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list price: $15.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook Hardcover
published: Jan 2012
ISBN:9781442446045

Neil Flambé and the Marco Polo Murders

illustrated by Kevin Sylvester

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mysteries & detective stories, cooking & food
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $15.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook Hardcover
published: Jan 2012
ISBN:9781442446045
Description

A delicious blend of mystery, history, and top-notch cuisine.

Neil Flambé may be fourteen years old, but he’s also a world-renowned chef. Patrons pay top dollar and wait months for reservations at his tiny boutique restaurant. But Neil is more than a fantastic cook—he solves crime too. Ever since he used his kitchen know-how and keen sense of smell to acquit a man of murder, he’s been helping Police Inspector Sean Nakamura crack case after case

But when some of the best chefs in town turn up dead, the crime scenes turn culinary. Police are stumped, and the only clues are the scents of mysterious spices and a journal that may have belonged to…Marco Polo? Neil must find a way to connect the past with the present and solve the murders—or he could end up as the prime suspect!

Contributor Notes

Kevin Sylvester is an award-winning writer, illustrator, and broadcaster. His books include the MiNRS trilogy and the Neil Flambé series. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. Visit him at KevinSylvesterBooks.com or on Twitter @KevinArts.

 

 

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
8 to 12
Grade:
3 to 7
Reading age:
8 to 12
Editorial Review

"This exuberant culinary mystery has the behind-the-scenes panache of Disney’s Ratatouille and is held together by a kid who is as cocky in the kitchen as Gordon Ramsay (whose blurb graces the cover!).
Fourteen-year-old Neil Flambé is pretty much a failure when it comes to math, chemistry, and art, but he is a genius when applying those subjects to his own recipes at his celebrated Vancouver restaurant. Neil has got a superdeveloped olfactory sense, and the police call him “The Nose” while using him to sniff around crime scenes. The latest call to detect trace evidence involves a series of murders of Vancouver’s top chefs. Neil picks up an exotic chai spice mixture on the dead chefs’ lips and a baffling “something else” that he can’t quite put his nose on. The murders continue, and Neil himself, unable to solve the crimes, becomes the chief suspect. First published in Canada in 2010, this series starter is over-the-top fun and features an intriguing link to Marco Polo’s last voyage."
— Booklist

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Neil Flambé and the Marco Polo Murders

Writer and broadcaster Kevin Sylvester has written non-fiction books for children and adults. In Neil Flambé and the Marco Polo Murders, he begins a new and entertaining fiction series for young readers.

Neil Flambé is an extraordinarily arrogant 14-year-old master chef who runs his own dazzlingly acclaimed restaurant while attending high school. Neil’s incredibly sensitive nose not only enables him to concoct mouth-watering dishes, but also to help the police solve crimes. When someone seems to be killing off the chefs of Vancouver, Neil can identify a tantalizing smell of cumin and chai on each body. But neither he nor Police Inspector Sean Nakamura can figure out who is doing this, why or how. It takes the knowledge of Neil’s slacker cousin Larry, the wisdom of his mentor Angel Jícama and the input of a few other characters to solve the crime – after a number of twists, turns, blind alleys, rotten puttanesca sauce and tasty recipes.

An avid historian, Sylvester uses the true story of Marco Polo’s journeys to craft the mystery. He writes with lots of humour, more than a few puns and great enthusiasm for food. He fleshes out his main characters with appropriate detail to make them more than stock characters and to make the reader look forward to the next book in the series. By the end of the story, Neil has learned a few lessons about what’s important in life, but retains enough arrogance to see him satisfactorily through a few more adventures. Neil Flambé and the Aztec Abduction will be appearing in the fall of this year.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2010. Vol.33 No.2.

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