Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller.
Billie Breslin has just moved from California to New York to work as assistant to the editor of Delicious! Magazine. She's immediately known for her superhuman palate: she can taste any dish and list its ingredients and suggest the flavors it needs. Quickly, she immerses herself in this world, enjoying the magazine staff while befriending a family that operates an Italian cheese shop.
Not long after she starts, the magazine is closed by its’ parent company as a result of the recession. She is the one staff person kept on to respond to readers’ letters, mostly those who claim the magazine’s recipes didn’t deliver as promised (the magazine has a guarantee: "Your money back if the recipe doesn't work."). Billie also writes emails to her older sister, Genie, with whom she set up a successful cake-baking business in California when they were 10 and 11.
The mystery of Billie’s past is merely one thread of this delightful story; she also discovers a cache of World War II correspondence between James Beard and a young girl named Lulu. But the letters have been hidden using special code or puzzles by a long-forgotten Delicious! staff librarian and Billie is determined to decipher the code and find them. An admirer enters the picture and takes up more of her time, slowly revealing her past and helping her solve the mystery of the letters.
Ruth Reichl, former New York Times restaurant critic, restaurant co-owner and food-show host, who has charmed readers with her memoirs Tender at the Bone and Garlic and Sapphires, among others, now enchants with her first fiction novel, Delicious!.
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