Book Review: Mastering the Art of French Murder #JuliaChild #CozyMysteries

Tabitha, a former “Rosie the Riveter” in Detroit, moves to Paris to stay with her wealthy “Grandpere” after she loses her job to men returning from war. She is fortunate to be living next door to Paul and Julia Child. Paul is a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy and Julia is taking classes at the famous cooking school, Le Cordon Bleu. When a woman is murdered behind their building, the murder weapon is found to be Julia’s own chef’s knife. Knowing that someone at a party in Julia’s apartment during the night of the murder had to be the killer, Tabitha begins to investigate.

I just adored this through and through. The lively personality of Julia Child draws the reader in right away. Julia is not directly involved in the investigation, but she is behind the scenes, making suggestions about the investigation, teaching the culinary-challenged Tabitha how to cook, and trying to line up eligible men for the quite single Rosie the Riveter. We also meet Julia’s sister “Dort,” who is staying with her at the time and partying the night away after working at the Théâtre Monceau. When Tabitha realizes the murdered woman worked at the same theater, she slowly begins to put the pieces together. The mystery is captivating and has plenty of red herrings. Also woven into the story are trips to the market with Julia and “Tabs” for fresh herbs, eggs, poultry, and gossip, plus Tabitha’s quest to fix her Grandpere and her “Oncle” Rafe something tolerable to eat.

Julia is also trying to solve a smaller mystery which she lets the whole market in on. She suddenly cannot produce a successful mayonnaise. As I read this clever mystery, I also learned how to best make an omelet and roast a chicken. And I think I figured out why my homemade mayo never works.

I tried making the omelet using Julia’s instructions to Tabitha in the book, and it’s by far the best one I ever made. This is not a book with recipes, but Julia’s instructions to Tabitha can be followed as recipes.

I received a free copy of this book from Kensington Books. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.

Mastering the Art of French Murder is Book 1 in the “An American in Paris Mystery” series. It will be released April 25, 2023.


Colleen Cambridge is the pen name for an award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From a young age, Colleen has loved reading mysteries and now she couldn’t be happier that she is able to write them.



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