Friday, July 5, 2019

Julie's Review: The Chef's Secret

Author: Crystal King
Series: None
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 352
Obtained: Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tour (hfvbt)
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Bottom Line: Have snacks handy because this will leave you hungry
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab

Summary: When Bartolomeo Scappi dies in 1577, he leaves his vast estate—properties, money, and his position—to his nephew and apprentice Giovanni. He also gives Giovanni the keys to two strongboxes and strict instructions to burn their contents. Despite Scappi’s dire warning that the information concealed in those boxes could put Giovanni’s life and others at risk, Giovanni is compelled to learn his uncle’s secrets. He undertakes the arduous task of decoding Scappi’s journals and uncovers a history of deception, betrayal, and murder—all to protect an illicit love affair. As Giovanni pieces together the details of Scappi’s past, he must contend with two rivals who have joined forces—his brother Cesare and Scappi’s former protégé, Domenico Romoli, who will do anything to get his hands on the late chef’s recipes. With luscious prose that captures the full scale of the sumptuous feasts for which Scappi was known, The Chef’s Secret serves up power, intrigue, and passion, bringing Renaissance Italy to life in a delectable fashion.

Review: When you sit down to read this book beware that you will be hungry and you will want to go to Italy immediately. This is a story of lust, love, food and family and how they are all interwoven.

Giovanni is the heir apparent to the great cuoco Bartolemeo Scappi and therefore becomes the next cuoco for the Vatican upon the death of his dear Uncle. He is supposed to destroy the journals that his Uncle left behind but of course curiosity gets the best of him and he starts to read them. He's on a mission to figure out what the it all means but at what cost.

What he finds is that his uncle wasn’t who he said he was in many ways and leads him down a rabbit hole of lies and deceit but eventually truth. He has to decide whom to trust and whom to beware of in his quest to learn about his Uncle's past.

Ms. King does an excellent job of weaving together the history, historical figures and the fictional events. The characters are robust and 3 dimensional and are written in a way that fits within their time period.

I really enjoyed this gem of a novel with all of its history of the Popes, the food, the mystery and intrigue. I also loved reading about the magnificent feasts.

I definitely recommend this one!


Passages to the Past July 6, 2019 at 8:39 AM  

Thank you so much for this great review & for hosting The Chef's Secret blog tour!

HF Virtual Book Tours

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