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Blowback: The Fifth of the Enzo Files    by Peter May Amazon.com order for
Blowback
by Peter May
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Whatever you do, don't miss this really good read. Along with a taut plot, believable characterizations, a vista to lose oneself in, meals plated and served in elegant settings while the players sip prize-winning wines, comes a story of loss, greed, infidelity, self-doubt, addiction, and murder. What more could one ask?

Enzo MacLeod - whom we all met at the beginning of the series evolving from Enzo's bet that he could solve seven cold cases - is working on his fifth cold case in Blowback. France's top chef, Marc Fraysse, planned to make a shattering announcement to the world's press. No one knew what that announcement was to be. He was rumored to be on the verge of losing his third star in the Michelin Guide, a development that was not to be accepted.

Instead of the announcement, his dead body was found in a small hut not far from his restaurant. Was it murder? Suicide? Years later Enzo takes on the challenge of helping to determine the cause of Fraysse's death. The plot revolves around the investigation of the death and encompasses some interesting characters. Descriptions of the meats, cheeses and wines served were enough to keep me salivating almost throughout the novel.

It's a cleverly written plot, in which we meet Fraysse's wife, as well as his mistress and the mistress's husband, who was Fraysse,s sous chef. Suspense as to the outcome of the investigation of Fraysse's death kept me guessing I got it wrong, dagnabit. I really am looking forward to the next cold case. What happens, Mr. May, after the clever Enzo fulfills the requirements of his bet?

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