A truly terrible crime has been committed. One so horrendous that not even the greatest crime fighters can put it right. Chef Maurice has been removed from the Beakley Spring Fair Bake-Off judging panel! And worse, he has been replaced by TV chef Miranda Matthews, someone who Maurice does not exactly hold in the highest esteem, to put it mildly. But at least he has a little self-control – unlike the mysterious person who bludgeons Miranda to death in the nearby creek.
Miranda, it seems, had many enemies, amongst both the locals and the visitors to the Fair, but who hated her enough to kill her? If someone is killing chefs (even one such as Miranda) then Chef Maurice is determined to track them down whether the police want his help or not. But he’s already got his hands full trying to hold on to his sous-chef and a micro-pig who’s started to see giant rabbits…
Are you one of those people who runs a mile when they see a mystery described as cosy? Or cozy, depending on where your dictionary comes from? You’d probably think twice before trying the Chef Maurice series – a crime-solving chef? Just sounds like one of those books that block up the shelves in US book shops. Well, if that’s your reaction, I suggest you think again.
First off, some of those US cozies are actually rather good – I must get back to looking at some of them again. But more importantly, this isn’t that sort of book. The best way to describe the Chef Maurice is as a funny classic whodunit.
Because J A Lang knows how to plot a mystery. Proper clues (which are well hidden – so far, she’s fooled me three times out of three), red herrings, plot twists… everything that you’d expect from a Christie-esque mystery (with the exception of the “least-likely suspect” problem). But in addition, it’s genuinely funny. Laugh out loud funny in places. Especially the bit with Hamilton the micro-pig.
I’m reluctant to give any more plot points away as I’d hate to spoil the fun. Just take my word for it – it’s a cracker.
This is going to sound odd, but I was rather pleased that I read this when I did. I’ve been suffering a bit of back pain – just annoying and slow to shift, but it’s not been putting me in the best of moods. This was the perfect read to take my mind off it. I really cannot recommend these books highly enough – a hugely enjoyable read with a strong, clever, clued mystery at its heart. Highly Recommended.
Other titles in the series: