The Second Worst Restaurant in France by Alexander McCall Smith (Paul Stuart #2)
English | 2019 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB |710 Kb
Second Worst : In this delightful sequel to the best-selling comedic novel My Italian Bulldozer, Paul Stuart’s travels taie him to a French village, where the local restaurant’s haute cuisine leaves a lot to be desired.
Renowned Scottish cookbook writer Paul Stuart is hard at work on his new book, The Philosophy of Food, but complicated domestic circumstances, and two clingy cats, are making that difficult.
So when Paul’s cousin Chloe suggests that he join her at the house she’s rented in the French countryside, he jumps at the chance. The two quickly befriend the locals, including their twin-sister landladies, who also own the infamous local restaurant known to be the second-worst eatery in all of France. During their stay, the restaurant’s sole waitress gives birth mid-dinner service and the maitre d’ storms off after fighting with the head chef. Paul is soon drafted to improve the gastronomy of the village, which Chloe, ever on the hunt for her next romance, busies herself with distracting the handsome but incompetent chef. Could he be husband number six?
With all this local drama to deal with, Paul finds it next to impossible to focus on his writing, and that’s before he learns that Chloe’s past is far more complicated than he’d ever imagined. Paul will have to call upon al his experience—with food and with people—to bring order back to the village. And he may just learn something about family—and about himself— along the way.
“He now realised just how far he had strayed into sensitive territory. “Indifferent?” said Gloria, her tone now one of decided reproof. “Hamish and Mrs Macdonald are not indifferent to me. How could you say such a thing?”
“I’m sorry, it’s just the way they … Maybe that’s the way cats are. I don’t know much about these creatures.”
Again, he was cut short. “Hamish and Mrs Macdonald are both very fond of me,” said Gloria firmly. “In fact, they love me – actually love me.” She intercepted Paul’s look of incredulity. “No, don’t be cynical. I’m absolutely sure of that. In fact, I positively bask in the love of my cats.”
Paul had thought she might be speaking ironically, but now realised his mistake. Discretion might have prompted him to leave the matter there, but he persisted.
“I’m not sure that cats love humans,” he mused. “Dogs do, of course.”
Gloria shook her head. “Dogs …” she began.
“All right then, dogs,” Paul interjected. “How about dogs? Dogs will sacrifice their lives for their owners, if necessary. You know how it is – they’ll jump into rivers to save a drowning child – tackle an armed burglar – that sort of thing. Whereas cats …” He looked up at the ceiling. “Is there any recorded instance of a cat doing anything unselfish? Feline altruism?” This, he felt, was the clinching argument. “An oxymoron?”
Gloria stared at him reproachfully.
“You see,” Paul went on, “I have a theory that cats are perfect psychopaths.” He had just thought of it, but it seemed to make sense.”