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The Devil's Feast (A Blake and Avery…
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The Devil's Feast (A Blake and Avery Novel) (edição: 2017)

de M. J. Carter (Autor)

Séries: Blake & Avery (3)

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909240,689 (3.63)7
"Investigative team Blake and Avery find themselves entangled in a case involving political conflicts, personal vendettas, and England's first celebrity chef. London, 1842. Captain William Avery is persuaded to investigate a mysterious and horrible death at the Reform, London's newest and grandest gentleman's club--a death the club is desperate to hush up. What he soon discovers is a web of rivalries and hatreds, both personal and political, simmering behind the club's handsome facade. At the center is its resident genius, Alexis Soyer, "the Napoleon of food," a chef whose culinary brilliance is matched only by his talent for self-publicity. But Avery is distracted, for where is his mentor and partner in crime Jeremiah Blake? And what if this first death is only a dress rehearsal for something far more sinister?"--… (mais)
Membro:csommer
Título:The Devil's Feast (A Blake and Avery Novel)
Autores:M. J. Carter (Autor)
Informação:G.P. Putnam's Sons (2017), 432 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:mystery

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The Devil's Feast de M. J. Carter

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Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Read this without knowing it was the third of a series. Enjoyed it nonetheless and will now go back and read the first 2 books! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Out of the Frying Pan…

The third installment of Blake & Avery has arrived (with another gorgeous cover!). I really enjoyed The Strangler Vine, the first book of this very early Victorian amateur sleuth series. The Strangler Vine is set in India at the dawn of the Victorian era and is a true adventure wrapped around a mystery. The following book, The Infidel Stain, took our British duo to London a few years later but didn’t quite enthrall me in the same way. For Feast, we remain in London, in the lanes and squares but also into the finest kitchens and private clubs of the age, where gentlemen are being poisoned. French celebrity chef and inventor Alexis Soyer, known perhaps only to food historians today, but quite real, plays a starring role in this newest book.

It comes as no surprise the history and details come across so richly from the pen of author M. J. Carter. Carter has previously written and published non-fiction history as Miranda Carter and her work is well regarded. Her research is thorough and it shows, but I know that’s not every novel reader’s favorite part of a good mystery.

Read the rest of my review at:
https://benjaminlclark.com/book-review-the-devils-feast-by-m-j-carter/ ( )
  benjclark | Dec 8, 2017 |
This historical crime novel set in the 1840s is the third “Avery and Blake mystery,” although I had not read the first two books in the series. Thus I had a bit of difficulty sorting out who was who and what was what at the beginning. Therefore I began by skipping ahead to the “Historical Afterword,” which did help me at least make sense of the characters who were based on authentic people.

As the story begins, Captain William Avery is visiting Jeremiah Blake, his usual partner in detective consulting jobs. Blake has landed in jail for a debt he refuses to pay, and he also refuses to let anyone else pay it for him. Avery ends up investigating a crime on his own at first, and is feeling Blake's absence acutely. (These two appear to have been modeled on Holmes and Watson. It is Blake who is the “Holmes” of the two: very skilled at observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning.)

It seems there have been a series of poisonings at the Reform Club, a gentleman’s club for radical MPs that was famous historically for its food. The kitchen was overseen by Alexis Soyer (1810-1858), who, according to the author in her Afterword, was “the first real celebrity chef, a brilliant, inventive cook and a shameless self-publicist.”

Avery is pressured to find the perpetrator quickly since the Reform Club is getting ready to host an important diplomatic banquet ordered and organized by Lord Palmerston for Ibrahim Pasha, the Prince of Egypt. Palmerston insisted they not cancel the banquet because “peace depended upon it.”

The situation is made more critical for Avery because Matty, a young girl Avery and Blake rescued from the streets, is now working in the kitchen, and has become a suspect. Somehow Avery has to get Blake to assist him and find out who the culprit is.

In the process, Avery has to check out a lot of food, much of which would be anathema in modern times. Moreover, the amounts of food consumed at dinners and banquets (while the poor languished and starved) was pretty jaw-dropping. I wouldn't have thought some of the diners would have needed poison to expire; overeating and/or heart attacks could have easily done the trick!

Discussion: The politics in the book are complicated - perhaps more so for Americans than for British readers. But I especially enjoyed learning about Alexis Soyer, who, it seems, not only invented a number of ingenious contraptions for cooking and serving food, but also developed advancements for running soup kitchens for the poor, and invented a portable army stove that continued to be in use until the 1950’s.

I also enjoyed learning about the historical character of Thomas Wakley, the founding editor of the still-respected medical journal "The Lancet." I did not know he was apparently the first great campaigner against the adulteration of food, which was quite common (and in a very unhealthy way) in the Victorian era.

It’s always fun to learn history while being titillated by a mystery.

Evaluation: My rating wasn’t higher because I did have some trouble following this book, reading it as a standalone. The characters had a history, and the politics were complex. But now that I am familiar with the characters, I wouldn’t hesitate to continue with the series. ( )
  nbmars | Apr 5, 2017 |
In this third Blake and Avery historical mystery, Blake is in a pickle, and this means that young Captain William Avery must be in charge of the investigation at the Reform Club-- something that goes quite against Avery's grain since he is politically conservative. Once again M.J. Carter has created a rich, layered mystery that's even more savory than the dishes that Chef Soyer (an actual person) was known for. The Devil's Feast kept me guessing from first page to last because it takes Avery a very long time to ascertain the true focus of the deaths. Are men being poisoned because of their politics? Is it because of that important dinner? Or does it have something to do with London's first celebrity chef, Alexis Soyer? Avery finds that puzzle very difficult to solve-- especially since he's in danger of being poisoned himself.

And while Avery is trying to solve this mystery, he's trying to help Blake, and he's also being forced to deal with an increasingly difficult wife. Fortunately Avery does have the help of young Matty, the girl readers first met in The Infidel Stain. She not only provides Avery with a great deal of help (risking her own future to do so), she is a mirror in which readers can see the true Victorian London, a city with debtor's prisons and a great divide between the haves and the have-nots. Matty and Blake (who has more of his childhood exposed) are teaching Avery valuable lessons in the true ways of the world.

But The Devil's Feast is no mere fascinating Victorian exposé. Foodies will love the insights into cooking for a prestigious gentlemen's club, and the fast-paced mystery will delight all those who enjoy solving a cracker jack of a puzzle. Carter's Blake and Avery series started out strong and it's getting stronger with each entry. I can't wait to see what's in store next! ( )
  cathyskye | Mar 27, 2017 |
The Devil’s Feast is the third novel in M.J. Carter’s successful Avery and Blake mystery series. This time Jeremiah Blake is incarcerated in the dread Marshalsea Prison and Captain William Avery is on his own.

When Avery stops by the famous Reform Club to check in on Matty, a kitchen maid (who appears in a previous Avery and Blake book), he meets the renowned Chef Soyer, a culinary genius who has a penchant for flare. Avery is invited to a dinner where, unfortunately, two of the guests die quite excruciating deaths. Since this dinner precedes a famous and much publicized event for the Prince of Egypt, Avery is engaged to determine the cause of the deaths and prevent any further catastrophes from happening.

Set in London during the Victorian era the street scenes are straight out of a Dickens’ novel, the tensions between the Whigs and the Tories are interesting and piqued my interest for further study, and the kitchen scenes and intrigues make those from Downton Abbey, albeit decades later, seem downright genteel.

While this is a work of fiction, M. J. Carter notes in the Historical Afterword that Alexis Soyer was indeed one of the three great chefs of the nineteenth century and perhaps the first celebrity chef. There was also a Reform Club where Soyer reigned for thirteen years. The afterword itself is fascinating to read.

The Devil’s Feast won’t disappoint Avery and Blake fans and although it’s not technically a culinary mystery, there’s enough “foodie” talk to interest many a fan of that genre. ( )
  bayleaf | Mar 20, 2017 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Carter again has crafted an ingenious, fast-moving plot with emotional depth and plausible surprises.
 
[T]he originality and derring-do which marked the sleuthing duo’s first appearance—in Colonial India, in The Strangler Vine (2014)—are absent, replaced by an overcrowded cast of characters, an excess of speculative to-and-fro, and a disappointing villain.
adicionado por ScattershotSteph | editarKirkus Reviews (Dec 26, 2016)
 

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"Investigative team Blake and Avery find themselves entangled in a case involving political conflicts, personal vendettas, and England's first celebrity chef. London, 1842. Captain William Avery is persuaded to investigate a mysterious and horrible death at the Reform, London's newest and grandest gentleman's club--a death the club is desperate to hush up. What he soon discovers is a web of rivalries and hatreds, both personal and political, simmering behind the club's handsome facade. At the center is its resident genius, Alexis Soyer, "the Napoleon of food," a chef whose culinary brilliance is matched only by his talent for self-publicity. But Avery is distracted, for where is his mentor and partner in crime Jeremiah Blake? And what if this first death is only a dress rehearsal for something far more sinister?"--

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