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The Grave Gourmet (Capucine Culinary Mysteries #1)

2.79  ·  Rating details ·  793 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
Campion's debut introduces a beguiling heroine, 28-year-old Lt. Capucine Le Tellier of the Paris judicial police. Bored with her deskbound job pursuing white-collar crime, Capucine jumps at the chance to get involved in a possible murder investigation.
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Kensington
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Chris
May 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Thankfully I didn't pay for this.

To Male Mystery Writers in General,

Re: Female Characters and Bras


While some women may chose to go bra-less (and in many cases, this is a choice of lifestyle), those who are well endowed usually need one for comfort reasons. Seriously. Secondly, any woman who uses her bra-less state to get a job promotion is not going to be taken seriously by a large variety of readers. Many readers are going to see as an attack on women (because she doesn't get promoted by skill)
...more
Jessica
Oct 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: cozy, mystery
I liked the idea, but the execution? Ugh!

The first, most important thing Campion has to say about Capucine is that she's gorgeous and knows it. She first appears in chapter one in "straightening, drawing in her tummy, rounding out her buttocks, lifting her breasts against her designer silk blouse." By the second chapter, she is asking her superior for a job transfer, still wearing designer clothes, but having decided that "omitting a bra was essential to the tough guy look." For some reason, Cam
...more
Amy
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not sure why I keep trying with mysteries. They're really not my thing, at best palate cleansers between other books. I do however love anything set in a great city like Paris. I approached this one with modest expectations.

And gave up. This book can't seem to figure out what it is--a cosy about lovely meals in Paris, or a glimpse of how hard-edged Parisian "flics" are, or an international spy story. The characters behave in inexplicable ways. Why is the hunky bad-boy cop physically roughing up
...more
Kimberly
Firstly, the author wants you to know that women have breasts. He'll remind you of that throughout the book.

Secondly, the author is male. You'll know this from the first chapter when our main character, Capucine, mused that she was happy she didn't wear a bra to a job interview. Capucine is young and hot, by the way. She starts out as a bored white-collar investigator who yearns for a grittier job and a chance to use her gun. She gets her shot when a man is found dead inside a restaurant. Since
...more
Una Tiers
Sep 18, 2016 rated it liked it
It was necessary for me to start this book twice before I saw the problem in the first few pages. The author forces four or five words where one would be fine. It is a book best read on a kindle because either the author has a stellar vocabulary or mine is short a few cards. Many of the terms are in French and I soon tired of looking up the terms.
The pace is excruciatingly slow with an inexperienced, if beautiful police lieutenant. She is one dimensional, beautiful. The set up and resolution wer
...more
Nancy
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wish I had read the reviews before purchasing... It doesn't have any redeeming qualities - there was a description of a gourmet meal that was awful beyond words (started with oyster sorbet - turn to page 37); character development is non-existent; the plot and its development are leaden and the wording itself is pretentious and obtuse. Clearly, it is time to put this book down - I love reading a good mystery, but this one just isn't cutting it.

The line that made me decide it was time to put th
...more
Nancy
May 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
It's too bogged down with technical crap about the french police. I think three chapters start with Capucine being unable to sleep. Here's some of Chapter 5:

Even the unintentional cynicism of the fiscal division's address--122, rue Chateau des Rentiers, the coupon clipper's castle--failed to cheer her up, as it invariably did even in the worst of her moods.

For lack of anything better, her plan for the day was rudimentary, a quick run-through of her office at Rentiers to deal with any department
...more
Beth
Jul 07, 2013 added it
This was a free download for my Nook. It was overpriced.

This book contains homophobia (one cop calls another a fag), sexism (the protagonist sees nothing wrong in using her body to influence a superior so she can get a promotion) and a huge amount of pretension. Oh, and a little American bashing is also included.

Overall it has the feeling of someone who spent a couple of weeks in France showing off their "knowledge" of the language and colloquialisms. It really amazes me that in 2013 a nasty lit
...more
Lori
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: france
This story begins with the discovery of a body in the walk-in cooler of one of Paris' revered three star restaurants. The main character is a young policewoman who is married to a restaurant critic. The characters are well-developed and the descriptions of Paris (and its food) are fun. I'm looking forward to future mysteries in this series.
Andrea
First, I want to make it clear I read this entire book. Second, I want to make it even more clear that I do not recommend anyone else do so. WOW, this book is a hot mess of confusion. We have tons of information about the French Police system, which made no sense at all to me. We have a main character that sometimes has very feminist thoughts, like being annoyed when male colleauges treat her like an idiot because she is a woman, but then who turns around congratulates herself for being so cleve ...more
Lizzerbeem
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Calling Capucine the protagonist is a bit overkill, since she serves only as the conduit for all of the secondary male characters to info-dump the case... and fantasize about her or the female suspects sexually.
Ms.pegasus
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the culinary profession, France, light mysteries.
Shelves: mystery, fiction, food
THE GRAVE GOURMET by Alexander Campion has created in Capucine an unlikely novice crime detective. Nurtured in the financial crimes division, she is anxious to partake of “real” police work, as an escape from her well-bred tastefully comfortable life. Her cousin is a government insider, and her husband is a well-know restaurant critic. The combination of moxie and elegance is a bit reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn – alternating between naïve charm, feminine wiles, and pit bull doggedness. In other ...more
Connie N.
I had expected something quite different from this book, having pictured it as a cozy mystery with a food theme based on the series name of "A Capucine Culinary Mystery." BTW, Capucine is the heroine (pronounced kap-puy-seen, I looked it up). But the only connection to cuisine is that the dead body was found in a restaurant by the chef. And Capucine's husband is a food critic. Other than that the entire mystery was much more of an industrial espionage story that I found less-than-exciting. The w ...more
Jessi
I got this book for 99 cents and wasn't sure what to expect. It was certainly interesting. I have done no Googling for this but I am assuming it was translated from another language. It was very... French.
So, Capucine is a gorgeous police woman. She's been working in financial crimes and wants to work her way up the ladder and also into some more interesting crimes. Her husband is a famous food critic which comes in handy when a body is found in the freezer of a well-known restaurant.
I skimmed
...more
Droewyn
Jun 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
This was a Nook Free Fridays book.

It was a competent enough mystery, but I hated the main character. Capucine was born a rich French socialite but wanted to do something meaningful with her life, so joined the Paris police force. Not content with her cushy desk job in accounting crimes, she wants to be transferred to Homicide. So she puts on her best designer suit (all of her clothing is "a so-and-so tailored whatever"), takes off her bra (because it will make her "look tough"... SERIOUSLY), and
...more
Kandice
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Once the book got going, I thought it was just OK overall. I don't know if the French are sexist, or that quality only belongs to the author, but I found the beginning offensive and almost didn't finish it. The fact the main character didn't want to wear a bra when she wanted to get her way, and the fact that all the men around her seemed to be assessing her physical qualities, almost ruined the book for me. About a third of the way into the book, the mystery became more interesting. However, I ...more
Peggy
Jul 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
I cannot even finish this book. I don't know if the author is wanting to paint all French people as rude and inconsiderate, but that's the impression I get. The main character is a woman police lieutenant but just about every single person she encounters - from peers to superior officers to subordinates - treat her with disdain, insulting her to her face and behind her back. Why we are supposed to accept that she accepts this behavior is beyond me. It's too stupid for me to waste any more time r ...more
Ryan
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
this is a police procedural set in France, by the cover it appears as a culinary mystery, but its not. it features a young rookie policewoman, Capuncine De Tellier, and Her husband, a well know food critic she's stuck on desk job in white collar crime investigations until she gets her big chance to work a an actual murder investigation, after a body of the president of a big automotive giant is found dead in the walk in cooler of a French restaurant. Its a combination of French food. the charate ...more
Sheila
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
Read, but kind of wish I didn't.

I bought it after a visit to Paris, which included a number of great food experiences. However, I found the book to be mostly annoying. The main character is a female detective, whose husband is a restaurant reviewer. I felt it to be quite sexist despite female main character, and restaurant/food theme is distracting more then helpful. Writing included way too much unnecessary description. Only positive is fairly easy read and mildly distracting. Wouldn't recommen
...more
EmmyT
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Liked the setting, Paris, and thought characters could be interesting. Forced myself to read 50% of the book hoping the author would quit hating his character and start giving her some brains. I finally couldn't take any more of the detective being so stupid and having all the non-police men explaining how she should do her job. I figure the author hates women. It's unbelievable to me there is more than 1 book in this series.
Irene
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ugh worst book I read so far this year . I got lost several times trying to follow through with the plot in between all the different characters and the constant influence of french culture and landmarks making me lose interest in the book itself . Would never recommend this book
Linda
Oct 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Since I don't know much about the french language or the way the french live and work, this book was one I should not have picked up. If you understand the french you would probably would enjoy this book.
Bill
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
It seems like a cute idea. A police woman, Capucine Le Tellier, married to a restaurant critic, Alexandre. They solve crimes involving gastronomy in arguably the food capital of the world, Paris. I'd expected a new twist on the old cozy mystery. Instead, after some meandering, the book becomes an (view spoiler). The food critic husband isn't all that much use to his police detective wife. Several things bothered me about this book. First, the inter ...more
Martina
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
First in the Capucine Culinary Mystery Series.... Capucine being the policewoman who is the main character, the Culinary as the series is set in France, with friends owning a posh restaurant, and a husband who is a food critic, and with much discussion of and description of the most amazing meals! : } Wine. Also drinking wine. Thanks to Linda G. from the group who posted this some time ago as read. She's well into the series and I'm just reading the first. More traditional than most of the serie ...more
Karin
Aug 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review may contain spoilers, so beware!

I'm not quite halfway through this book, but I'm still compelled to voice my complaints so far.

First of all, how can I take a writer seriously when he doesn't even have a basic grasp of time zones? When Cappucine sets up her little sting operation, that takes place at 3 pm. The guy arrives on time, there are a couple of minutes of awkward conversation, then he runs. They chase him through the streets of Paris for eight miles, ending almost directly inf
...more
Cate
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
First, let me add here that although there are no recipes included in the book itself they can be found on the Author’s website under recipes.

Now, onto the book itself. If you are looking for serious crime novel set in Paris, this may not be the one for you. Although it is a crime novel, and it is set in Paris it is more a light-hearted look at the Police Judicaire, and the homicide division.

The main protagonist is a very chic, very French woman, married to a food critic. She is moneyed, over-pr
...more
Lynn Marie Hulsman
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I picked this book up because it had a foodie bent, and I had recently been reading a few crime thrillers and mysteries. I also liked the idea that it was set in France, and gave a glimpse into a world of French police and government culture with which I have no experience. One of my favorite things is to be drawn into the world of a story.

The main character, Capucine is an unbelievably gorgeous and sexy police woman, who sort of seems like she doesn't realize her shirts are too tight or that s
...more
Betty
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Chef Jean-Basile Labrousse owns the three-star Diapason restaurant. When he kicks a bag of squash in his freezer, it feels more like meat to him. He opens the bag to find the body of Jean-Louis Delage, the president-directeur general of Renault; who dined there earlier in the evening with his attorney.

With everyone else tied up, Le Commissaire Talon assigns twenty-eight years old Parisian Police Detective Capucine Le Tellier for the lead on the case; her first field crime scene assignment as her
...more
Joyce Lagow
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Subtitled A Capucine Culinary Mystery, obviously this is the debut of a series which is set in Paris. The protagonist is 28 year old Lt Capucine Le Tellier, who works for the police, the Police Judiciare (PJ). Her husband Alexandre is a food/restaurant critic for an unspecified paper. When the book opens, Ca;pucine is fuming at her job in the fraud section of the PJ. She longs to be assigned to La Crim, the homicide division, but is doing such a good job in her current position that she can’t ge ...more
Jean
Jul 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
I am so sorry to say that I agree with the vast majority of the comments regarding this book. I kept reading, thinking perhaps the story would go somewhere interesting. Instead, it got worse. As many of the other women have said, for the main character to even THINK about not wearing a bra to a job interview is beyond ridiculous.

The sexual innuendo with the cousin was just too weird. Supposedly this strong woman, who wanted so badly to be a policewoman, to use her gun and to lead criminal inves
...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: The Grave Gourmet - 9th Aug Book 1 2 Aug 21, 2013 06:08AM  
The Free Book Cha...: The Grave Gourmet, by Alexander Campion 1 5 Jun 22, 2013 08:04PM  
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Alexander Campion started out as a true New Yorker, graduating from Columbia and migrating downtown to Wall Street. Early on, someone, a little apologetically, proposed he spend six months maximum in Paris helping out with a new venture his firm had just acquired. He stayed thirty five years, eventually becoming a restaurant critic and progressing inevitably to gastronomic thrillers.
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“it makes no sense to pursue a career that bores you comatose.” “That’s” 0 likes
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