Many readers will recognize that the title of this historical mystery refers to Julia Child and her classic cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And indeed, most happily, Julia, her husband (Paul), and sister (nicknamed Dort) are all found in these pages. There is also a fictional character, Tabitha, who is nowhere near the cook that Julia is but who is a good friend to her.
The story takes place in the late 1940s in Paris so I was immediately inclined to like this book. The opening has Julia trying to figure out what is wrong with her mayonnaise. Soon, she will have much bigger problems. After a party at her apartment, a body is found in the basement area of Julia’s flat. The victim was a guest and the knife used to kill her came from Julia’s kitchen. Therese also was employed at the theater where Dort works.
Tabitha, the book’s amateur sleuth, has a father who was in the police. This makes her wanting to solve the case feel credible. She has come to Paris to spend time with her grandfather and his partner who becomes like an uncle to her. They add color and relationships to the story.
This book was entertaining and fun. I liked the setting, the characters, the food and the story. Kudos to the author. She has also written a series featuring Agatha Christie’s housekeeper showing how versatile she is. I have enjoyed her contributions to the historical mystery and recommend this title. I hope that this is the start of a series.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for this title. All opinions are my own.