Himmler's Cook by Franz-Olivier Giesbert

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  • Author:
    Franz-Olivier Giesbert
    105 years old , a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, white slavery, the fall of France in 1940 and still able to take a cold blooded view of justice and revenge. Plus some first class cooking tips and recipes.

    Himmler's Cook is the life story of Rose Lempereur, born on the Black Sea to an Armenian family, orphaned, sold to a stranger and taken as his plaything. What could be the start of another misery memoire is actually the beginning of a romp through some of the more lethal areas of the 20th Century. Throughout all the vicissitudes that are forced on her , Rose has a survival ethos and a refusal to be beaten.

    Having survived the fall of the Ottoman empire she washes up in Marseilles and avoids the criminal underworld to be adopted by a French peasant couple. The inter war years bring their ups and downs and the start of another war looks ominous.
    Cooking skills lead to the epicentre of the Nazi war machine but by this point in the book you have the message Rose will survive.

    In the fast moving book there are also some good recipes and cooking tips. There is also a section of further historical reading for those eager to learn more.

    This is a book that does not really fall neatly into categories but at £12.99 the reviewer rates it a delightful read. Hopefully the author will get down to writing another book soon. Anthea Bell has made a good lively translation. Only a pedantic reader would observe that the Glock 17 referred to does not have a 27 round magazine!

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