Paris in the throes of revolution is a dangerous and exciting place.
Eighteen-year-old Fanny Delarue works for the wealthy Monnard family in their elegant Place Royale home. She adores both cooking and her lover, Head Chef Henri. Life is becoming ever more precarious for wealthy and noble families. After her neighbor Etienne, formerly a chef at Versailles, is murdered and a mob invades their courtyard, the Monnards flee to England. Left behind when the other servants are dismissed are maître d’hotel M. Desjardins and wounded Pierre and Fanny, who found a valuable ring clutched in Etienne’s hand. When she discovers jewels and cash in the spice box her father gave her, she wonders if this is some of the treasure stolen from Versailles. Her mother Martine, part of the mob who went to Versailles and forced the Royal Family to return to Paris, is shadowed by handsome Police Inspector Jean Fournier, worrying Fanny more than Martine. When M. Desjardins is found murdered, Fanny and Pierre bury him in the yard and continue with their plans for a restaurant. But when Pierre vanishes, Fanny fights her growing attraction to Fournier as she seeks to discover Pierre and protect the jewels.
Period recipes and dollops of history make this latest from Temple (The Spice Box, 2005, etc.) entertaining fare.