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April 23, 2023

Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

In post-war France, American Tabitha lives in Paris with her grandfather and uncle. Her domestic skills, particularly cooking, are somewhat lacking. She is fortunate in that her neighbor is Julia Child. Unfortunately, when an acquaintance of Julia's sister is found dead in her apartment building, with Julia's favorite chef's knife as the murder weapon, Julia implores Tabitha to do a little sleuthing. 

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free audiobook was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical mystery audiobook Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge
April 2023; HighBridge Audio; 9781696610612
audio (9h 55m), ebook, print; historical mystery

I grew up watching Julia Child's cooking show on PBS and while I don't think I've ever made one of her recipes I loved watching her show. I LOVED seeing Julia Child in this story. I think Cambridge did a great job capturing Julia's personality. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator Polly Lee did a great impression of Julia - she sounded just as I remember from the television show.

Cambridge also did a great job of transporting the reader to post-war Paris. I loved the descriptions of the neighborhood and the local market. I could really see it in my head.

While I delighted in the scenes with Julia Child, I really liked the main character Tabitha as well. I think I missed why she left America to live in France with her grandfather and uncle, but I got the impression she has been there some time. But she is young and still figuring out how to run a household. 

The mystery is a good one. It wasn't too difficult to follow while listening to the book, but there are still plenty of twists and turns and there is quite a crime web that Tabitha has to untangle. 

The Inspector is not comic relief à la Inspector Clouseau. I recently read one of Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret mysteries and Cambridge's Inspector reminded me of Maigret (I think they would have been contemporaries). I really liked him.

Mastering the Art of French Murder (I love the play on words and nod to Julia Child's cookbook) is book 1 in Cambridge's new mystery series An American in Paris. I'm not sure where this series is going - will it continue to include Julia Child or will it pick other historically relevant events/people? (When I saw the series title I couldn't help but think of the 1951 movie An American in Paris starring Gene Kelly.)

Where of the series goes next, I'm really looking forward to it.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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