In The Long Quiche Goodbye, Charlotte and her cousin, Matthew have taken over the Fromagerie Bessette (as known as The Cheese Shop) from Pépère and Grandmère, who ran the shop for many years. It's now the grand reopening after some much needed updating and the addition of a wine shop. Before the festivities are over, a body is discovered right outside the front door. To make matters worse, Grandmère is found near the body with bloody hands and is soon arrested. No one, except the police, think that the old woman is capable of murder and now it's up to Charlotte to find the real culprit and prove her grandmother innocent.
This book was such a entertaining read, but it really made me hungry every time I picked it up. It not only featured a pretty good mystery, but it's also filled with facts about cheese, types of cheese, and all things cheese. Who doesn't love cheese? The storyline provided plenty of suspects, motives, red herrings and secrets making the mystery fun to follow.
I liked all of the characters, especially Pépère and Grandmère, both of whom I adored. I hope I have half their energy when I'm their age. I also loved Rebecca, the Amish girl. Her enthusiasm was contagious and her references to TV mystery shows were priceless. I just wish there was a little more about her Amish family and background in the book. I admit I had a little trouble keeping some of the neighbourhood shopkeepers and other minor characters straight. I couldn't remember who worked where or who was friends with whom. I think I had it sorted by the end, but it was a tad confusing.
I'm not a connoisseur of cheese, so I wasn't surprised that most of the cheeses mentioned in the book were unfamiliar to me. I love cheese, but I'm pretty boring when it comes to experimentation. I really haven't had the opportunity. I especially liked how the author not only described a cheese but also paired it with an accompaniment, such as fruit or wine. Very cool. I've kept track of a few of the more delicious sounding ones to try (if I can find the cheese).
I love it when food related cozies include recipes. This book includes ones for risotto, quiche, polenta and more. They all look delicious. I haven't made one yet, but I hope to soon.
This book also included a sneak peak at the next book in the series: Lost and Fondue. I can't wait to read it and resisted the urge to read the few included pages. I really want to be surprised when the book comes out next year.
New word Alert:
coterie (page 17): small exclusive group
gamine (page 73): boyish girl or appealingly boyish
garbological (page 116): relating to garbology, the study of trash.
Highly recommended. I'd gladly read another book by this author.
For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit Penguin's website.
For more information about the author, please visit Avery Aames's website.
Thanks to Dana Kaye from Kaye Publicity for this review copy.
The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames, The Berkley Publishing Group (Penguin), ©2010. ISBN 9780425235522(mass market), 314p.