tasty reviewing

Book cover

Russell Brooks sent me an advance copy of his latest book, Unsavory Delicacies, a set of three short stories, to read and review. I read his action/suspense spy novel, Pandora’s Succession, a while back and posted a review here.

Unsavory Delicacies contains three short stories with the common thread of fine food and fine dining. The stories are very well crafted; I enjoy Russell’s writing and I think it’s even better here than in his first book.

The first and third stories involve the hero of Pandora’s Succession, Ridley Fox, and it was fun to see him again. He is such a great character in Pandora’s Succession and these stories just add to my good opinion of him. I think these stories will also serve as an introduction to the man for new readers. They include a bit of Fox’s background, just enough to catch up a new reader and still not drag down the stories.

My favorite of the three is the first story: Crème Brûlée.  It has twists and turns and comes to a very satisfying finish (much like Crème Brûlée would be for a good meal).  But I want to go on record: the stereotypical portrayal of a computer nerd is not a universal truth.  There are certainly people who fit that description, but not all of us computer geeks are like that. :-)

The middle story, To the Last Bite, is standalone. It’s a tale with a twist. I was primed for that by a quip Russell made in sending me the review copy, but that didn’t hurt the story for me. I’ll just say it isn’t all sugar and spice, so be warned.

The third story is called Shashlyk and Morozhenoe.  I liked it but I also have a bit of a  quibble.  It has an ending and we aren’t left hanging about the story but it also seems to be a teaser for the next Ridley Fox novel, hinting at a future story.  Very glad there will be another book but that teaser element felt a bit  off for me.

On the whole, I liked this trilogy. Good writing, good stories. If you are squeamish about violence, it’s probably not for you but otherwise, I recommend it!

Note: as I said, I was sent an advance copy to review but I wasn’t compensated or pressured about what to write.

You can go here to order the book (ebook only, I believe).

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  1. […] his new book, Chill Run. I read and reviewed his previous two books, Pandora’s Succession and Unsavory Delicacies in the past and was happy to do the same for his newest […]