Death Du Jour

Death Du Jour

Book - 2006
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Travel to Paris, 1790-where a well-executed meal may linger in the memory, but murder is forever. Fanny Delarue is a young cook for a wealthy family in the Place Royale. In her heart, she is keeping two fires burning-for food, and for her head chef, Henri. Together they feed the household, above stairs and below, and take lessons from Henri's mentor, Etienne de la Porte, chef to a neighboring household. At the same time, Fanny's trying to ignore the political heat that is building all around her. Chefs need to prove that food and cuisine can promote man's equality instead of reinforcing old class divisions, at the risk of losing their jobs...and perhaps their heads. Tempers flare and nerves are strained, until one day, Etienne is found dead under suspicious circumstances. Who would murder a cook? The Place Royale is in tumult, and Fanny must solve the crime before the flames converge on her hopes for her own future.
Publisher: New York : Berkley Prime Crime, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780425208069
Branch Call Number: TEM
Characteristics: 264 p.


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Oct 24, 2011

I personally found this a very disappointing read. With the exception of a few French words tossed into the text, I felt this novel could have been better executed as a Victorian or Regency novel set in the United Kingdom. The author attempted to have some interesting historical underpinning with the focus on social standing and civil unrest in post-revolutionary Paris but often it felt forced. There was an attempt at controversy as well with the revolutionary nature of Fanny’s mother, but any writing about Fanny was so naïve and mary-sueish that it was difficult to take anything seriously. I had to stop reading the novel about half way in – when Fanny begins acts ludicrously only to forward plot along. This was a serious let down.

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