"Delightful mystery that doesn't take itself too seriously"
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
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.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted May 10, 2002
For six generations, the Belvedere family dominated the
culinary landscape of New Orleans, a city that boasts what
is perhaps the most vibrant, exciting, and authentic
cuisine in America. But each generation relinquished
control of the family restaurant-best known for its world
famous Oysters Belvedere-only after succumbing to the
madness that has plagued the dynasty since its arrival from
the Canary Islands. Now, after the business' doors have
remained closed for years, the next scion of the Belvedere
clan has determined to seize his birthright . . . if only
he can find the annotated family cookbook, which has
Only one man can help.
That man is the Gourmet Detective.
Returning for his seventh foray into the bizarre nether-
regions where haute cuisine meets high crimes and
misdemeanors, Peter King's beloved sleuth reluctantly
agrees to track down the book. But this decidedly out-of-
print classic isn't going to turn up on any remainder
shelf! And when he finds its supposed new owner-a used book
dealer-stewing in a puddle of his own blood, the Gourmet
Detective know that, once again, he's in for more than he
Soon, he's "kidnapped" by the WITCHES, a mysterious cadre
of New Orleans' most ambitious and talented female chefs-
and they want the book too. In fact, it seems like everyone
does. And getting it will have the sleuth staring down con-
artists and book forgers on an old-fashioned paddle boat,
careening through the colorful streets of the French
Quarter in a mule-drawn carriage, and hunting down leads in
the vibrant fishing shanties of Algiers.
All of this, while exploring the very contentious
differences between the proponents of Creole and Cajun
cuisine, and sampling some of the most spicy and succulent
treats he's yet encountered: from blackened redfish, fresh
from the Gulf and coated in garlic, paprika, cayenne and an
assortment of spices, then seared in an extraordinarily hot
cast-iron pan . . . to turtle soup, dark, rich, seasoned
with onion, oregano, and thyme . . . . to Pheasant
Casserole . . . . to Gumbo, catfish, crawfish . . . and
that's just a taste!