My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
A delicious historical mystery set in Rome, largely in 1577, we follow Giovanni Scappi as he seeks to unravel the history of his purported uncle, Bartolomeo Scappi, chef to several popes. Left his uncle's estate and several mysterious strongboxes, we follow in Gio's path as he discovers love, murder, and his uncle's passionate history. Scappi, a real figure whose cookbook "Opera dell'arte del cucinare" was published in 1570, was perhaps the most famous chef before the modern era. Cutting back and forth between Bartolomeo's past and Gio's present, King does a wonderful job of world-building, though the pace of the story was a bit uneven to me. Nevertheless, a very enjoyable read.
An excellent audiobook.
Interested readers can find some of Scappi's delightful recipes adapted for modern cooks at the Dutch blog Coquinaria (just search for Scappi), including this one, Tortelli(ni) en brodo, here. (Broth is everything!)
(Image credit: Coquinaria)
I received a Digital Review Copy and paper review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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