Title: Monsieur Pamplemousse
Author: Michael Bond
I saw this book on the shelf in Waterstones and the title immediately caught my attention. After reading the synopsis, I pondered just for a fraction of a second before deciding it was the perfect read for me. Excited, I quickly downloaded it on to my kindle, curled up and began to read.
The story follows Monsieur Pamplemousse, food investigator and detective. Alongside his friend and helper, Pommes Frites, he is excited to be dining at the famed La Langoustine. Things soon begin to turn for the horrid as Pamplemousse digs in to the delicacy of the house. Evidently someone wants him out of the way, but nothing delights Pamplemousse more than getting tangled in the mystery and utilising his skills learnt in his sleuthing days at the Sûreté.
There is no other way for me to describe this book other than Christie meets Wodehouse. There were elements of mystery interposed with adult slapstick humour. The humour presented in this book made me chuckle and at points laugh out loud (much to the annoyance of others in the vicinity). The humour was obviously good but not quite on par with Wodehouse, but then again is anything?
All the characters were delightful in their own way and had brilliant interactions with each other. Pamplemousse and Pommes Frites made a pretty awesome team to say the least. Not only was the comedy brilliantly and skilfully executed, it was fresh, enjoyable and a real delight to read from Pommes Frites’ vantage point.
I was really surprised at the lack of description given about Pamplemousse himself. I mean certain things could certainly be inferred from various comments or thoughts, but there was no solid description of what he looked like. This made it a little difficult to conjure up a vivid image of him.There wasn’t any character development as such but then again it wasn’t really that type of book where you’d expect it, which is absolutely fine.
The mystery side of things was a little bit of a let down in some respects. It started off perfectly and continued to be intriguing. However, the actual ending to the mystery was a tad disappointing. Not only this but it also felt like Pamplemousse hadn’t really solved anything. Yes, he did his own investigating. This ended up in him getting involved in hilarious situations and mishaps, but that was all. I was expecting him to put the pieces together. This wasn’t really the case.
The way the book was written was just simply amazing. Details and pieces of information were given, but not so much as to overwhelm the reader. The food aspect was also enjoyable and perfect for any foodie! Reading about the various dishes made my mouth water.
Overall, an enjoyable light read to break up my reading. Yes it was a tad disappointing but the humour and incredible writing made up for that. I’m in no hurry to read the rest of the series, but will definitely be revisiting it at some point.
Happy Mother’s Day,