St. Martin's, Jun 2002, 23.95, 288 pp.
Homicide is the furthest thing from the Gourmet Detective's mind when he is invited to New Orleans to authenticate a cook book that is going up for auction. When he arrives at the place where the book is supposed to be, he discovers that a bookseller bought it before auction even started.
He traces the bookseller back to his store only to find the man shot dead and the book is missing. He is asked to continue looking for the book by his original client and a group of female chefs who promise to pay him as well as feed him. That is an offer he can't resist but in between five meals he finds another corpse, this one a man who tried to sell him a counterfeit edition of the book. The Gourmet Detective doesn't know why there is so much interest in a cookbook but he intends to find out because his reputation is on the line.
ROUX THE DAY is a delightful mystery that doesn't take itself too seriously. The Gourmet Detective is a likable hero whose fascination with food is a sensual experience, one that the readers can experience by reading the mouth-watering descriptions of his meals. Peter Kings latest installment in his long-running series is a treat that readers will devour.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner