MONSIEUR PAMPLEMOUSSE ON THE SPOT by Michael Bond

MONSIEUR PAMPLEMOUSSE ON THE SPOT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The third agreeably silly ""gastronomic mystery"" for M. Pamplemousse--roving French food critic (formerly of the SuretÉ)--and his canine Watson, the imperious but lovable Pommes Frites. This time, Monsieur P. is staying at the glorious Les Cinq Parfaits in Haut Sole near Lac LÉman. But, in addition to reviewing the hotel's cuisine for Le Guide, the critic is on a secret mission for France's powers-that-be: he must find the hotel restaurant's superb dessert chef, young Jean-Claude Parfait, who has vanished--just when a dessert-loving Arab V.I.P. (he controls France's oil supply) is about to arrive for his annual visit! So the search for Jean-Claude leads Monsieur P. to a nearby girls' finishing school--where lovely blonde students tend to drown or die in avalanches with suspicious frequency. And eventually, with help from the school's pneumatic gym-teacher, Monsieur P. survives a few nasty ambushes, uncovers a white-slavery operation, and saves the visiting sheik from an assassination attempt. Despite a seemingly busy scenario, however, the action and mystery are largely beside the point here. Instead, the emphasis in this amusing trifle is on the tenderly described meals, the moody antics of Pommes Frites, and the very British comedy--which ranges from low farce (much ado about a canine urine sample) to mild ribaldry to droll, dry turns of ironic phrase.

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 1987
Publisher: Beaufort