Chef Bartolomeo Scappi, the head cook for the Popes during the 1500’s in Rome, dies suddenly and leaves most of his estate to his nephew, apprentice Giovanni Scappi who then steps into the head cook role
Giovanni is given Bartolomeo’s cooking knife and a set of keys and is told to destroy what is in the boxes. Giovanni’s curiosity gets the better of him and he opens one of the boxes to find his Uncle’s journals dating back years, Unfortunately much of the journals are unreadable because they are in codes. Instead of burning the journals, he decides to decipher them to find out what Bartolomeo had been hiding all these years.
Within the notebooks Giovanni begins to see a different person than the kind, loving hardworking uncle he had always looked up to. He discovers Bartolomeo’s secrets and even a murder. Bartolomeo, who never married had been carrying on an affair with a woman who was given the pseudonym Stella to hide her true identity. Who could Stella be?
The Chef’s Secret is filled with intrigue, suspense, love, deception, and many feasts. The story reads like a juicy soap opera!. Anyone interested in the history of Renaissance life in Italy will be fascinated with the intricate details of the Vatican, the architecture of the day, artwork of the period as well as the massive amount of foods which were consumed during feasts and some of the delicacies’ origins.
Thank you #NetGalley and #Simon & Schuster for the advanced copy. The Chef’s Secret will be out on February 12.