Mastering the art of French murder An American in Paris mystery

Colleen Cambridge

Book - 2023

"From fine Bordeaux and freshly baked baguettes to the friendly chatter of the green market, postwar Paris is indulging its appetite for food, and life, once more, as Tabitha Knight, a young American women, makes friends with chef-in-training Julia Child--and finds herself immersed in a murder most unsavory.... As Paris rediscovers its joie de vivre, Tabitha Knight, recently arrived from Detroit for an extended stay with her French grandfather, is on her own journey of discovery. Paris isn&...#039;t just the City of Light; it's the city of history, romance, stunning architecture . . . and food. Thanks to her neighbor and friend Julia Child, another ex-pat who's fallen head over heels for Paris, Tabitha is learning how to cook for her Grandpèère and Oncle Rafe. Between tutoring Americans in French, visiting the market, and eagerly sampling the results of Julia's studies at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, Tabitha's sojourn is proving thoroughly delightful. That is, until the cold December day they return to Julia's building and learn that a body has been found in the cellar. Tabitha recognizes the victim as a woman she'd met only the night before, at a party given by Julia's sister, Dort. The murder weapon found nearby is recognizable too--a knife from Julia's kitchen. Tabitha is eager to help the investigation, but is shocked when Inspector Merveille reveals that a note, in Tabitha's handwriting, was found in the dead woman's pocket. Is this murder a case of international intrigue, or something far more personal? From the shadows of the Tour Eiffel at midnight, to the tiny third-floor Child kitchen, to the grungy streets of Montmartre, Tabitha navigates through the city hoping to find the real killer before she or one of her friends ends up in prison . . . or worse."--Dust jacket flap.

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MYSTERY/Cambridg Colleen
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1st Floor New Shelf MYSTERY/Cambridg Colleen (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 17, 2023
Cambridge, Colleen. American in Paris mystery ; 1.
Detective and mystery fiction
Historical fiction
Cozy mysteries
New York, NY : Kensington Publishing Corp 2023.
First Kensington hardcover edition
Physical Description
262 pages ; 24 cm
Main Author
Colleen Cambridge (author)
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

This enchanting series launch from Cambridge (A Trace of Poison) pairs a fictional amateur sleuth with Julia Child for a murder investigation in postwar Paris. The night after Child's sister, Dort, hosts a party at Child's apartment, a guest is found dead in the basement--and the murder weapon is one of Child's knives. Tabitha Knight, a hopeless cook and fellow American expat who's befriended Child in hopes some of her culinary skills might rub off on her, takes interest in the crime. Tabitha's investigation leads her to a local English-language theater where Dort worked with the victim, and where most of the suspects are rehearsing an Agatha Christie play. While Tabitha serves as a competent narrator for this spry, sturdy whodunit, Cambridge captures Child's distinct voice and energy so perfectly--especially as she prepares meals like Madame Poulet and Monsieur Jambon--that readers will wish the chef played a larger role. Still, expect to leave this vacation hoping for a return trip. Agent: Maura Kye-Casella, Don Congdon Assoc. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Thanks to Tabitha Knight's grand-père and uncle, she has a free place to stay in the best city in the world, Paris. Even better, her best friend, Julia Child, lives across the street. Thank heavens, because Julia is teaching her how to cook the most basic of dishes, much to the relief of her messieurs. After a beautiful morning spent gossiping and shopping at the market, Julia and Tabitha walk into Julia's apartment building and hear Mathilde, one of the other tenants, scream. Quick to investigate, Tabitha is determined to discover who has killed Therese Lognon, before Inspector Etienne Merveille, pins the murder on her best friend. It doesn't help that the weapon was one of Julia's prized knives or that Tabitha rode in the elevator to the lobby with Therese at 2 a.m. Even worse, the party was in Julia's apartment, so one of the attendees must be the murderer. Much to the inspector's consternation, Tabitha gathers clues until another murder occurs. VERDICT Agatha Christie meets cozy mystery in this fun tale from Cambridge ("Phyllida Bright" mysteries). Historical fiction readers and fans of cozy suspense will want to add this mystery to their to-be-read pile.--Jane Blue

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Murder complicates the lives of future cookbook writer Julia Child's friends in 1949 Paris. Julia has a mayonnaise problem. Although her cuisine runs rings around that of her half-French friend Tabitha Knight, who's left her work at an American bomber plant to give French lessons to relocated fellow citizens, her mayonnaise remains stubbornly on-again, off-again. She and Tabitha are distracted from this existential dilemma by the discovery of a corpse stabbed to death in their building's cellar. To her considerable discomfort, Tabitha recognizes the body as that of Thérèse Lognon, an attendee at a party given the night before by Julia's younger sister, Dorothy, for her colleagues in the American Club Theater, whose current production of And Then There Were None at the Théâtre Monceau featured Thérèse checking garments in the cloakroom. The leading suspects all have more prominent roles in the production: Thad Whiting as sound and lighting designer, Johnny Cantrell as stage manager and set designer, and Neil Kingsley as ill-fated character Philip Lombard. Tabitha's informal but highly irregular investigations, which motivate a near-fatal collision between her bicycle and a car that speeds away, bring her up so often against Inspecteur Étienne Merveille that it's a wonder she's still walking around free when the killer claims a second victim. Though she's no great shakes as a detective, Tabitha is miles ahead of Merveille in tying the two deaths to a timely but unconvincing Russian spy ring. Throughout it all, Child remains as serenely marginal and undeveloped a character as Agatha Christie was in Cambridge's A Trace of Poison (2022), though she does eventually solve that mayonnaise problem. A subdued period piece that never lives up to its promising title. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.