Saga Vicente Parra

The Scent of Crime | The Bouquet of Fear | Critical Flavor | From within the Smoke

Crime as Part of Elite Gastronomy.

Vicente Parra, recently promoted to inspector of the Ertzaintza police in San Sebastián and addicted to junk food, faces a series of murders connected to the gastronomic world of Donosti, marked by sensuality, professional jealousy, secrets, and now, death. While solving these crimes, he also deals with his private life and his extensive family: his wife, Françoise Clavert, interested in Mesoamerican art and gourmet cuisine. Pierre, who lives in France, is Françoise’s son from her first marriage. There is also Alberto, Vicente’s son, passionate about cooking and cinema. Alberto is a chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant and lives with his girlfriend Amaia in Donosti. Finally, there is Vicente’s father, Martín, a loving and family-oriented but problematic man who runs a bookstore in the center of Donosti.


In The Scent of Crime, Vicente is assigned to investigate two seemingly unrelated deaths: a fashion designer who has been brutally beaten in what initially appears to be a robbery, and the kidney failure of a university doorman, whose mother suspects it is not a natural death given her son’s lifestyle in recent months, with expenses far exceeding his salary. The inspector discovers that the cases are connected and related to the Basque culinary world when he receives the autopsy report of one of the bodies. From then on, the investigations intertwine following Parra’s interrogations of the victims’ relatives and close associates, linking both deaths through secrets, sex, and cuisine.


The Bouquet of Fear takes place a few days before the most important harvest of the season at the Marbil estate in La Rioja. The production’s pregnant winemaker is found dead in her Donosti home, her throat slit. Detective Parra investigates the case, which is complicated by the disappearance of the victim’s boyfriend, a camera operator on a cooking show, and the involvement of the vineyard-owning family. The egos of the television and winemaking worlds converge in a race against time to find the missing person and the woman’s killer.


In Critical Taste, a year has passed since the shooting murder of food critic Ferdinand Cubillo, whose unsuccessful investigation was led by Inspector Vicente Parra. Obsessed with the case since then, due to his failure to find the culprit and the death of his colleague while investigating it, Parra manages to reopen it when new murders occur, related to the critic and events from over thirty years ago. These new crimes will bring him closer to the truth and reveal the complicated relationships of the new victims: a young man and his mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s, an insecure cider maker, and a sculptor in a creative void. During the investigation, family problems also beset him: Françoise’s maternal instinct resurfaces, and his son and girlfriend go through a rough patch in their relationship.


From within the Smoke is the latest novel in the series. In it, Inspector Vicente Parra returns to the precinct after an operation that nearly cost him his life. But there is no time to adjust to the routine: on his first day back, a body is found in a burning dumpster. The victim worked for two rival catering companies specializing in gastronomic events. The case becomes more complicated when Parra discovers that the victim believed in communication with the beyond and was obsessed with cinema, gastronomy, magical rituals, and the Basque Country. At the same time, the inspector must adapt to his new life as a grandfather to his newborn grandson and to his stepson Pierre’s decision to return to Mexico, his father’s homeland. All this will lead him to reconsider his work addiction.



The series has sold tens of thousands of copies across its first four instalments.

Xabier Gutiérrez is the author of cookbooks, gastronomic essays, and crime novels. He has also been the director of the R&D department at the renowned Arzak Restaurant in San Sebastián and a lecturer in the Master’s in Innovation and Creativity at the prestigious Basque Culinary Center. For his work, he has been awarded the National Gastronomy Award and the Best World Cookbook Award.


Furthermore, the series has been well-received in the press:

“Complex characters, with their ups, downs, and nuances, drawn by Gutiérrez in the beautiful landscapes of Guipúzcoa” El Correo

“Intrigue, suspense, friendship, hatred, feelings of guilt, desires for revenge, sex, and gastronomy are the ingredients with which the author has cooked up this novel”  El Diario de León

“In ‘The Bouquet of Fear,’ a novel that maintains its narrative pace and intrigue until its final moments thanks to characters whose stories intersect in surprising ways” Diario de Navarra


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Film.


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