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The Gourmet Detective (Gourmet Detective #1)

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  279 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Meet the Gourmet Detective. A chef-turned-culinary sleuth, the Gourmet Detective tracks down obscure ingredients and unravels difficult recipes for rival restaurateurs -- until a guest unexpectedly drops dead at the prestigious Circle of Careme dinner. Drawing upon his epicurean and investigative skills, the Gourmet Detective hunts the killer among omelettes Bourguignonne ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 15th 1997 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1994)
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Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I'm sure this is a great book.
I got bored.
I honestly got bored of all the food.
All the wine.
All the pretentiousness.

It was like Fraiser Crane (yes, from Fraiser) decided to become a 'Food Detective'. Only remember, he's not a real detective!!! Even though he scoffed at the P.I.E club where 'non detectives were allowed to join' (and he was wasn't referring to himself!)

I would have liked it better if there were some recipes at the back (which I vaguely remember their being a promise of).

May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It was a good mystery, and even though the wine & gourmet food talk went over my head, it was interesting!!! So yes, now I'm in another series....
Kat Collins
In the first book in Peter King’s Gourmet Detective Series, we are introduced to the ‘Gourmet Detective,’ a chef-turned-sleuth renowned for tracking down hard-to-find ingredients for high caliber eateries and answering the most tricky of food questions. Want to locate a rare spice to use in your dish? Need to know what kind of wine to serve at an outdoor barbecue wedding? Looking for someone to debate the pros and cons of aluminum and cobalt in food? Then the ‘Gourmet Detective’ is your man.

A mystery to really sink your teeth into (3.5 stars)

(A copy of this novel was provided to me for review via Netgalley)

In the first book of this culinary mystery series we are introduced to the ‘Gourmet Detective,’ a man renowned for tracking down hard-to-find ingredients for high calibre eateries and answering the most tricky of food questions. This time though, he may have bitten off a bit more than he can chew after he inadvertently gets pulled into solving the murder of an investigative journ
Sep 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
A different kind of cozy mystery for sure. This first in the series of the Gourmet Detective finds this unnamed chef, turned food detective, who's goal is to find sources for difficult food ingredients and to determine recipes from various gourmet restaurants. When one of the privileged few attending the infamous Circle of Careme dinner dies twice, our detective goes on the hunt for the killer and the poison that can cause this strange manner of death.

This book almost seems like a spoof on "food
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
What a shame I know nothing about wine. But the foodie in me loved all the talk of discerning ingredients in each dish. And was partly jealous of all the fabulous places this detective was allowed to dine in and partake in all those dishes! Rubbing elbows with all those famous foodie people should have great fun, but would have turned me into a mute, I'm afraid. A very unlikely detective was this man. He reminded me somewhat of Poirot with some of his antics. I rather enjoyed this first cozy mys ...more
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Relish good foods, memorable characters, and a handful of mysteries? If so, then savor Peter King’s witty, entertaining, and mouth watering The Gourmet Detective, a different kind of sleuth whose palate can detect each component of a gourmet dish; discover alternatives to off beat, hard to find ingredients; and acquainted with the great chefs of London.

But King adds several tablespoons of mystery and intriguing cups of unusual characters, well seasoned with his wit, and a dash of puns, to creat
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: foodie mystery lovers
Recommended to joyce by: Bookseller @ Pegasus in Berkeley
Shelves: mystery
I admit, I picked this up on a whim. Being a foodie lover of mysteries, I figured WTH...
However, I was pleasantly surprised at how entertained I was. Lots of references to other detectives as the protagonist is a fan of PI stories, lots of mention of gourmet food stuff like fine wines, famous growing areas, but what I like most is that he cooks for himself and describes the buying, prep & cooking of his dinners for one (occasionally 2) and goes to lengths to tie music to the dinner he's prep
Jul 02, 2015 marked it as maybe
Just watched the movie on HMM. Need to find a copy of the book.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has good potential for a series. Some of the humor was laugh-out-loud and I enjoyed the shout outs to a number of my fav mystery writers. I recommend planning out a very nice meal (or at least some yummy hors d'oeuvres) to have on hand while you read, the food descriptions are mouth-watering.

I could have done without the almost constant wardrobe listing for each female our main character bumps into. That the female detective was wearing a burgundy linen suite was completely irrelevant to the
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I picked up this book after having watched some made-for-TV movies by the same name. The movies are clearly based on this series, but they've updated the characters and moved the whole thing from London -- where the books are set -- to San Francisco (I think).

I'm unsure whether I'll continue with the book series but I enjoyed this one well enough, even having a clue about some of the plot twists from having seen the movie. I wasn't keen on when he spent a few pages describing the dinner he was c
Dec 06, 2016 added it
The Gourmet Detective goes from place to place on behalf of restaurants to find uncommon ingredients. In this book he is asked by the police to use his knowledge of the restaurant business to help sniff out a killer.

The reason that I bought this book was because I had seen the movie and enjoyed it immensely. The characters were different in the book and I didn't like them as much as in the movie. In the movie, there was delious tension between our gourmet detective and the female detective. The
Jill Jackson
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Light reading.
Mar 18, 2017 marked it as abandoned
I'm sorry, I can't get past the way the narrator appraises every woman as either a bombshell, or (paraphrasing) "she would have been a zinger if only she lost ten pounds, learned how to put on makeup, and actually spent more than five minutes choosing her clothes." Book, meet wall.
"The Gourmet Detective" (name unknown) is a guy who traces elusive and exotic ingredients for gourmet eateries. He is also fond of fictional private investigators, Philo Vance and Nero Wolfe and the lot, and is a proud member of P.I.E, Private Investigators, Etc. So, when he's offered a job to solve mysterious happenings in an exclusive restaurant by its owner, he's more than happy to accept. What he doesn't bargain on is for a big name TV personality, on the verge of making an exposé that will ...more
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, hmm... I've read the whole series now. I'm not going to do individual book reviews, some of them are better than others, but they're all enjoyable, quick reads. Then again, throw gourmet food and wine into anything and I'm likely to add some points to it in my mind. Bizarrely, though, given that I gave all the books three stars, I don't know that I recommend them. Had they been written fifty years ago, I'd give them some more slack, but here are my issues with, well, all of them:

The gourme
Melayla Orn
Mar 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
I like this kind of mystery usually but I thought this could have used a thorough editing. There was pages of information that may have been interesting if I was reading a food article, but it had nothing to do with the story and there was just way too much of it. Mystery is what I thought would be the key part of this novel but no, the author had decided that gourmet is the main keyword so he overloaded the book with food and wine talk that did nothing to further the story.

He also seems to rea
Hanifa Q
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
1.75/3 because I can't stand them butchering my country's cuisine like this:
"The meat balls that Michael had referred to were, he told me, really called Rempah and are a sort of Indonesian hamburger "
Rempah = Spices, not meat balls
"Onions, garlic, more chillies, lemon grass, shrimp paste, lemon juice, sugar and—naturally—
coconut milk."
For Indonesian satay??? OMFG I can't with this blatant culture appropriation.

also the racism:
"I think the head waiter was a former war-lord. Place was full of East
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Gourmet detective by Peter King is the first book in the Gourmet detective Mystery series. It introduces us to the Gourmet Detective, who has the wonderful job of locating and sourcing exotic foods and spices and solving food related puzzles. He is not a real detective and is a little out of his league when he is hired to investigate a series of mishaps and sabotage at one of the top London restaurants.When a murder by poisoning occurs at the restaurant during an elite dinner, the food squad ...more
Otto Penzler
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gourmet Detective is the first book of Peter Kings delightful and delicious Gourmet Detective Mysteries. The Gourmet Detective is a chef-turned-culinary sleuth who repeatedly tells the reader “he is not a detective.” Known for tracking down hard to find ingredients and figuring out secret recipes, the Gourmet Detective is forced to unravel a murder mystery when a guest unexpectedly drops dead in his restaurant. The Gourmet Detective uses his culinary expertise to track down the killer, leavi ...more
May 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, abandoned
I put this down at about page 59, which is just shy of 25% of the number pages in the book. I try to stick to my choice of giving a book 50 pages to capture me and this one just didn't.

It's not that there was anything wrong with the characters or the writing; it's just that nothing interesting happened. It's a murder mystery. There was no murder (yet), no obvious murder-ee (yet), no reason for a murder to occur (yet), no nothing to hold my interest any further.

Life's too short to slog through bo
Dec 07, 2009 rated it liked it
This was a decent mystery story, with a lot of interesting facts about food thrown in. I liked how the Gourmet Detective really was an accidental private eye--he didn't beat the detectives the whole time, which I think is much more realistic. I did think there was maybe a little too much about the pairing of food/wine and music--they took whole pages sometimes! I don't know enough about either wine or classical music to really "get" those sections. The mystery itself was pretty good, and the det ...more
Dan Taylor
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
The first in a series of books featuring The Gourmet Detective, this one is a perfect read for the beach or poolside. Normally charged with finding exotic ingredients or helping plan authentic menus, The Gourmet Detective finds himself helping Scotland Yard's Food Division as they investigate the murder of a muckraking investigative journalist. Though I ID'd the fiendish villain early on the book is breezily written and peppered (no pun intended) with food trivia and history, descriptions of rec ...more
Jun 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
As a mystery book, it's good, but not the best I have ever read (nor is the series). FYI this is not the first one that I read by this author.

What I do like about Mr. King's stories is how he weaves interesting (and often obscure) facts about cooking, foods, drink(s), and plants into them.

I liked that first-look novel enough to try more. The later books leave some info out of the liner notes. For this one, it cleared up why there is such a good blending of "gourmet" (or "gourmand") material in w
Susan Bernhardt
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This mystery had an unusual concept of a detective, a gourmet detective who focused his investigations on food related quests, i.e. finding different sources of food for restaurants, determining the ingredients in recipes, etc.

The novel describes lots of lavish food paired with appropriate wines and of course, the correct music to go with the total culinary experience. I didn't think the mystery was as focused as the menus were, but still enjoyable enough.
Apr 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culinary-mystery
For a first outing, this was well done, no pun intended.
I found it refreshing not to have been able to figure out "who dunnit" before the reveal.
Set in London, this is another tasty series to sink my teeth into, and this time, I meant the puns. I've got three of four more of this series to read and look forward to reading them.
Aug 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
This was difficult to finish. I like the character. I think at times he was a bit busy. There were frequent tangents on matching food and music. I did like those but I found it hard to keep on with the story.

This is no sit on the edge of your seat kind of book. Its a quick read but nothing to remember.

Togar  Silaban
Mar 11, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Novel fiksi detektif yang mengambil setting seputaran kuliner. Berbagai resep macam makanan ditulis dan dijelaskan. Ada juga sedikit tentang masakan Indonesia, meski settingnya di London.

Ditengah acara "gala dinner", ternyata ada yang terbunuh. Bagaimana akhir cerita ?. Pembuktian si pembunuh lewat liku-liku makan dan pesta makan.
Jul 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to read this book after seeing its movie version on the Hallmark Channel. The book was too bogged down with foodie details, but I did enjoy the mystery. I did find it odd that the main character was never named in the book, whereas in the movie, it was mentioned almost immediately. Not sure if I'll continue this series....
Stormi (Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!)
I have watched the two Hallmark movies featuring the Gourmet Detective and I couldn't wait to try out the actual books, well...blah. For once I must say that I loved the movies and couldn't get into the book. It was so different, to different and so boring compared to the movies. So I gave up, so sad to as I love cozies. :(
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Peter King (b. 1922) is an English author of mystery fiction, a Cordon Bleu–trained chef, and a retired metallurgist. He has operated a tungsten mine, overseen the establishment of South America’s first steel processing plant, and prospected for minerals around the globe. His work carried him from continent to continent before he finally settled in Florida, where he led the design team for the roc ...more
More about Peter King...

Other Books in the Series

Gourmet Detective (8 books)
  • Spiced to Death (Gourmet Detective Mystery, Book 2)
  • Dying on the Vine (Gourmet Detective Mystery, Book 3)
  • Death al Dente (Gourmet Detective Mystery, Book 4)
  • A Healthy Place to Die (Gourmet Detective Mystery, Book 5)
  • Eat, Drink, and be Buried (Gourmet Detective Mystery, Book 6)
  • Roux the Day (Gourmet Detective Mystery, Book 7)
  • Dine and Die on the Danube Express (Gourmet Detective Mystery, Book 8)

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