Cookbook writer Paul Stuart has plans to write a book entitled The Philosophy of Food at home in Edinburgh, but after a breakup with his girlfriend and editor Gloria, he gets a chance to accompany his cousin Chloe to France. Surely the change of scenery will spur him to finish his manuscript – at least that is what he’s hoping. But that’s before Paul discovers the second-worst restaurant in France, right in the village where he is staying. As he and Chloe become more entangled in the lives of the villagers, Paul is encouraged to give Claude, the owner of the restaurant, some cooking advice. But will Claude heed the advice and improve the cuisine on offer?

Alexander McCall Smith has a brilliant knack for creating the most amazing characters who have so much to say, from the mundane to the extraordinary. Witty, wise, and perhaps a little mysterious, Paul and Chloe are fantastic characters.

There is nothing better, in my opinion, than getting lost in one of McCall Smith’s fascinating stories. I think fans will be thrilled with this Paul Stuart novel, the second installment in this series.

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