Review of Minced, Marinated and Murdered by Noël Balen and Vanessa Barrot

Written by on January 29, 2018 in Book Reviews And Interviews

What do you get when you have two authors, Noël Balen a writer and musician with over thirty mystery books to his name, and his corporate lawyer wife Vanessa Barrot who originates from a family of Parisian restaurant owners? The answer is: a great murder mystery story set in Lyon, the second largest city in France, and its gastronomic capital.

The story….

Laure Grenadier, managing editor of Plaisirs de Table magazine, and her photographer Paco Alvarez have just arrived at Lyon’s Part-Dieu station on an assignment when they hear of the death of the owner of the Petit Pouce Bouchon restaurant, Jerome Thevenay. A “Bouchon” is a traditional brasserie of Lyon and the book explains the heritage of these restaurants, it makes for a fascinating read.

For Laure the assignment is the perfect opportunity to catch up on old friends, whilst writing an exciting article for the magazine. Keen for copy and photographs the duo have a great time visiting the famous restaurants in the city. They meet the chefs, appreciate their wonderful food, lovingly made using secret recipes handed down through generations. The importance of Les Mères (the mothers) of old in ruling the kitchens is paramount to the traditions and fortune of the city as you’ll find out.

Laure loves Lyon and knows many of its inhabitants in the gastronomic community including the now late Jerome, and his sister Cecile. This close-knit community is devastated not only by his death, but by the manner in which he was killed (you’ll have to read the book to discover more!). However, their devastation turns to fear when another death occurs, and there is talk of a serial killer on the loose.

Lush Lyon

For Paco who doesn’t know Lyon as well as Laure, and the readers of this book, the tale is a true voyage of discovery. The secrets of Lyon are revealed such as the underground tunnels the locals use to get about quickly, and there are lush descriptions of the beauty and history of the city.

In following this murder mystery, you learn so much about Lyon, including how it was rejuvenated in 1978 when five students redefined the city with the CiteCreation murals, which celebrate Lyon’s history, great chefs and revitalised its residents.

As the plot thickens and yet another chef is murdered, old rumours are remembered, past events recounted, and hearsay runs amok in the kitchens. But will the murderer be caught?

I highly recommend this totally enthralling murder mystery, it is very cleverly written, and I would challenge anyone not to want to visit Lyon and its restaurants after reading it. I know it is on my list of places to see now!

About the authors

This deliciously authentic culinary mystery novel is the first of a new series set in France offering a well-balanced blend of gastronomy and suspense with mouth-watering excursions into the regions of France. Author Noël Balen, who also pens the made-for-TV Winemaker Detective Series, has teamed up with Vanessa Barrot and created a new female sleuth for this series, which combines local reality and fiction, historical fact and culinary anecdotes, recipes and local products, providing armchair travel, culinary delight, and mystery.

How to get Minced, Marinated and Murdered

Pre-order this new French culinary mystery before February 20, 2018, in any format and you’ll get:

– A collection of authentic Lyon recipes from the authors’ kitchen.

– A food lover’s guide to Lyon.

Click here to get your free gifts:

Available from Amazon: ISBNs: Trade paperback: 9781939474674 / Ebook: 9781943998029

Related Articles

Le Mot Juste: How to Impress Tout le Monde with Your French

Le Mot Juste: How to Impress Tout le Monde with Your French A tiny but fabulous book of words – French words. The sort of words that roll of the tongue and sound delicious, romantic and so… well French! Imogen Fortes has pulled together a list of fabulous French words that are used in every […]

Continue Reading

Finding Gilbert: A promise fulfilled by Diane Covington-Carter

This book is simply beautiful, within its pages are stories within stories, and they all began with an encounter between an American soldier and a little French boy in the months following the D-day landings on Omaha Beach, France, in June 1944. Finding Gilbert, a true story The soldier was the author’s father, Donald Kenneth […]

Continue Reading

Review of Montségur by Catherine de Courcy

History and drama fans will really enjoy this terrific blend of fact and fiction. Montségur by Catherine de Courcy starts in 1236 in southern France. Esme, a young forest child finds herself caught up in the frightening days of the inquisition. Raimond, her foster brother is taken by an inquisitor called Friar Pierre Tiquè and […]

Continue Reading

Review of Parallel Lives by Jennifer Andrewes

This book is simply un-put-downable. Whether like me you are an expat who loves reading about other regions of this amazing country, you love visiting France on holiday, are considering moving here, or you simply enjoy taking a wonderful fly-on-the-wall glimpse into other people’s lives, this book will keep you captivated until the very last […]

Continue Reading

Review of Paris Postcards by Guy Thomas Hibbert

In a series of short stories of love, life and Paris, Guy Hibbert’s eloquent writing portrays the pulse of the city and the lives and loves of some of its inhabitants over a century. Standalone stories but in some, their fates intertwine in a clever twist that gives the book a coherence you don’t often […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.