The Kamogawa Food Detectives by Hisashi Kashiwai – A Book Review


Fans of Japanese-translated fiction such as ‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold’ or cosy literature gather around. There’s a new book on the shelf to tick all your boxes – The Kamogawa Food Detectives. Written by Hisashi Kashiwai and translated into English by Jesse Kirkwood, The Kamogawa Food Detectives is a cosy read emphasising the power of food as it connects us to our past and our future.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover but in all honestly I picked this book due to the cute illustration of a cat. And I am so glad I did. The Kamogawa Food Detectives is an easy read, sharing tales of love, nostalgia, forgiveness and regret.

Koishi Kamogawa and her father, Nagare run the Kamogawa Diner in the quiet side streets of Kyoto. Whilst preparing delicious food for their customers, the true delights lay behind the scenes as they advertise their services as ‘food detectives’.

The Kamogawa Food Detectives tells the story of six different clients with each client’s story being told over two chapters. The first shares the client’s first visit to the diner where they share their story and details of their desired dish with Koishi. In the interim, Nagare does his research to recreate the dishes and chapter two resumes with the client returning to the diner to relive their dish.

The delicious dishes aren’t the only tender thing in The Kamogawa Food Detectives. This book was heart-warming and comforting—true food for the soul. Even for the fussiest of eaters, this book will make your mouth water. The level of detail when describing the dishes and cooking process does a fantastic job at emphasising the care and love that goes into preparing each meal. Both Hisashi Kashiwai and translator, Jesse Kirkwood skillfully make you feel connected to each character, even though we only stayed with them for a short time. However, it’s true what they say, nothing brings people together like good food.

The Kamogawa Food Detectives is a quick read, under 200 pages, perfect for those looking for a short read.

Thank you to Pan Macmillan for providing an e-Arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Until next time,

Ashleigh x

Looking for reading inspiration? Read more of my book reviews and recommendations.


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