I have received a free e-copy of the book Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation by Matthew Redford to review, as part of Clink Street Publishing’s #SpringReads Week.
Here is the book blurb.
Following the murder of Benedict and Darcy Blacktail, two eggs savagely beaten to death outside their home by an unknown, fedora wearing assailant brandishing a large metal spoon, Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot and the leading food detective in the police force, is called in to investigate. When the only food sapiens minister in the Government, Professor Perry Partridge, is murdered at the Strawberry Strip Club, run by the young damson Victoria Plum, DI Wortel suspects that the two cases may somehow be linked. As the Head of the Food Related Crime Division, DI Wortel is ably assisted by his human colleague Sergeant Dorothy Knox. But as their investigation begins, four celebrity chefs are sent death threats. It’s a recipe for disaster as the incarcerated evil genius MadCow McBeef is seeking parole; someone appears to have crumbled Mr Bramley’s apples; and there is an anti-GM food protestor on the prowl. And why do Oranges and Lemons think they owe someone five farthings? DI Wortel and his team must find out who is seemingly addicted to death. It will take all efforts – human, fruit and vegetable – to figure this one out.
This story is crazily silly with half the characters being foods. Most have corny names too based on real-life celebrities, like footballer Wayne Rooster, a potato who plays for Breadenham Hotspuds or pop icon Curly Kale Minogue, plus a smattering of references to well-known nursery rhymes. If you can ignore the corniness and concentrate, the plot is actually quite good.
The book begins with two eggs, Benedict and Darcy Blacktail being murdered with a spoon on their doorstep, as they returned home from a night at the theatre. The Detective Inspector investigating the crime is Willie Wortel, a carrot. Another murder follows, that of government minister for DAFaRT (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Trade), Professor Perry Partridge, a pear. Initial chief suspect is Alex Pine, an anti-GM food protestor. And then Victoria Plum who discovered the dead Perry Partridge, goes missing. Meanwhile four celebrity chefs are sent death threats, so DI Wortel goes to meet the chefs.
Wortel gets lumbered with two new team members, Oranges and Lemons, who tend to mostly be more of a liability than an asset. He also keeps receiving foreign texts, which he ignores as he doesn’t understand them. Looks like a cue for the next story.
Addicted to Death is Matthew Redford’s debut novel and is available on Amazon, currently priced at £8.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. and is published by Clink Street Publishing. I usually love food related stories, but this one was just too over the top for me with all the silliness. Even though it had a good plot, I think I’ll be giving his next book “Who Killed The Mince Spy” which also features DI Wortel, a miss.
Here is an extract from the book for you to read.
Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot and head of the Food Related Crime Team is trying to find out who is sending death threats to celebrity chefs, when a chocolate bomb cake is placed at Goodeatery, the restaurant of famous chef, Scottie Rodgers.
A startled Wortel was pushed aside by Scottie Rodgers who bounded towards the restaurant at full speed. Wortel turned and started to run after the celebrity chef who was surprisingly fleet of foot. When Wortel caught up with Rodgers he was already at the site of the bomb, spatula in one hand, whipped cream being vigorously shaken in the other.
The timer read 2:15.
Rodgers spoke first without looking up.
“It’s more complex than I thought Wortel. This wiring is intertwined, one wrong swish of this spatula and we’re goners. Take the whipped cream and keep shaking it. I’m going to cut a wire and then you need to spray that cream on it quick. That’ll prevent the bomb from detonating accidently.”
Wortel looked unconvinced.
Wortel took the whipped cream and carried on shaking the can as Rodgers separated the wires using the spatula.
The timer read 1:45.
“Blast,” said Rodgers, “oh sorry, wrong word at this time I guess.”
“If I cut the blue wire, that’ll trip the green wire. And if I cut the green wire that’ll trip the red wire.”
“So cut the red wire first then.”
“My god, I know you’re a carrot but are you just plain raving bonkers? Cutting the red wire is suicide.”
“We need to divert the red wire and make the bomb think it’s still connected before I cut it. Don’t you see?”
“Actually no, and you’re talking about the bomb as though it has a brain and can think for itself.”
Rodgers looked quite disappointedly at Wortel. “You really know nothing about bombs do you. Of course they can think for themselves once armed. That’s why we have to trick it.”
“Not the time for a lecture Mr Rodgers. What do you need?”
The timer read 60 seconds.
“Something thin and wire like. Any thoughts?”
Wortel scanned the kitchen, all the time shaking the whipped cream violently in one hand. He looked across left at the suet chef’s station and saw nothing. He turned to the right and scanned the soup chef’s station and saw something which looked like salvation.
“Will noodles do?”
“Jolly good show Wortel. Yes, noodles are great.”
Wortel lunged forward and grabbed the noodles, turning in one fluid movement and throwing them to Rodgers who had briefly put down the spatula.
The timer read 30 seconds.
Rodgers grabbed plain flour from the suet chef’s station, patted some onto his hands to dry his nervous sweaty palms, and went to work. Wortel moved to his side and looked on as the celebrity chef who held a degree in physics and engineering began to trick the bomb into thinking it still had a red wire, which was now nothing more than a noodle.
The time timer read 15 seconds.
Rodgers put down the noodles and raised the spatula. “I have to say DI Wortel that it’s been a pleasure. Do you think we’ve enough time to take a selfie?”
“Not now Mr Rodgers.”
“Fair point. It’s now or never old bean.”
The timer read 7 seconds.
“Cut that wire – FAST.”
The spatula came down and swiped through the wires, red followed by blue followed by green. As the wires were separated Wortel sprayed the whipped cream covering the bomb in a coating of white froth.
The timer came to a stop with just two seconds remaining.
About the author
Born in 1980, Matthew Redford grew up with his parents and elder brother on a council estate in Bermondsey, south-east London. He now lives in Longfield, Kent, takes masochistic pleasure in watching his favourite football team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is a keen chess player and is planning future food related crime novels. To counterbalance the quirkiness of his crime fiction Redford is an accountant. His unconventional debut crime thriller, Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation was published by Clink Street Publishing last summer.
I’m participating in the Clink Street Spring Reading Week book tour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts, which cover a wide range of reading tastes.
Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.