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Through the Daily Beast, we’ve just been introduced to the literary character Pepe Carvalho, Barcelona’s “gastronome private eye.” The creation of the late Spanish author Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (pictured here), this foodie P.I. starred in 19 crime novels, spending as much time solving crimes as he was cooking and eating. As the Daily Beast writes about Carvalho:

What’s not to like about a detective who, at the end of a hard day’s sleuthing, rustles up a duck ragout at 1 in the morning and then sits down to eat it? “What would cooking and life be without mystery?” a character asks him on his mission in Buenos Aires. Montalbán’s detective throws himself into both cooking and life, and instead of being confounded by mystery, he relishes it.

Long a favorite in Spain, five of the series’ best books are now being reissued in English. The full Daily Beast article about the books can be found here.

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