Book Review: A RECIPE FOR TROUBLE by Sarah Todd Taylor (Middle Grade Monday)

Title in pink on purple blurred image of a girl running beside a train
Genre: Thriller
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - first book


Book cover for A RECI

Baker by day, spy by night – Alice Éclair leads an exciting double life!

A mysterious message sends Alice on a mission aboard France’s most glamorous train. She must uncover an enemy agent before they reach their final stop. But everyone on the train seems to be hiding something…

Armed with her whisk, her wits and her will to succeed, Alice has a spy to catch.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


A RECIPE FOR TROUBLE is a thrilling 1930s spy novel set in Paris with a patisseries chef cum spy as the heroine.

As you might have guessed from my blog, I really like train-set mysteries. There is something about knowing that there is no way off until the next station, but also an awareness that the next station is coming. It puts a time pressure on the story which is compounded by the fact that Alice is staff on board and so stuck in the kitchen.

I really liked that angle on the book, making Alice a member of the kitchen team and not a passenger. It feels like a different take and means she has to try and fit her spying around her time in the kitchen – not to mention being kept to the “right” parts of the train. There are all sort of distractions thought up to get her into carriages and berths to snoop.

Having a chef as a main character also leads to lots of yummy food descriptions. I would really like to try all of Alice’s creations – my mouth was frequently watering as I read. Definitely not one to read if dinner is a long way off!

The book is set in 1930s France, with hints at the things happening in Germany. It looks like that could become a bigger part of the coming books, helping to ratchet the tension and also explore the lead up to World War Two.

Read my reviews of other books by Sarah Todd Taylor:

Alice Eclair, Spy Extraordinaire (this series):

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