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Dine and Die on the Danube Express (Gourmet Detective Series #8)

Dine and Die on the Danube Express (Gourmet Detective Series #8)

4.0 1
by Peter King

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Recipes sizzle and intrigue simmers when the Gourmet Detective takes a ride on the twenty-fifth anniversary journey of the world-famous Danube Express.

The stately railroad starts its route in the Alps and cuts through Austria, Hungary, and the former Yugoslavia before pulling up on the shores of the Black Sea in Romania. Along the way, its


Recipes sizzle and intrigue simmers when the Gourmet Detective takes a ride on the twenty-fifth anniversary journey of the world-famous Danube Express.

The stately railroad starts its route in the Alps and cuts through Austria, Hungary, and the former Yugoslavia before pulling up on the shores of the Black Sea in Romania. Along the way, its passengers—hailing from Europe’s business and social elite—sample the best and most enticing foods those countries’ cuisines have to offer, dishes as unfamiliar and exotic as they are delicious. . . .

From Germany, braised lamb with rutabagas, or roast duck—its skin as crackly as phyllo and the meat juicy and flavorful, served with Savoy cabbage, leeks, carrots, onions, and celery . . .

From Austria, stuffed breast of veal with buttered chestnuts, served with braised fennel, watercress, and tarragon . . .

From Hungary, Libermaj, a goose liver pâté seasoned with paprika, pimentos, and scallions, blended with hard-boiled eggs and white wine . . .

From the Balkans, escallopes of veal cooked Dubrovnik style—simmering in onions and mushrooms that have been sautéed in butter and seasoned with thyme and bay leaves . . .

All complemented by some of the finest wines and brandies in the world!

The Gourmet Detective is aboard to see how it’s done; he’s been hired by another luxury rail line to sit back, relax, fill his face, and take notes.

But nothing is ever easy—or safe—where food, money, and celebrity meet, and this trip is no exception. When a celebrated Hungarian stage actress vanishes from the moving train, the Gourmet Detective finds himself enlisted in a desperate search for her abductor, or killer, and for answers in a bizarrely unfolding mystery that, as usual, centers on humanity’s most consuming passion: food!

As the Danube Express chugs into the night, haute cuisine, fine wine, and murder become the main orders of business on this fun and fascinating foray through a world of mouth-watering delights.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
King (Eat, Drink and Be Buried, etc.) delivers mixed results in the seventh outing for his Gourmet Detective, this time aboard a luxury train. The journey begins in Munich, winds its way through the Alps, with stops in Austria, Hungary and the former Yugoslavia, the final destination being the Black Sea coast of Romania. The passengers sample the best of each locale's cuisine, while the Gourmet Detective observes the workings of the high-class excursion. Before long his reputation as an amateur sleuth, albeit one who's worked with the pros of Scotland Yard, gets him involved in the disappearance of a glamorous Hungarian actress. Has she been abducted from the train? Has she been murdered? Or is it some bizarre publicity stunt? Then a body turns up and things get even stranger. As the Gourmet Detective and the head of security work to stop the killer from striking again, the train moves forward more smoothly than the plot. An engaging travelogue and the good food, evoked in the attractive jacket art, compensate only partly for stilted prose and an unconvincing mystery that feels grafted on. Comparisons to Agatha Christie's classic Murder on the Orient Express are inevitable, but King's novel limps along a distant second. (June 2) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
During a cuisine tour aboard the fabled Danube Express, the Gourmet Detective finds that he must use his sleuthing abilities when a famous Hungarian actress disappears from the train. Fascinating food, characters, and intrigue. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Expecting merely another sybaritic gustatory experience as he boards the Danube Express for its 25th anniversary chug through eastern Europe, the Gourmet Detective (Roux the Day, 2002, etc.) has barely sampled the first night's seven-course dinner before security chief Karl Kramer needs his help: The most famous passenger, stage star Magda Malescu, is, according to a news flash in the Budapest Times, dead in her compartment. But where has her body gotten to? Why is the compartment permeated with the scent of bitter almonds? And how did the reporter hear about this almost before it happened? There's no shortage of suspects on board, two of them-Magda's understudy and a cynical journalista-soon murdered and a third-a wine connoisseur, working security for the wine growers' association, but also undercover for another unspecified party-nearly so. When Magda reappears, a flummoxed Kramer and G.D. are concerned that all this hullabaloo might be to distract their attention while the baggage car is relieved of a newly discovered Mozart manuscript or grape vines meant to improve the quality of Romanian vintages. The bodies are discreetly removed from the train; Magda's love life is scrutinized; more heavenly fare is consumed; and charming castles, chalets, cows, and country folk are glimpsed through the windows before the Gourmet Detective disembarks in Bucharest. Forget about the mystery, best described as detection lite, and concentrate on your cholesterol level, which will rise just from reading about the butter, cream, flour, crepes, ducks, goose, raspberry sauce, and apricot liqueur.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Gourmet Detective Series , #8
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 8.58(h) x 0.97(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Peter 05/19/2002

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Dine and Die on the Danube Express 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Gourmet Detective expects a luxurious trip including a gourmet meal as he rides the Danube Express on its twentieth fifth anniversary tour of Eastern Europe. He just sits down at the table ready to feast on the seven-course first evening dinner when security supervisor Karl Kramer asks for his help.

The Budapest Times reports that renowned passenger Hungarian stage star Magda Malescu is dead in her compartment. There is no body yet Magda is missing and the compartment smells of bitter almonds. The Gourmet Detective wonders how the reporter learned about the alleged death almost in a quantum physics way before the event occurred. Not even fully certain that the victim is dead The Gourmet Detective soon uncovers a wealth of suspects until the corpse reappears breathing quite nicely. However, murder occurs as someone kills Magda¿s understudy and a journalist. Karl and the Gourmet Detective wonder if the vanishing act and homicides are a diversion from an attempt to steal a valuable Mozart manuscript or improved grapevines found in baggage.

This novel needs to carry a warning label for anyone who is on the slightest health regimen as this tale abounds with good food and drink to the delight of the gourmand reader. Though fun, the mystery seems like eating rabbit diet food compared with the menu of dining palette that obviously clogs the blood system of the Gourmet Detective and the reader.

Harriet Klausner