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Appetite for Murder (Culinary Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – 31 Dec 1998

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (31 Dec. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446607622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446607629
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,632,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

While on an odyssey to find his favorite oyster mushrooms, Charly Poisson--the chef/owner of La Fermett in upstate New York--discovers an unsavory corpse, and his sleepy town becomes a hotbed of arson, murder, danger, and intrigue.

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First Sentence
Charly Poisson, chef and co-owner of La Fermette, grinned as he stood behind the swinging doors between his kitchen and his dinning room and peered out at his Sunday afternoon crowd. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a mystery sub-genre almost overrun with titles, Lamalle's first entry in the culinary mystery category is a real standout at every level: characterization, plotting, language, humor and the author's pitch-perfect ear and feel for the denizens of her upstate New York, small-town locale. Something is rotten in Van Buren County and it begins to noticeably fester when the battered corpse of an unknown female turns up in the mushroom patch of Charles Poisson, owner and gourmet master of "La Fermette," the gustatory jewel of Klover, NY ("a mere thiry miles from Albany.") Poisson, whose personality and diction have a hint of the late Hercule Poirot, is an inspired creation, as are his regular dining patrons, most of whom become suspects in the primary murder as quickly as they are introduced. Lamalle manages to keep the suspense spinning for all of her almost 300 pages, while simultaneously charming the reader with characters who might well fit into a game of "Clue"--if "Clue" were played in the village of Peyton Place. An extra bonus in this sparkling entertainment is the collection of Charlie's mouth-watering recipes, sprinkled as a garnish through its suspensful, funny and murderous pages. A first-class, genre-transcending entertainment that should appeal to both mystery fans and anyone fond of an amusing, literate novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 July 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed every morsel of this charming, entertaining, and literate book -- from the colorful, and very French, chef protagonist to the dead-on local characters to the witty remarks sprinkled throughout.This writer has the knack; I can't wait for more from her.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A standout, scintillating and appetizing culinary mystery 16 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a mystery sub-genre almost overrun with titles, Lamalle's first entry in the culinary mystery category is a real standout at every level: characterization, plotting, language, humor and the author's pitch-perfect ear and feel for the denizens of her upstate New York, small-town locale. Something is rotten in Van Buren County and it begins to noticeably fester when the battered corpse of an unknown female turns up in the mushroom patch of Charles Poisson, owner and gourmet master of "La Fermette," the gustatory jewel of Klover, NY ("a mere thiry miles from Albany.") Poisson, whose personality and diction have a hint of the late Hercule Poirot, is an inspired creation, as are his regular dining patrons, most of whom become suspects in the primary murder as quickly as they are introduced. Lamalle manages to keep the suspense spinning for all of her almost 300 pages, while simultaneously charming the reader with characters who might well fit into a game of "Clue"--if "Clue" were played in the village of Peyton Place. An extra bonus in this sparkling entertainment is the collection of Charlie's mouth-watering recipes, sprinkled as a garnish through its suspensful, funny and murderous pages. A first-class, genre-transcending entertainment that should appeal to both mystery fans and anyone fond of an amusing, literate novel.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Highly amusing and well-written and crafted mystery 22 Oct. 1999
By Stacey Short - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was a wonderful surprise: a well-crafted, amusing and gracefully written culinary mystery. Out of the many many culinary mysteries on the shelf these days, this stands out as the best I've read yet. The recipes and food descriptions are integral to the story, and are integrated well with the text--not stuck onto the back as a last second "gimmick". The mystery was interesting and engaging, and the characters sympathetic and amusing. Can't wait for the next in this series to come out!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
first in a fun culinary mystery series with a chef-sleuth 20 April 2010
By audrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Charly Poisson is a brilliant French chef in upstate New York. Business is booming, unless you count his inebriated and embarrassing partner, and Charly is a charming character. As the book begins, the residents of the area are concerned about a number of barn burnings, but things heat up quickly when Charly, looking for mushrooms, finds the corpse of a woman from the city. No one knows who she is or why she was in the county, but as murders and disappearances stack up, the local police are overwhelmed, so naturally Charly must step in to do some sleuthing of his own. All the while we are treated to Charly's ideas about food and dining and people. There are many characters, but the adroit writing keeps this tale from becoming confused.

Very well done and enjoyable. I will read others in the series. I have not yet made any of the recipes in the book, but intend to do so; they include: ragout of artichoke hearts, scotch broth, salmon rillettes, moules mariniere and shrimps charly.
I can't help falling in love with Charly! 9 Feb. 2008
By Marilyn Le - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The main protagonist in this novel was simply amazing, lovable, charming, I couldn't help but smile everytime I read about him. He's a very good hearted person, genuinely kind and tries his best to help his friends (and strangers even). The main antagonist is also very...charming. He's a mysterious, beautiful, and rich gentleman with a dark secret. He sort of reminds me of a vampire...so beautiful on the outside, yet so evil on the inside. The reason why this book didn't get 5 stars was because there are better books out there...tbis book was great, but it wasn't outstanding. It didn't leave me with that accomplished feeling I usually get after an amazing novel. But it is good, and worth a read.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not everyone's cup of tea, but the few recipes might be yummy 2 May 2011
By Sustainable Global Foodie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With the great reviews for this book and this series, I had high hopes. But, I was somewhat disappointed. Charly, and the active characters are all in a muddle. The characters were largely unappealing, and without charm. Not particularly people I want to know about or be around. At other review sites, the Lamalle series tends to get about 3 or 3.5 stars. The number of stars seems high on the Amazon site. The series was also written in the 1990s. So, while I cannot say that the characters or story are exactly dated, be forewarned that the story reaches into the past quite a bit with the age of characters--back to the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

The recipes seem quite decent, though. Alas, they are quite few in number compared to other culinary murder mysteries. For instance, Joann Fluke's normally have around 20-25 recipes and her Sugar Cookie Murder has around 82 recipes. Appetite for Murder has around 8. BUT, I actually might use the Lamalle recipes, which are all savory and sound reasonably healthy and tasty.

In contrast, I would be unlikely to use most of the Joann Fluke recipes, except for Rose's Restaurant Roast Turkey from Sugar Cookie Murder, which tells one how to low temp roast a turkey without basting, and end up with moist tender meat. Joann Fluke's recipes tend to be for sugar coma sweets (lots of butter, sugar and corn syrup), or use a lot of processed food, coffee, ground meat, mayo, dairy fats, prepared sauces, etc.

I am considering buying at least the 3rd in the Lamalle series, because of a review that mentioned that the book discusses filthy seafood industry practices, especially in the frozen seafood industry. The author is a retired food trade magazine writer, so is probably quite knowledgeable. Her background in the food industry also explains her solid recipes, which were a refreshing surprise. I might even break down and get the 2nd in the series too, just for the recipes. The recipes in the first book could well become family favorites. If the recipes in the 2nd and 3rd books are as good as those in this first book, and as simple, they would be worth collecting. The first book's recipes are Chicken Hash Charly, Charly's Mushroom Soup, Ragout of Artichoke Hearts, Scotch Broth, Salmon Rillettes, Moules Mariniere, Shrimps Charly, and possibly one other recipe.

In fairness to the book and this series, I think that they are probably much more appealing to New Yorkers, or even those from the Northeastern US. Having read other books about Upstate and suburban New York, there is a similarity in the characters, so perhaps the author was merely sketching "typical" countryside New Yorkers. I did not care for the crude gratuitous profanity, which felt forced to me. If one is going to curse, I much prefer the profanity style used by JD Robb, which is urban, urbane, funny and in character.
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