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3.5 

The Kamogawa Food Detectives

By Hisashi Kashiwai & Jesse Kirkwood
The Kamogawa Food Detectives by Hisashi Kashiwai & Jesse Kirkwood digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

The Kamogawa Food Detectives is the first book in the bestselling, mouth-watering Japanese series, for fans of Before the Coffee Gets Cold.

What’s the one dish you’d do anything to taste just one more time?


Down a quiet backstreet in Kyoto exists a very special restaurant. Run by Koishi Kamogawa and her father Nagare, the Kamogawa Diner serves up deliciously extravagant meals. But that's not the main reason customers stop by . . .


The father-daughter duo are 'food detectives'. Through ingenious investigations, they are able to recreate dishes from a person’s treasured memories – dishes that may well hold the keys to their forgotten past and future happiness. The restaurant of lost recipes provides a link to vanished moments, creating a present full of possibility.


A bestseller in Japan, The Kamogawa Food Detectives is a celebration of good company and the power of a delicious meal.

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44 Reviews

3.5
Expressionless Face“I don’t want to give this a lower rating but the more I consider this book, the more flaws I see. It is very repetitive. This would’ve been such a sweet short story, but unfortunately, this is the same short story 6 times repeated and marketed as a novel. I would’ve liked this a lot more if I had more attachment to each of the characters but the “why” is lacking for me. I also thought we would get to understand the father daughter duo a little more outside of the main things we come to know about them. What brought this to 2 stars was the food vibes were fantastic and the atmosphere was generally enjoyable, but this is not a novel. If you find yourself reading this and feel bored after the first or second story, it is alright to put it down, there’s not much to miss unless you just want more yummy food description.”
Descriptive writingRealistic settingFeel goodUnengaging charactersUnsatisfying plot
Expressionless Face“This was a fun short story that’s only 200 pages. So I really liked that. At the beginning of each chapter when we were introduced to a new character looking for their dish they wanted to be recreated I’d find myself not really liking them, but then by the end of their chapter I would… If that makes sense. I found the story to be very repetitive. Overall, it was good, I wouldn’t continue on with the series.”
Likable charactersEasy to readFast-pacedFeel good
Slightly Smiling Face
Easy to readFeel good

About Hisashi Kashiwai

Hisashi Kashiwai was born in 1952 and was raised in Kyoto. He graduated from Osaka Dental University. After graduating, he returned to Kyoto and worked as a dentist. He has written extensively about his native city and has collaborated in TV programs and magazines.

Jesse Kirkwood is a literary translator working from Japanese into English. The recipient of the 2020 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize, his translations include The Kamogawa Food Detectives by Hisashi Kashiwai, Tokyo Express by Seicho Matsumoto and A Perfect Day to Be Alone by Nanae Aoyama.

Jesse Kirkwood

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