The Second-Worst Restaurant in France

Pantheon. (Paul Stuart, Bk. 2). Jul. 2019. 256p. ISBN 9781524748296. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781524748302. F
Cookbook author Paul Stuart finds it difficult to get any writing done in this second installment in the series (after My Italian Bulldozer). Paul’s new girlfriend Gloria, who also happens to be his editor, moves in without being invited, bringing with her two Siamese cats, who make it nearly impossible for Paul work. With his love life on the fritz and a new title on the philosophy of food due in only six months, he turns to his older cousin, Chloe. She invites him to travel to France, where she rents a house every year. Paul finally gets some peace and quiet, but soon the two become friendly with the twins who own the house, agreeing to dine in their restaurant, which has a bad reputation. Paul eats mussels and suffers from a bout of food poisoning. Once recovered, he is talked into teaching the chef how to cook, so that the restaurant might flourish.
VERDICT This is a charming tale with delightful descriptions of the French countryside and cooking. Unfortunately, the main character is rather a young “old-fuddy-duddy.” Chloe is by far more lovable. Still, it is sure to please the author’s many fans. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.]
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