Member Reviews

This was a gorgeous meditation on the relationship between grief and food. It was also a super cozy read for a cold winter day! Would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to have an overall feel good read to absorb in one sitting.

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In a non-descript restaurant, you can enjoy the daily special and then get help finding the recipe for a dish that you have longed for. This was a very enjoyable read.

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Koishi and Nagare Kamogawa are a father-daughter duo who run a very special restaurant in Kyoto that is off the beaten path. You wouldn't know it was there unless someone told you or if you saw the one-line advertisement in a food magazine. In addition to cooking wonderfully tasty Japanese meals, the two run a food detective agency. If someone wants to eat a meal from their childhood, for example, Nagare can do it; it's the perfect way to put his ex-police officer skills with his chef expertise.

I loved each story in this book. I feel like food can bring back specific memories and evoke certain emotions, so I found this book quite fun. Each chapter is a different detective case and, thus, a different meal and the author shared so many details about each side dish and ingredient, it made me hungry. The author was so descriptive about the food.

My main drawback about this book was just how repetitive it all felt. It was like each chapter followed a specific algorithm, so even though the detective cases were different, each chapter also felt the same.

This book was so unique though. I've never read a book where someone does food detective work, and I really enjoyed learning how Nagare was going to go about learning the recipe. He was so thorough, and I was excited for that final reveal every chapter.

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Cute, heartwarming book featuring a restaurant in Kyoto with a "detective service" to help people find and re-create long-lost dishes they loved in the past. Comparisons to Before the Coffee Gets Cold are apt, though I found Before to be better written. Overall, a fast read that would be great for a little armchair travel to Japan - but don't read this hungry! ;)

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I loved the permise of this novel. I read it in one day. It was charming and gave me a lot to think about. That said, for my personal preferences, I would've liked to have seen the actions of Koishi and Nagare doing the sleuthing to discover the mysteries behind the recipes their clients came to them to find. Instead it was told in a simple summary. This made the book feel very on-the-surface for me, lacking depth. The storytelling style was easy to read, characters crisscrossing, and I liked the short story snippets we received from the characters- who were well rounded and interesting. But going quickly from the client coming and explaining their desires to the next moment their return, felt too sudden. I wished to see more of the action.

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A father-daughter duo run a restaurant slash detective agency where they work to track down dishes the clients recall from their memories, oftentimes after years have passed! Your mouth will be watering as you hear the clients’ descriptions, the detectives re-creations, and about other dishes on the menu and you’ll
be running to the nearest Japanese restaurant as soon as you put the book down. I wish recipes, even if fictionalized, had been included as I’m sure a lot of readers attracted to the book title and description are foodies and/or cooks themselves.

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Don’t read while hungry! 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘒𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘨𝘢𝘸𝘢 𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘋𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 is a charming story about former police officer-turned-chef Nagare and his adult daughter Koishi. Together, they run a small, discreet restaurant in Kyoto that also happens to be a sort of detective agency—they help their clients track down long-lost recipes from their past and prepare it for them. The book covers six cases, each with a different character, situation, and dish. The tales are simple and readable and the food descriptions are wonderful and enticing. The language is a bit stiff and forced at times, but that could be due to the Japanese to English translation. Overall, this is a delightful, heartwarming book that is perfect for a cozy read.

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This is a touching and heartfelt mystery book that features a father-daughter duo who are food detectives. Together, they investigate and recreate dishes from a person's treasured memories. This book celebrates Japanese food culture and the significance a good meal can have on a person. This is such a cozy story and I enjoyed it!

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I received an advance copy via NetGalley.

This work of translation is a unique kind of mystery book made up of a sequence of short story "cases." If someone is seeking a memorable restaurant food from decades ago, or a re-creation of their long-dead mother's soup recipe, they go to the food detectives in their tucked-away shop that is almost impossible to find. The father and daughter duo therein use the scant clues provided by the client to re-create the long-lost food.

Now, many of the clues involves minute details from Japanese culture and geography. These aren't mysteries that an ignorant American like myself could solve, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment at all because the logic is explained beautifully. Plus, the food is described in luscious detail. This is a dangerous book to eat while hungry!

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Mr. Kamogawa is a retired detective who runs a restaurant/detective agency with his daughter. The restauant isn't easily found, and the advertisement doesn't provide an address. Do you have a yearning to taste your favorite dish from your past? If yes, please find Mr. Kamogawa and his daughter to help you.

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Like a cup of warm tea slowly heats and soothes your insides while you drink it, is this story to the reader's heart. It's so so so good. It's cozy and sweet and heartbreaking and endearing. The characters are all so loveable and complex, and the FOOD DESCRIPTIONS will make your mouth water. I want this to be turned into a show asap, and I want more stories. This is in my top 5 read books of the year!

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I thought this was a very sweet read! Honestly, I look forward to seeing how the western audience responds to the story, but I have high hopes and am going to keep an eye out for it when it hits shelves in February! Thank you NetGalley and PRH for the advanced read!

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dnf @ 33%


This book was incredibly cozy and warm, but I probably wasn't the best fit for it, despite being so excited to read it. It feels more like a collection of short stories rather than a proper novel, and I think if I'd come into it expecting that (rather than one cohesive novel), I would have had more success reading it. (I'm also not a big short story person, so that's another count against me.)

That being said, I absolutely loved the emotional warmth that came through on every page. The restaurant lent all that I read a wonderful coziness that I think would really appeal to many readers. I think this will be a perfect read for winter or early spring!

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Thank you Netgalley, author, and the publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read this e-arc. I look forward to reading more.

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3.5 *'s

A series of vignettes, kind of set out each on their own, with a father/daughter duo whose goal is to help those who find their way to them. Not a lot of background or explication, but a cute cat

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Koishi and her father Nagare run the Kamogawa Diner, which is not exactly a restaurant but a Detective Agency. Customers can go and share a dish from their most precious memories, and these gourmet experts are capable of recreating dishes.

Each chapter is a different case, all full of food names and Japanese culture. As a curious reader, I searched for all those places and food mentioned in the book to increase the reading experience and have a picture of the stories, and I enjoyed them.

The sweet thing about this book is that it leads the reader to personalize the book and think about those dishes. It made me recall family members no longer in this world and the delicious way they used to cook. Something that I don’t think often, but this book made me remember exactly how those dishes used to taste.

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group: Putnam for the ARC.
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024

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I loved the premise of this book and that's why I read it. The way it's written and presented almost reminded me of an old movie, where the wise proprietors of a very unusual eating establishment know better than the patrons as to what the missing ingredient is in their lives. The father-daughter team are clever, inventive and meticulous. I enjoyed learning about the cultural experience of eating food in Japan. However, I felt there was one missing ingredient between the father and daughter that kept me from giving it five stars. Perhaps more depth as to the relationship? More character development? Nonetheless, this is a gentle book worth reading. I would round my rating up to 4.5 stars.

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In this charming book six people come to the Kamogawa Diner in search of a specific dish remembered from childhood or that reminds them of a memorable person or experience . The diner isn't easy to find and those who find it are initially skeptical. Each customer who enters the unassuming restaurant is served a set meal before following Kioshi, the owner's daughter to a back "office" where she interviews them about the dish they are looking for, where they had it and details about what they remember about it. Clues are often sparse but when the clients return they are served the requested dish. It's accompanied with the wise chef's insight into why the dish was so important to them - often providing information previously unknown to the customer.
The descriptions of the Japanese food is marvelous and the lovely presentation of the food makes the reader feel they are in the diner.
Those who read Kawaguchi's Before the Coffee Gets Cold will recognize similarities. Like that title this one is heavy on dialog and can easily be pictured as a stage performance.
This a quick read that celebrates the power of food to evoke emotions.
Thanks to Netgalley and Putnam for the visit to the Kamogawa Diner..

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This book is so extremely cozy. I love that this book has the best food descriptions, and is about love and friendship. It is extremely heartwarming. If anyone is looking for a nice, fast, and comfortable read I recommend this. I also LOVED the father daughter relationship in this one.

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a short, cozy, and heartwarming book! This culinary journey in the form of a book not only satisfied my hunger but also stirred my emotions. Definitely recommend this to fans of Before the Coffee Gets Cold. Plus, how cute is the cover!? Thanks, Putnam, for the eARC!

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