Fiction Review: Le French Book – “Deadly Tasting”

Winemaker Detective Series #4

Most works I have read that deal with World War Two have focused on spies, internment camps, military movements – more political or history texts overall. Deadly Tasting touches on that time period in a fresh way, a look at the reality of the “back-home” aspect we don’t, as a rule, often hear about. We get a taste of the occupation, and the divisions of ideology in the small highways and byways. I thought the way the writers came at the whole subject was intriguing. A brief sketch of the history, underpinning the whole story, but neither dwelling on the past, nor running from it. The reader hears the down-to-earth, pragmatic voice of the people of the region more concisely than in all the previous works, and I really enjoyed the story all the more for it.

Deadly Tasting is like Nightmare in Burgundy in that it is a darker tale, but it is, as ever, tastefully done, keeping focus on the overarching intrigue, rather than the gore of the crime scene and death.

The reader gets to see Cooker acting more like a “typical” detective as he pursues the mystery, looking for clues, questioning those of interest. It is fun to see him in this role, in addition to his typical way of intellectually puzzling out the solution.

An interesting part of Deadly Tasting is how the authors perfectly capture the anxiety and often futile experiences of a diet. It permeates into every part of their tale. It was an interesting framing technique – but often made me wonder the point of it in the story. It all comes back to priorities in writing, from a different background than my own.

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