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Death Du Jour Hardcover – 7 Mar 2006

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ETIENNE de la Porte slipped out the courtyard door to the arcade. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
exciting historical mystery 8 Mar. 2006
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It is not easy living in Paris in the summer of 1790. The Bastille has been torn down over a year ago, the king and queen were forced to move from Versailles to Paris and the revolutionaries are whipping up the general populace to a patriotic fury. Fanny Delarue lives as an assistant chef to Monsieur Monnard, a wealth bourgeois who works with merchants and nobles in designing and building their homes. The chef to the Monnard family is Henri, Fanny's lover. Her parents give her a spice box as a present and she loves it because of its usefulness and because it was presented with love.

Fanny is perturbed that she sees the same man nearby over a short period of time. She is disconcerted when he speaks to her, calling out to her by name as if he knows her. Violence comes to the housing complex where Fanny lives, when Chef Etienne who used to work at Versailles is murdered. Shortly thereafter, a mob tries to get into Fanny's home and the master of the house flees for England before the violence escalates. M. Desjadins, the English equivalent of a butler is murdered and Henri persuades Fanny to bury him without telling anyone. When Henri disappears, she is kidnapped and told his life is in her hands. She wonders if the contents of the spice box is linked to the violence and murders, and plans to find out.

France on the eve of the Revolution is vividly portrayed in this exciting historical mystery. The violence is just beginning and readers learn first hand how the citizenry cope in such a volatile political climate. Although not yet out of her teens the heroine is a mature woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. Lou Jane Temple has written a mystery that takes several unexpected twists that leaves reader shocked. This is a most enjoyable who-done-it and why.

Harriet Klausner
French Revolution - Paris 7 July 2009
By Lyn Reese - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fanny, an assistant chef in a rich household in the Palace Royale section of Paris, is caught up in the tumultuous early days of the Revolution. The one-year anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison is being celebrated, her mother has returned from her part in the march to Versailles, the National Assembly is eliminating as many special interests as it can, and the King and his much disliked Queen are awaiting their fate in Paris.

Fanny is conflicted about the changes and frightened by the increasing violence. She, along with others, feesl pressured to demonstrate her commitment to "Equality and Fraternity." Is she truly a revolutionist or a royalist? Her master has fled to Germany, the staff has been dismissed, and her lover, Henri, has mysteriously disappeared. The murders of a neighboring chef and the maitre d'hotel of her master's house, plus the startling discovery of jewels and money hidden in her spice box, increases her alarm. With her own life in danger, she must discover who wants the jewels, and how Henri and perhaps her family are involved.

The dialog and thoughts of the characters seem stilted and too modern for eighteenth century Parisians. An indication of women's political actions and organizations also would have been welcome. However, these slights are more than compensated by the appeal to older students of the character of Fanny and the rich period descriptions. This momentous time truly is brought to life, informing the reader of major Revolution events as well as the lifestyles of Parisian workers.

The author is a caterer, and food and wine critic; thus, there is close detail to the food of the time, how it is prepared, and how eaten. Authentic recipes of eighteenth-century Paris are also included.
Historical mystery set in Paris 20 Sept. 2007
By Dawn Dowdle - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Fanny Delarue is a young cook for a wealthy family in Paris in 1790. Her mother gives her a Spice Box. She treasures it.

There is a lot of political unrest at this time. Then a neighboring chef, Etienne de la Porte, is found dead under suspicious circumstances. She and her head chef, and lover, Henri, had been taking classes from Etienne. He was also Henri's mentor. Soon after Fanny and Henri's boss leaves the area and dismantles his house and lets all the servants go.

Henri and Fanny end up staying at the master's house because Henri has been injured in the unrest. Then Henri disappears. Fanny searches for him and finds herself in some dangerous situations.

Can Fanny find Henri and Etienne's killer? Are they the same person? Can she stay safe while investigating?

This is the second in the Spice Box series. I liked Fanny and Henri. Even though historical mysteries are often hard for me to get into, I don't find that with this series. The author writes in such a way that I almost forget it's a historical mystery. I just get into the mystery. I found this time period to be very interesting. Not something I knew a lot about. I recommend this book.
Interesting Perspective on the French Revolution 27 Sept. 2008
By L. Frankel - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book because I wanted to see how a cook would see the French Revolution. Fanny cares more about individuals than ideology, and that's as it should be. The book does show the impact that the revolution has on her life. I found the book unexpected because Fanny's position in society and her point of view caused me to think about issues that I'd never considered previously.

I wish that there were more Spice Box mysteries to illuminate other periods the way this book does with the French Revolution.
By ITZME - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Okay book - too much like the Spice Box to be unique. Takes place during the anniversary of the Taking of the Bastille in Paris. Intrigue in one of the homes (#23) Place Royale. There are alot of murders, a fun triangle between Fanny, Chef Henri, and Inspector Fournier, and some information on the French Revolution.
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