A la francais
In fiction or food history, these new books reflect the flavor of France.
Murder in the Rue Dumas (Penguin) by M.L. Longworth is the second in a series of mysteries set evocatively in Aix-en-Provence and featuring its dashing chief magistrate, Antoine Verlaque.
Peaches for Father Francis (Viking) by Joanne Harris is a sequel to her bestselling charmer Chocolat (made into an Oscar-nominated film), with Vianne Rocher returning to the village of Lansquenet, where a new cultural mix has some people on edge.
Thomas Jefferson's Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America (Quirk) by Thomas J. Craughwell recounts Jefferson's passion for French food and how he brought Hemings with him to Paris to study cooking techniques with the best chefs.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor