I was sent a free copy of The Secret of Chantilly by Laura Rahme through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. All opinions are my own.
Any purchase links below are affiliate links which means if you buy anything through them I will receive a small commission (at no additional charge to you)
About The Secret of Chantilly:
“In my story, there was such a prince. And never in my wildest imagination would I have predicted that I would come to live with him, in his château.”
PARIS, 1792. Antonin Carême is eight years old when he is left to fend for himself in a city about to enter the darkest days of the French revolution. The imaginative boy who yearns for a fairy tale come true soon discovers his talent for pâtisserie.
When he meets the mysterious Boucheseiche, maître d’hôtel for Napoleon’s minister, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Carême’s world is turned upside down. Boucheseiche promises that one day, he will reveal to him the secret of Chantilly.
Appointed chef at the château of Valençay, Carême falls under the spell of the enigmatic Talleyrand. He is soon swept up in his own fairy tale – a whirlwind of princes, princesses and châteaux, with pâtisserie and scandal along the way. Then comes Napoleon’s downfall and everything changes. Can Carême place his trust in the elusive Talleyrand, that limping devil for whom no one seems to matter?
Orphan of the Terror, genius crippled by self-doubt, it will take years for Carême to finally discover the secret of Chantilly.
This is the story of a child who defied his birth to become a legend of French gastronomy and of the unimaginable friendship between two men from entirely different worlds.
From the streets of Paris to the château of Valençay, from the congress of Vienna to the dazzling ballrooms of France’s richest man, Carême recounts adventures colored with spice, humor and tenderness, but always rich with France’s history, its heritage and its great culinary art.
About the Author:
Laura Rahme is a French-Australian author based in Brittany, France. Born in Dakar, Senegal and inspired by her Lebanese, French and Vietnamese heritage, she has a passion for covering historical and cultural ground in her writing. She has written,
The Ming Storytellers (2012) – a historical novel set in China’s Early Ming Dynasty.
The Mascherari (2014) – a historical mystery with supernatural themes set in 15th century Venice.
Julien’s Terror (2017) – a French Revolution psychological thriller/mystery which pays homage to her Breton origins.
Calista (2021) – a Victorian gothic horror mystery set in 19th century England and Greece.
The Secret of Chantilly (2021) — a real-life fairy tale set in France featuring the first celebrity chef, Marie-Antoine Carême (1784-1833) and one of France’s most influential figures, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord.
In 2020, Laura announced that she is working on a historical crime novel set in her birth country, Senegal. The Silence of the Pirogue will explore 70s and 80s Senegal, a world she has lived.
Laura plans to craft two sequels to The Mascherari – Malefica and The Master of Cologne.
With Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Engineering (Aerospace Avionics), she balances a 20-year career in Tech with her great love of telling stories.
Since I am so interested in cooking/baking I immediately recognized the name of the book’s protagonist as Mssr. Careme is a very well known chef. It was interesting to read this fictional account of his life as I will admit to knowing absolutely nothing about him.
He did not have a charmed beginning as he was left on the streets at age 8 at the time of the French Revolution so it was not very safe for a child at all. Chaos reigned and he was lucky to have found his way.
But find it he surely did as he had a great talent for cooking – especially baking and making showstopping desserts. He found a patron in Tallyrand and his talent kept him safe but he longed to know the secret of Chantilly.
Ms. Rahme presents his story in an delightfully readable way and it made me want to know even more about this incredibly talented man. Who doesn’t love a delicious dessert? I know I love making them as anyone who visits the blog with any regularity would know.
If you enjoy historical fiction and reading about food this book will bring those two loves together in a tasty tale that ends in a very satisfying way.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, December 6
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Tuesday, December 7
Review at With A Book In Our Hands
Wednesday, December 8
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy
Thursday, December 9
Review at A Girl Reads Bookss
Friday, December 10
Review at Novels Alive
Saturday, December 11
Review at Jessica Belmont
Sunday, December 12
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Monday, December 13
Review at Bookoholic Cafe
Tuesday, December 14
Review at Bibliostatic
Wednesday, December 15
Review at MTM Reads
Thursday, December 16
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Enter to win a copy of The Secret of Chantilly by Laura Rahme!
The giveaway is open internationally and ends on December 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.