Alex Shearer - The Diabolical Gourmet


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Can executioner Ameline outwit France's gourmet murderer in 1790s Paris?

Death by fine dining: the true story of Pere Gourier and his string of perfectly legal murders in the finest restaurants of 1790s Paris.

Bored with his wife and home life, the well-off landowner begins to amuse himself by taking hard-up acquaintances every day to the best restaurants in Paris and dining them to death. Everyone knows about it but - as he isn't doing anything against the law - no one can stop him.

Dealing with a succulent batch of topics - food, wine, fine dining, the effects of over-indulgence, a loophole in the law and a murderer who can't be stopped - this true story unfolds from the perspective of Ameline, the executioner's assistant who volunteers to take on the murdering bon vivant Gourier at his own game in the richest restaurants in Paris.

The intensity and opulence of Gourier's deadly feasts (he would order 15 steaks at a sitting, trying to kill off his fellow diner) lead to a final dining-room confrontation between him and Ameline, the table groaning under the weight of course after course of rich, deadly food - the murder weapon of a rich, deadly gourmet.

Historical drama, written by Alex Shearer.

Ameline - Mark Benton

Gourier - Ian McNeice

Chavette - Royce Mills

Gaston/Bayard/Antoine/Victor/Hubert/Henri/Charles - Jon Glover

Widow/Magdalene/Madame Cambertin - Rachel Atkins

Director: Neil Cargill

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.