“A Deadly Éclair” is the first in a new series by Daryl Wood Gerber. Mimi Rousseau is the owner (almost) of the Bistro Rousseau restaurant and the adjacent Maison Rousseau Inn, located in Nouvelle Vie, just outside Napa Valley California. The book is written as her first person narrative. We observe the daily chaos through her eyes as she struggles to make her mark in the culinary world and more importantly make enough money to keep the inn and restaurant from drowning in debt. Preparations are in full swing for the inn’s first celebrity destination wedding. Need I say it – things do not go well. A body is found in the kitchen, her financial backer in the restaurant and uncle of the celebrity bride.
The crime is done, but why was it done? The suspects are many, and answers are not forthcoming. Mimi is at the top of the list because she stands to benefit financially from the death. To clear her name, she must find the real murderer. Even the goldfish try to help her out. Clues pile up like crumbs after a meal, and like crumbs, separately they do not make a whole. Eventually they come together in a surprising conclusion.
The characters are interesting, complex, and entertaining. The pace will keep readers turning the pages to see what happens next, but without headache producing stress and trauma.
Gerber’s little details make the setting almost a character itself, a place that we want to visit to share the fabulous food and magnificent wine. As a bonus, there are recipes, including one for the “deadly” chocolate Éclair. It just does not get any better than that.
I received a copy of “A Deadly Éclair” from Daryl Wood Gerber, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley in exchange for my impartial review. This is an entertaining book, and it is easy to love the people who live and work at Bistro Rousseau. I am sure there will be more murders in their future.