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Book review: 신데렐라 포장마차 by JEONG Ga-il

About the book

Title: 신데렐라 포장마차 1
Author: JEONG Ga-il 정가일
Published by 들녘

This novel won the Korean Award for Crime Fiction in 2017. A second volume is to follow.

신데렐라 포장마차 1 introduces private detective KIM Geon and police detective SHIN Yeong-gyu. The novel contains several mysteries that are all linked in one way or another to French cuisine.


The novel contains 3 episodes, each devoted to a different mystery and linked to a French dish. The mysterious private detective KIM Geon will tackle these cases with the help of So Ju-hui, who works in a restaurant and has a taste for solving puzzles.

These adventures will lead to the food truck Cinderella, which appears only for one hour every night and offers the best French cuisine for a ridiculous price.

Review: Easy to read, funny, light and clever

This book is very easy to read with a lot of dialogues and a few descriptions. Reading this novel felt like reading a webtoon, I could always picture the characters and their expressions, and I liked the humour of some scenes. It was a light read, the kind of book you want to take with you on holiday.

I liked the story and the mysteries. I don’t usually like when food and mysteries are mixed together, but it was cleverly done here, and I found that it worked very well.

I found the characters very interesting, especially the complex personality of LEE Yu-hyeon. It seems that we will learn more about the characters and their past in the second volume.

I personally enjoyed reading 신데렐라 포장마차 but I must also add that it is not really my style. It has a surrealistic dimension that does not fit my personal taste. I prefer novels to be realistic. I find that the art cover illustrates the tone of the novel very well. If you find it appealing, then don’t hesitate to read the novel!

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