The Kamogawa Food Detectives

The Kamogawa Food Detectives

by Hisashi Kashiwai
Setting: Japan
Genres: Fiction / Literary
Published on November 25, 2013
Pages: 208
Format: Audiobook Source: Library

The Kamogawa Food Detectives is the first book in the bestselling, mouth-watering Japanese series, for fans of Before the Coffee Gets Cold.

What’s the one dish you’d do anything to taste just one more time?

Down a quiet backstreet in Kyoto exists a very special restaurant. Run by Koishi Kamogawa and her father Nagare, the Kamogawa Diner serves up deliciously extravagant meals. But that's not the main reason customers stop by . . .

The father-daughter duo are 'food detectives'. Through ingenious investigations, they are able to recreate dishes from a person’s treasured memories – dishes that may well hold the keys to their forgotten past and future happiness. The restaurant of lost recipes provides a link to vanished moments, creating a present full of possibility.

A bestseller in Japan, The Kamogawa Food Detectives is a celebration of good company and the power of a delicious meal.

Nagare Kamogawa was a detective. Now he runs a restaurant in Kyoto with no sign out front. The only advertising he does is a vague ad in a food magazine that doesn’t even list the address of the restaurant. He knows the people that need to find him will come.

People who want to have a meal recreated come to the detective agency. His daughter interviews them and then he sets out to figure out the dish and the story behind it.

The book reads like a series of short stories that each follow the same formula. I listened to it on audio and it got sort of annoying. The first chapter for each person is them coming to the restaurant. They each talk about the same things – how hard it was to find, the pictures in the hall, their surprise that they have to talk to the daughter. Listening to it one after the other was irritating in its repetitiveness. It might be better if you read each story separately. The second chapter for each person told the story of when they came back and got their dish and the answer to their mystery. That was interesting. There isn’t an overall plot. Just the story of each unrelated person.

I really liked the character of Nagare but the daughter was awful. She was supposed to around 30 but she read like a spoiled brat teenager. I liked hearing each character’s story and resolution but I don’t think I’d pick up the next book because I found her so annoying.