Cover Image: The Kamogawa Food Detectives

The Kamogawa Food Detectives

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Member Reviews

A magical diner? Sign me up! Also, the cover art for every edition is gorgeous! The cat in a bowl on the US cover?? Amazing!

A father daughter duo in a cafe in Kyoto, tracking down the ingredients and re-creating beloved dishes for their clients. It’s sweet, it’s cozy, and I loved every second of this one!

Each story is broken up into two parts: meeting the client/ hearing their story, and the recreated meal. The timeline jumps from part one to part two, so we don’t see the actual detective work. The client leaves, then returns and we the audience get to hear the tale of how the duo found the recipe, alongside the client.

Last year I read a few books in the “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” series, another translated body of work. I *loved* it. I’ve been trying to integrate more translated works into my tbr. When I heard the premise of this one, I ran to NetGalley to request an ARC!

Thank you to the author, publisher, & NetGalley for my advanced digital copy!

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I loved this! The premise, the exquisite descriptions of the food, and the father-daughter relationship all were particularly well-constructed. The different reasons people had for the dishes they were hoping to recreate were very moving. I highly recommend this read — I finished it in a day — and eagerly await the sequel!

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final rating: 3.5/5 🍱

thank you to netgalley and penguin group for this adorable arc!!!!!

this was sooooo cute and cozy! just what i needed to clear my head <3 i really did get some before the coffee gets cold vibes from this, in a very good way. it was similar enough to give me the same vibes, but i'm happy that the plot was very different.

the writing style was a bit on the plain side, and it was kinda a bummer that we didn't get to see how nagare "solved" the cases until the end of each chapter, but it was still really nice! my rating would've been a bit higher if there was more stuff happening in the chapters, but again, that's to be expected from a cute little book like this one :D despite not getting a ton of info about the characters, i found myself getting attached to pretty much all of them. without getting too spoilery, there were a few that really stood out to me.

definitely grab this in your local library or bookstore on february 13th!!

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Meet Mr. Kamogawa, a retired detective who, alongside his daughter, discreetly operates a fusion restaurant and detective agency. The restaurant intentionally keeps its location under wraps, and the advertisement cleverly avoids divulging the address. Craving the nostalgic flavors of your favorite dish from the past? If so, track down Mr. Kamogawa and his daughter for a flavorful journey.

The Kamogawa Diner specializes in "lost recipes," where patrons engage the Food Detectives—a former cop father and his contemporary daughter—to unlock cherished memories through their distinctive investigations. This culinary process involves skillfully recreating dishes from the customer's past, potentially holding the keys to forgotten moments and future happiness. The restaurant of lost recipes serves as a conduit to vanished memories, weaving a present brimming with delectable possibilities.

This book shines as an exceptional "feel-good" read. My heartfelt thanks to NetGalley and Hisashi Kashiwai for generously providing an advance copy of this amazing book.

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Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC!

What more could you ask for, food, family, beautiful writing and sensitive storytelling? I want this to be a cooking show, because I would follow it religiously. What a lovely little book. The only thing I request is more Drowsy the cat!

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Koishi Kamogawa and her father, Nagare, own and operate a diner in Kyoto called Kamogawa Diner. Not only do they cook delicious meals, but they can help people to figure out dishes they have had in their past and recreate them. Hence,
given the name the Kamogawa Food Detectives. When a family friend, Hideji, stops by to not only eat, but to ask them to help recreate a certain flavor from the dish Nabeyaki-udon. He wanted it just like his deceased wife used to make it. No matter how many times he tries to do it, it’s not quite right. Can they figure out the recipe in a 2-week time frame? Will it be just like his late wife’s?

Each chapter highlights a different customer asking them to figure out a recipe from their past. Will they be successful each time? This book will have you turning the pages to find out.

I loved how the food detectives were a father/daughter team! I also loved all the food and cultural traditions mentioned in this book. It made for an entertaining and fun read! A great book to take on vacation or read on a long winter’s day!

Thanks to PENGUIN GROUP Putnam (G.P. Putnam's Sons), I was provided an ARC of The Kamogawa Food Detectives by Hisashi Kashiwai via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy of this title.

I really loved this story.

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**Thank you to Net Galley for my advance reader copy

This book is cozy, atmospheric, and follows a predictable routine each chapter. We meet a new client seeking detective services to track down and recreate a dish of their past from father-daughter duo Koishi and Negare, each of the six chapters. Each client waits two weeks, then returns to the cafe to try their dish. Our entire world exists within the cafe, while events from outside it are relayed back by Negare to the client.
If you are looking for a cozy mystery, this is not that. I found this quick paced, so it was easy to knock out in one sitting. It's a relatively light read but has themes of loss, grief, and misunderstanding woven throughout in similar style to Before the Coffee Gets Cold. I really enjoyed learning more about Japanese foods, culture, and geography as the detective work revolves around tracking each clients past through Japan and the ingredients they feel nostalgic for.
I'd recommend this to anyone who is looking for something heartwarming, especially during these cold, winter months!

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An usual, fun and entertaining book!

Doesn't everyone have that one special food tied to a memory - that you'd just love to enjoy one more time! However, nostalgia and whatnot gets in the way, and no matter how many times you try - you just can't get it right. That's where the Kamogawa Food Detectives come in -- father and daughter chef/detectives will listen to your story and research the origins and prepare the meal for you. Each chapter is a new story, a new customer and a new flavor. It's just such an exciting book to read!

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a digital, temporary ARC in return for my review.

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It was really interesting at first but after few stories in it started to get a little boring. It reminds me of Before the Coffee Gets Cold, set in a place and has a pattern for each story. but at least BtCGC still made me emotional while this book wasn’t. The food description was detailed even though i still cant get the general idea of the dishes but thats probably because i’m not familiar with Japanese foods beside sushi & takoyaki🙃 not sure if i’ll read the next book if this going to be a series like BtCGC.

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A super cute and short read! A father daughter duo run a detective agency that tracks down nostalgic recipes. I appreciated how organized the book was. Each chapter featured a different client, and there were 2 parts for each chapter - the initial interview and the final product. I'd recommend this to any foodie looking for a quick, warm and fuzzy read.

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This was a charming book but ended up being just okay for me. Not sure if there was something lost in the translation of the book. The six short stories seemed repetitive except for the characters and the particular food from their past that they were asking to be recreated for them. It was a sweet and fast read, just not my cup of tea.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.

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ARC received through NetGalley.

Eh. That’s the only thing I can think of to describe this book. I was so excited about the concept, but it had a lot of issues.

The characters felt shallow and unlikeable, especially Koishi, who had no personality apart from being very judgemental. The six stories felt extremely repetitive due to the same exact structure (seriously, if I had to read the paragraph about just paying whatever it’s worth and sending it to the details on the card, I was gonna commit arson). My biggest issue, though, was the fact that this book was the anti “show, don’t tell’. There were so many cool opportunities to show them investigating the dishes, yet we were only given boring summaries that could have been portrayed as expansive adventures. The writing style also felt awkward and choppy, though I’m not sure if it may just be the translation.

Overall, it wasn’t terrible, but I quite literally couldn’t help myself from falling asleep reading it.

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The Kamagawa Food Detectives felt like a bunch of short stories put together. I loved the food descriptions and the detective work of figuring out the mystery food. But I felt lost sometimes, maybe because I don’t know much about Japan? Still a pleasant read.

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"What's the one dish you'd do anything to taste just one more time?" This cozy mystery was an absolute delight. Its structure is similar to Before the Coffee Gets Cold, making it an easy read to escape into (perfect given the chilly weather lately). Every description of the delicious Japanese delicacies got my mouth watering (I know my fellow bookish bats are aware I adore experiencing other cultures through food, in and out of books).

While this was a comforting read, I do wish we learned more about the main cast of characters. Instead of focusing on small short stories/mysteries, I wish a singular mystery was the novel's through line, allowing us to focus more on the three main characters. Regardless, this story was a delicious, cozy treat!

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3.75 stars

Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

It was a cute, cozy, and quick read. It’s about a father and daughter (Nagare and Koishi) who own Kamogawa Diner and have advertised their expertise as ‘food detectives.’ There are 6 short stories of 6 different customers coming to ask for their help in creating a dish that they would like to eat again but can’t seem to get it quite right. I loved how Nagare always going off to find out more about the meal all over Japan and find the ingredients to make the perfect meal for the customer. All of descriptions of the meals were so good, and it made me so hungry to read the book! I enjoyed the sweetness of it and how it reminded me of Before the Coffee Gets Cold, but it was very repetitive in nature. I still had a good time reading it though! It releases February 13th for anyone wanting to read it! ☺️

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When I saw the publisher blurb of The Kamogawa Food Detectives ask the question “What’s the one dish you’d do anything to taste just one more time?” I knew it was a book that I needed to get my hands on. A little mystery (and perhaps a little magical realism) mixed into delectable descriptions of Japanese food for pages and pages? Yes, please! It delivered as promised, and I enjoyed the light, cozy atmosphere it created.

I’ve read a few translated Japanese novels recently with a similar structure (What You Are Looking For Is In the Library, Before the Coffee Gets Cold), and it’s a trend that’s working for me when I’m looking for an easy read to rest my mind and balm my soul. In The Kamogawa Food Detectives, we get a few short stories that each follow a different character that wanders into The Kamogawa Diner in search of a re-creation of a very specific dish from their past. The father-daughter duo that owns the diner not only run the restaurant for the lucky friends and patrons that are in the know about their little nook, but also manage a food detective agency out of the back of the restaurant to help select customers on their quests to taste that one dish just one more time. With daughter Koishi in charge of information-gathering and father Nagare using that information to do the detective work, they track down both recipes and stories for those in search of their special dish. Each short story features a different character at a different point in their lives searching for a recipe for a different reason, and each time, they are presented with exactly what they’re looking for, whether they realize it or not. Re-creating these dishes also teaches the customers about themselves in many ways, and each short story has its own happy ending.

All in all, this was a delightfully heartwarming and comforting read with lovely lessons and characters that doesn’t make the reader try too hard to enjoy. That being said, it did feel much more surface-level than the other Japanese fiction titles mentioned above, and I do wish we could’ve gotten to know Koishi, Nagare and the other characters on a bit of a deeper level. But all of the discussion about Japanese food was more than enough to keep me distracted from that minor criticism - it’s definitely not one to pick up with an empty stomach!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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This book is wonderful if you enjoy dialogue between characters, as that is mostly what this one is.
It isn't bad by any means, just sadly not my cup of tea when it comes to reading.
I wonder if maybe the audiobook would be a better experience, you can just sit back and listen to the conversations and enjoy the mood more that way.

The food all sounded delicious though and had me running to my local Japanese restaurant after :)

And I absolutely loved the concept of trying to discover the recipes people enjoyed via detective skills. So fun! :)

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This was less a novel than it was a collection of short stories, and I think my biggest problem with it is that it would've worked better AS a single short story. Each one was effectively the same story with a few different characters, and nothing ever really happened. It was 95% dialogue. I usually really like cozy reads, so this was disappointing to me.

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This is going to be a shorter review, because I don’t like to share spoilers, so some straightforward sentences…

Comfort food in literary form.

I adored this cozy novel. I loved the way the chapters were written and set up, and am very glad that this is book one and there will be more to come 😍

Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and NetGalley for the DRC

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