27 July 2011

Just finished reading...

Crime Fraîche by Alexander Campion.*

Reviewed by Marlyn Beebe.

Parisian Commissaire Capucine le Tellier and her husband, food critic Alexandre de Huguelet have been invited to her uncle's estate in Normandy for a shooting holiday. They arrive to find that there's been a fatal hunting accident. Nobody thinks this is terribly unusual; such accidents do happen when many people with guns are in the same place.

But when there's another accident, and another, Capucine begins to get suspicious. The local gendarmerie are either incompetent or unwilling to investigate for some other reason, so Capucine takes it upon herself to do so. Her visit to the country gets longer and longer, while the work on her desk is piles up. Fortunately, the clever and competent Commissaire has three bright and resourceful assistants to support her.

Alexander Campion creates an inventive mystery with an absorbing plot. His characters are believable and mostly appealing. But the outstanding facet of this novel is his depiction of la vie française, that of urban Paris as well as the not-so-bucolic life of rural Normandy. The author has done his research, as is apparent when he describes foraging for mushrooms, the operation of the abattoir, and the byzantine structure of the French law enforcement system.

This book will be enjoyed by francophiles, foodies, travel buffs and even oenophiles along with the requisite mystery buffs.

*FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. Sounds like an interesting read in a fun setting.

    Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


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