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Prepared for Murder: A Culinary Mystery with Recipes Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Lamalle is at her best describing the delicious food that informs her debut".

-- Publishers Weekly on Appetite for Murder

From the Back Cover

Cecile Lamalle scores another five-star triumph with the return of Charly Poisson, the much-feted chef and amateur detective whose delectable garden grows with murder most wild...

A COLD HARVEST

On early May mornings, Charly Poisson, the chef of La Fermette, loves prowling his fields through clusters of buttercups for young nettles to make his finest spring tonic ... until he comes across a most unappetizing discovery -- the thawed remains of a murdered man. Was the victim, soon identified as a philandering local, killed by an irate husband? Charly knows he should be slicing, not sleuthing, and leaving the mystery to the very able Klover Police Department. But helas, that's before he gets a taste of Fabulous Foods, a culinary supplier whose additive-heavy shrimp are so fresh, they bounce. Now to investigate this fishy outfit and serve up justice, Charlie will have to leave his cozy kitchen...and face the heat of a killer's ire.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446610283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446610285
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,158,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Charly Poisson is the chef and owner of LeFermette, an excellent French restaurant in upstate NY. His former partner Maurice is trying to get him to use premade entrees from a new company he has invested in, Fabulous Foods. The owners of that company are a pair of shady businessment Charly has met before. While walking his dog, he finds the body of a local conman. He finds that many of his good friends are suspects. Is the murder connected to the owners of Fabulous Foods? Charly wants to find out.
This was a pretty entertaining mystery. The characters were realistic and eccentric at the same time. Charly relies a little too much on Dr. Bach's Flowers, but other than that I really enjoyed the book.
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Unfortunately this seems to be the last in this fun series about restaurateur-chef-amateur sleuth Charly Poisson. In this third outing Charly's former partner is trying to get him to invest in a shady frozen foods venture and, of course, Charly finds a body --this time of local bad boy and con artist Harry Clark. As Charly tries to assist the police in their investigation (whether they want the help or not), Charly continues to impart words of wisdom and culinary techniques to his friends and employees. Recipes are included: white chocolate chip and walnut cookies, Mediterranean shrimp, and sea scallops with sauce Provencal, among others. Similar to Hercule Poirot, but not so Belgian or so talented at detection, Charly is nevertheless a gentle, kind man with a penchant for murder. Really fun book in a delightful series.
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I bought this book specifically to read what Cecile Lamalle, a food industry journalist, had to say about the frozen seafood industry, and about the food industry in general. I was not disappointed. But, oh YUCK! Move over Michael Moore!

Lamalle's characters and writing improved considerably since Appetite for Murder. Plot twists were enjoyable. I am sorry that this is the last in the series.

In Prepared for Murder, Lamalle shares the following 9 recipes: Nettle Soup (including how to harvest and handle Nettles without being stung); Chilled Potage Cressoniere (a chilled potato cream soup); White Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies; Broiled Shad with Sorel Sauce; Sea Scallops with Sauce Provencal; Mediterranean Shrimp (with garlic, tomatoes and parsley); Celeri (celeriac) Remoulade; Poulet Creole (chicken with onion, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, and parsley); and Bruno's Dog Biscuits (whole grains and kelp).

Though simple and easy to execute, one should obtain delicious results with Ms. Lamalle's recipes, provided one likes the key ingredients in the various recipes, like nicoise olives in the Sauce Provencal, Sorel in the Sorel Sauce, Celeriac Mayonaise, young Nettles, etc.
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This and the two other books in the short (unfortunately) set of mysteries are some of my favorites. The main character, Charley, is a French chef who owns a restaurant in upstate New York (great fun trying to decipher the actual names of towns, etc. that the author has disguised). He stumbles upon a body in each book, and always feels he needs to solve the murder, even though the local sheriff doesn't appreciate his help. Charley is such a funny, gentle character, and the food references and recipes (I've tried several, yum!) are so delish that the books are pure pleasure to read. True "cozy" mysteries.
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I love my book, thank you!!
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