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A different kind of cozy mystery for sure. This first in the series of the Gourmet Detective finds this unnamed chef, turned food detective, who's goal is to find sources for difficult food ingredients and to determine recipes from various gourmet restaurants. When one of the privileged few attending the infamous Circle of Careme dinner dies twice, our detective goes on the hunt for the killer and the poison that can cause this strange manner of death.
This book almost seems like a spoof on "foodies" and fictional detectives. Many exquisite and different meals are described throughout the book. And most every detective that I've ever read about or seen on TV prior to the publication of this book, is referred to by the Gourmet Detective. Rivalry between chefs, food writers, and TV cooking personalities is portrayed throughout the book. The mystery almost seems to be the venue for these "foodie" things rather than being the main point of the book.
I actually enjoyed most of the food descriptions, detective references and the mystery, but the story might have been more interesting if the mystery had been a bit more focused. I listened to this on Audible and believe that the somewhat stuffy, condescending tone of the reader, actually made the book much more enjoyable. I would give another book in this series a try, but definitely only with Audible.
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Peter King has written a Cozy Mystery that thrusts the reader into the midst of the London Food Scene. He cleverly inserts his fascinating knowledge of food trivia, sleuths and gourmet cuisine into a delightful novel. Told in the first person by the self-important "Gourmet Detective" who has an eye for the ladies, David Baker's voices are fabulous. Fans of the Hallmark Channel tv version of the story will find it entertaining to see how this story was transformed from London in the pay phone days, to Modern Day San Francisco's infamous food scene. I can't wait to listen to the next in the series!
Would you try another book written by Peter King or narrated by David Baker?
Probably no more books by Peter King but David Baker is fine as an American narrator.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
Didn't get that far. I returned it after a few hours.
Did The Gourmet Detective inspire you to do anything?
Write this review and return the audio book.
Any additional comments?
The detective's attitude towards women (all girls to him) really grated with me after a couple of hours. Women were either attractive girls on his mental 'list' or might be attractive if they had a haircut and applied a bit of makeup! I felt this attitude was unnecessary and spoilt what would have been a good listen.