“A new genre has landed - Gastro Crime... we are treated to a delightful menu of French customs and etiquette.”

"As I recently stayed in rustic, rural France this little novella was right up my Rue!!
And, for me, a new genre has landed - Gastro Crime. The homage to food and drink throughout this story almost outdoes John Lanchester without the madness of The Debt to Pleasure. But this surely was a pleasure to read. And for anyone who might be daunted by a five hundred page-plus crime thriller then I think this is an ideal solution. I believe this is just one story in a whole series. And I don’t know if my mouth is watering from the thought of more of these stories or the descriptions of food...

... we are treated to a delightful menu of French customs and etiquette. I had absolutely no idea that the much parodied and emulated cheek peck kisses follow strict regional protocol as to how many kisses should be offered to each cheek!! And apart from how to drink the stuff I knew nothing about the production of brandies.

And to the crime story itself. It is compact and accessible. Paradoxical almost as it is understated, undemanding and yet there are the intricacies and complexities of a crime plot. I found a predictability as the story unfolded but it is the unravelling of the details of the crime that allows the book to get away with that. I’d need to read some more in the series to refine my opinion but I think these would make a great TV series.

I have a very clear picture of Benjamin Cooker, his competence and professionalism. Indeed all characters have their clear parts to play. No one was gratuitous. Some were a little one dimensional. But our main protagonists were believable.

There was something almost delightfully old fashioned as the mature, experienced Benjamin allowed his younger sidekick to learn and develop alongside him, something Holmes and Watsony? Maybe that’s a step too far. It wasn’t quite Batman and Robin but you get the idea?
And I loved the name of the dog!! So apt. I’m not going to tell you what it is. I don’t do spoilers.--Santé” — Bestsellingcrimethrillers.com

Flambé in Armagnac