FREE: Tony Whelpton’s The Heat of the Kitchen: Nov 18th-22nd
The Heat of the Kitchen (Literary Fiction)
The Heat of the Kitchen is a fast-moving, exciting story: Saint-Pierre-sur-Loup is a little town in the south of France, a popular tourist destination, but with a notorious problem – perpetual traffic jams.
Alain Simondi is Mayor of the town, whilst the leader of the opposition on the Town Council, Cécile Delpech, is an attractive single mother – who is much closer to the Mayor than her political status would imply.
Simondi’s proposals for building a relief road split the town, and tempers run high, especially when adverse reports start to appear in the regional newspaper, at the hand of a pretty, young, feisty woman reporter, Hélène Gautier, who has caught the compulsively roving eye of the Mayor.
Who will gain the upper hand, Simondi or his critics? Whose dirty tricks are the most effective?
In a part of France where the heat can transform a traffic jam into a murder scene, and the police, supposedly under the control of the Mayor, are not to be trusted – especially, it seems, when faced with an endemic drug culture among the young people of the region, the heat of the political kitchen is even more intense.
Readers will be attracted by the unexpected twists and turns of the plot, and the more environmentally aware will be intrigued by the ecologically friendly solution to the traffic problem which the author proposes – a solution which is not really utopian, for elements of the plan really have been introduced in a number of towns in both France and Italy.
The author has used his familiarity with, and love of France and the region where Saint-Pierre is situated, to create a fascinating and authentic portrayal of how French local politics work – or might work if this were not a work of fiction. (In fact a number of French readers assert not only that this is exactly how French local politics work but that the author must have had their village or town in mind, because their Mayor behaves in exactly the same way as Alain Simondi!)