The Chef’s Secret by Crystal King
When Bartolomeo Scappi dies in 1577, he leaves his vast estate—properties, money, and his position—to his nephew and apprentice Giovanni. He also gives Giovanni the keys to two strongboxes and strict instructions to burn their contents. Despite Scappi’s dire warning that the information concealed in those boxes could put Giovanni’s life and others at risk, Giovanni is compelled to learn his uncle’s secrets. He undertakes the arduous task of decoding Scappi’s journals and uncovers a history of deception, betrayal, and murder—all to protect an illicit love affair.
As Giovanni pieces together the details of Scappi’s past, he must contend with two rivals who have joined forces—his brother Cesare and Scappi’s former protégé, Domenico Romoli, who will do anything to get his hands on the late chef’s recipes.
With luscious prose that captures the full scale of the sumptuous feasts for which Scappi was known, The Chef’s Secret serves up power, intrigue, and passion, bringing Renaissance Italy to life in a delectable fashion. (publisher)
The book alternates between Bartolomeo in the past and Giovanni trying to discover his uncle’s past in the present day. There was a mystery, romance, and murder. The book wasn’t what I was expecting but I did enjoy it. It doesn’t concentrate on the food as much as I expected it to but for me, it was not a bad thing.
Giovanni is a likable character and I liked to learn him discovering family secrets.
This was my first book by the author and I’m looking forward to reading more.
Published: Atria Books (February 12, 2019)