There is an old-fashioned, elegant cafe on top of a steep hill in Montmartre, Paris. In this cafe, named THE CAFE OF LOST TIME, is a remarkable invention ~ a time-travel machine, disguised as an espresso machine.
This cafe, as well as this amazing machine, is run by Monsieur Moutarde. Only he and his mysterious good friend, Madame Pamplemousse, (and Madame's one-eyed cat, Camembert), know about the time-travel machine.
Now, Madame Pamplemousse has another good friend, a young girl named Madeleine who is a very talented cook. One morning, an elaborately-dressed blonde woman appears on Madeleine's doorstep. A representative of the government. An ill-intentioned representative of the evil government which is bent on demolishing all historical buildings, art museums and quaint restaurants. She threatens to throw Madeleine into a juvenile detention centre unless she gives up the current whereabouts of Madame Pamplemousse.
The frightened child escapes to the Cafe of Lost Time for help. However, she isn't sure why Monsieur Moutarde chooses to make her coffee at this moment of throbbing urgency instead.
When he came back he was carrying a tray. On the tray were three items: a small cup of coffee, a red Thermos flask and what appeared to be a firework.
He pointed to the cup of coffee.
'In a moment you must drink that and drink it straight down. And as you are drinking, you must keep a tight hold of both the firework and the Thermos flask. You must not release them from your grasp -- that is absolutely vital! For as soon as you have drunk the coffee, strange things will start to happen. All of this will vanish.'
He waved a hand about the room.
The city of Paris is on the brink of destruction. Madeleine's well-being is under imminent threat, and so is Madame Pamplemousse's. Can the coffee lead her to her friend so that she can warn her about the oncoming danger?
Can the coffee lead her somewhere safe?
Or will it send her into hungrier mouths of danger?
When I read the jacket blurb, I thought it was the most brilliant idea to use an espresso coffee machine as a time travel machine. The portafilters. The dials. The levers. The wand with steam hissing from it. Of course it makes more than coffee. It makes wizardry. It makes the impossible. A chapter book for those who enjoy Paris, coffee and wild adventures.
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