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

French Farce by Stanley George | Review

Stanley George, his wife, and two dogs Fritz and Truda took a leap into a new life in France thirteen years ago, after enjoying many holidays there. Both retired, house sold, with the world their oyster they hadn’t decided on the region they were going to live in, however they knew it would be a […]

Continue Reading

Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living by Mark Greenside (Review)

After reading Mark Greenside’s first and extremely entertaining book, ‘I’ll Never Be French (No Matter What I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany, I couldn’t wait to start this one, and I was not disappointed! The first book tells how in 1991 a reluctant Mark agrees to visit Brittany with a girlfriend, and […]

Continue Reading

I’ll Never Be French by Mark Greenside (review)

I’ve got a new favourite author – Mark Greenside. As an English expat who has lived in France for over fourteen years, I have for decades enjoyed reading what feels like hundreds of ‘a new life in France’ type of books, however for me this one REALLY sums up life in France. It grabbed me […]

Continue Reading

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


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

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.