SERIES: A French Bistro Mystery #2
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane Books
RELEASE DATE: July 10, 2018
The buoyant mood at Bistro Rousseau deflates when Chef Camille’s sister, Renee, turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen, and Mimi Rousseau must tease the real killer out of a mélange of menacing characters.
Crush Week in Nouvelle Vie is a madhouse—in a good way. Tourists pour into town for the pressing of the Napa Valley’s world-renowned grapes and all the town’s businesses get a nice lift, including Bistro and Maison Rousseau. Mimi is raising the ante this year with a Sweet Treats Festival, a wonderland of croissants, cakes, tarts, and soufflés crafted with expert care by the area’s top talents.
Chef Camille’s sister Renee is managing the festival with a cast-iron fist, upsetting everyone, including her sister. Which is bad for Camille when Renee turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen. Mimi is still building her business, so her first course of action is to whip up answers and catch the unsavory perpetrator before Camille takes a dusting and gets burned.
Other Books In This Series
I’m really enjoying this series set in California’s Napa Valley. I know nothing about wine or French food, but that doesn’t keep me from loving the characters and the setting.
Mimi is a delightful protagonist – she’s smart, engaging, creative, warm, and enterprising. Not to mention, she’s got an inner Nancy Drew that surfaces with each new murder that crosses her path. She also has a great support network of friends, family and employees (who double as friends) – and you’ll be just as invested in them as you are in Mimi.
There’s a lot going on in A Souffle of Suspicion – just enough that you feel the tension of everything Mimi has to juggle but not so much that it’s overwhelming or distracting. And, after all, between the restaurant, the inn, and the festival, there are plenty of opportunities for Mimi to interact with lots of different people and, in turn, get all the gossip and clues she needs to solve the murder! And the desserts at the festival? YUM. I wanted all of them. Not a fan of French cuisine, though, so I appreciated that most of the recipes are included in the back of the book rather than having to stop the story for a cooking lesson 😉
Things are heating up on the romantic front, as well. Both main couples – Tyson & Jo and Mimi & Nash – see some major progress in their respective relationships. Again, though, this is sort-of tucked discreetly into the fabric of the story and isn’t too distracting for people who would rather have more mystery than smooches.
Bottom Line: Delicious food, engaging characters, and a well-constructed plot join with the gorgeous setting to make this book a delightful read from start to finish. Readers will enjoy tagging along with Mimi as she runs the restaurant (including stepping in for her chef for the majority of the book), navigates a busy festival on her inn’s property, and solves the latest murder in her quaint town. A great pick for foodies, wine connoisseurs and wanna-be sleuths alike!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!
Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!
This giveaway is hosted by Great Escapes, not RimSP
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What about you? What’s your favorite type of cuisine?