Crime Fraîche by Alexander Campion is the second Capucine Culinary Mystery. I’ve read them all out of order. I couldn’t help myself and wait, they are so delicious. Capucine and her food critic husband, Alexandre, have been invited to her uncle’s chateau in Normandy country. The town was supported by one of the country’s best Charolais beef ranches. In addition to eating great beef, Alexandre was able to forage for mushrooms, and they enjoyed the country hunts of partridge and deer. Problems began, as men were “accidently” shot at a partridge hunt, a protest, and at a deer hunt. All suspicious since all the men killed were associated with the Charolais beef company. Capucine gets involved at her uncle’s request.
Things get very murky indeed as ambiguity rules. What is real and what is fake? Deception on so many levels and in more than one place keep us confused and wanting throughout. Pureness of food, a marriage, and love get confounded and finally untangled as justice prevails or does it? This is the most complex of the Campion books.