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When Alice agreed to appear in a reality cooking show with her father, she had no idea she'd find herself in the middle of a mystery! Will Alice and her new friends be able to save the show? A light-hearted and funny middle grade novel for fans of Rebecca Stead and Linda Mulally Hunt.
Alice Fleck's father is a culinary historian, and for as long as she can remember, she's been helping him recreate meals from the past -- a hobby she prefers to keep secret from kids her age. But when her father's new girlfriend enters them into a cooking competition at a Victorian festival, Alice finds herself and her hobby thrust into the spotlight.
And that's just the first of many surprises awaiting her. On arriving at the festival, Alice learns that she and her father are actually contestants on Culinary Combat, a new reality TV show hosted by Tom Truffleman, the most famous and fierce judge on TV! And to make matters worse, she begins to suspect that someone is at work behind the scenes, sabotaging the competition.
It's up to Alice, with the help of a few new friends, to find the saboteur before the entire competition is ruined, all the while tackling some of the hardest cooking challenges of her life . . . for the whole world to see.
Rising seventh grader Alice Fleck, 12, who has unruly "ginger-colored hair," secretly enjoys being sous-chef to her culinary historian father as they whip up historically accurate, sometimes stomach-churning, recipes. But then her father's "unnecessary" girlfriend, Hana Holmes, announces that she has entered the duo into their favorite cooking show, Culinary Chronicles, "quite possibly the friendliest cooking competition on TV." Alice doesn't want to be on-screen or around Hana, since the program will be shot at the "week-long Victorian festival" Hana is lecturing at. Things go from sour to downright unsavory when the production team announces that the show has been acquired and transformed into Culinary Combat, evaluated by Tom Truffleman, "the fiercest judge in the world of competitive cooking." As the contestants prepare Victorian dishes such as charlotte russe, suspicious kitchen accidents point to sabotage, and Alice and her new friends, two other children at the festival, must find the perpetrator especially after Truffleman accuses Alice's father of cheating. Detailing fascinating food history and delectable dishes, Delaney (Clara Voyant) serves a toothsome culinary caper amid a gentle, well-balanced portrait of one preteen's journey toward accepting adaptability and change. Ages 10 14.