Here's a mystery guaranteed to make you hungry--for the salmon-filled pasta squares that Chef Laurence Levain sells for $20 a pop at his Washington, D.C. restaurant, for the salad of curly chicory and thick chunks of country bacon that first brings Levain and American food critic Chas (for Charlotte Sue) Wheatley together in Paris, for the warm polenta salad and pan-fried three-meat dumplings served at the CityTastes benefit the night that Levain is found dead of an apparent heart attack and Chas--his lover--has to write his obituary. Washington Post restaurant critic Phyllis Richman certainly knows her food, and her skill at keeping a lively mystery plot simmering is almost as impressive.
Richman, a Washington Post restaurant critic, makes her bid for fans of the cooking and/or catering mystery subgenre. The narrator and protagonist here, Charlotte Sue "Chas" Wheatley, serves as restaurant critic for a D.C. newspaper. Suspicious about the sudden death of her former lover, an eminent French chef, she cries murder and begins sleuthing. Richman certainly knows the food territory?a nongourmand may need a dictionary?but the mystery set-up seems a bit frantic, complete with close calls, secret lover, and multiple culinary descriptions. For larger collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Death of a great chef. Cause heart attack. But Chas Wheatly feels it is more than that. We get to read about great foods and life of a food critic. Keeps you guessing. Read morePublished on Sept. 16 1999
What a great first novel from Phyllis Richman! It pulled me in on page one and held my attention through the last page, and I honestly hated to see it end. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 1999 by Donna