A Deadly Eclair: A French Bistro Mystery by Daryl Wood Gerber (Crooked Lane, $26.99, 337 pages)
Though restaurants were typically dark on Mondays, because Napa was a tourist destination and tourists often stayed in the area through Monday, we decided that Tuesday would be a good day to close.
The California Napa Valley is known for its rolling hills of grape vineyards and wide variety of large and small wine producers. What better place for the daughter of small winery owners to establish a small restaurant? Mimi Rousseau’s Bistro Rousseau features the culinary magic of her French heritage. Mimi has surrounded herself with a loyal crew in the kitchen and out front in the dining room. This team is committed to the success of the restaurant!
A disastrous marriage was the impetus for Mimi to return to her roots in Napa. She finds herself faced with an equally disastrous occurrence when her benefactor, Bryan Baker, is murdered on the eve of a celebrity wedding, the first to be hosted at the bistro. While the underlying search for the killer makes this novel a mystery, the gastronomic delights described therein will no doubt whet the appetites of author Daryl Wood Gerber’s readers.
Ms. Gerber challenges readers with a cast of characters whose names pop up at an alarming rate with the first part of the book. Some of them have first names that can easily be last names which adds to the confusion. That aside, her detailed descriptions of the towns within the Napa Valley prove her knowledge of the area. The generous array of recipes for the mouthwatering food served at Bistro Rousseau included at the back make the book a trifecta of mystery, travel and dining.
He was standing at the dessert station, handing two plates of chocolate souffle – decorated with white chocolate shavings and sprigs of mint, all set within a chain of white and dark chocolate hearts – to Oakley.
A Deadly Eclair is the first of Ms. Gerber’s French Bistro Mystery series. Her prior series, also featuring food, are the Cookbook Nook Mysteries (five books) and the Cheese Shop Mysteries (seven books). The Cookbook Nook series was written by Ms. Gerber as Avery Aames.
Well recommended for a wide range of readers from young adult and up. Be aware, however, that you may gain five or more pounds simply by reading this food-dominated story!
A review copy was provided by a publicist. This book was published on November 7, 2017.