Brothers are their usual selves. Tim seems like a small boy, and Nick is more like a long-suffering father than the younger brother. I found myself getting annoyed with Tim for being such an idiot and I wondered how Nick could stand it, but this is an indication that I took the story seriously. I did enjoy the episode where Nick is under the influence of drugs and sees some bizarre things.
"The French Confection" has a personal relevance. I first read this story a few days after I had missed going to Paris for the day via Eurostar: I wasted the tickets because I did not feel well. I had actually planned to explore the Marais district. I can't decide whether I should thank Antony Horowiz for giving me a second chance to take the journey, or feel paranoid because of the timing and bear him a grudge because he wrote about a painful subject. On balance, I think that my misfortune made me pay closer attention to the story than I might otherwise have done, and made me enjoy it all the more.