Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Minced, Marinated, and Murdered by N Balen and V Barrott


This novel combines mouth watering descriptions of food, adventures in the interesting city of Lyon, and a murder mystery. Laure is a food writer on assignment in Lyon, France. A beloved chef is found murdered and then another in the same way. As she interviews chefs and samples their masterpieces, she also gathers information to ultimately find the murderer.

Lyon has been described as the gastronomic capital of France. That is why this venture through the food culture of that city is fun. Laure is writing an article on the bouchons in the region. They are restaurants in Lyon that serve traditional Lyonnaise cuisine. They were usually started by women but were now owned by men. Some use local produce while others offer unusual parts of animals. I mean, calf's head with ravigote sauce? Poaching chicken in a pig's bladder? Many of the restaurants mentioned in the book actually exist. Details on the foods served and cooking techniques come from the authors having interviewed the chefs.

Besides the many delicious, if unusual, foods is the mystery. It is sort of in the background until near the end of the book. I was surprised at the clues that led Laure to identify the murderer. Those clues were components of foods. That's unusual but perfect for this novel.

I recommend this book to food lovers and mystery lovers alike. You'll enjoy a journey through the very interesting restaurants and foods of Lyon. You'll learn about the origin of the bouchons as well as the labyrinth of privates passages in the city that date back to the Renaissance. Written in French, the translation is great. The novel is a mouth watering one.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Noel Balen, writer and musician, has over thirty mysteries to his name, including the Winemaker Detective series, a hit cozy mystery and TV series. Hi co-author and wife Vanessa Barrott is a corporate lawyer with a passion for gastronomy and family roots in the Parisian restaurant scene.
Translator Anne Trager founded Le French Book as an expression of her ongoing passion for France and crime fiction. She adapted this mystery into English with the help of award-winning editor Amy Richards.

Le French Books, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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