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"Laugh-out-loud sensational." - Lee Child

The Lemon

S. E. Boyd

Set in the intersecting worlds of fine dining, Hollywood, and the media, a darkly hilarious and ultimately affecting story about the underside of success and fame, and our ongoing complicity in devouring our cultural heroes.

While filming on location in Belfast, Northern Ireland, John Doe, the universally adored host of the culinary travel show Last Call, is found dead in a hotel room in an apparent suicide. As the news of his untimely demise breaks, a group of friends, fixers, hustlers, and opportunists vie to seize control of the narrative: Doe’s chess-master of an agent Nia, ready to call in every favor she is owed to preserve his legacy; down-on-her-luck journalist Katie, who fabricates a story about Doe to save her job at a failing website; and world-famous chef Paolo Cabrini, Doe’s closest friend and confidant, who finds himself entangled with a deranged Belfast hotel worker whose lurid secret might just take them all down.
With raucous, deliciously cutting prose, crackling dialogue, and an unpredictable, tightly plotted story line—bolstered by the authors’ insider knowledge of high-end restaurants and low-end digital media—The Lemon is a darkly hilarious and ultimately devastating interrogation of the underside of success and fame, and our ongoing complicity in devouring the cultural heroes we hardly deserve.

Praise for The Lemon

“A nonstop, scalpel-sharp, satirical skewering of, well, everything . . . A whole new genre: sardonic suspense!” 
—Lee Child
“Fearless, moving, and funny as hell. This is incisive, witty, era-defining literature like they used to make it. Thank God it’s back.”
—Lisa Taddeo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Three Women and Animal
 “The Lemon is the most fun I’ve had reading a made-up story in forever and a day. It rips on everything and everybody in our zeitgeist and beyond. It’s full of terrible people behaving like asses. Like real life. Funny, smart, surprising. Loved it.”
—Bob Odenkirk, star of Better Call Saul and New York Times bestselling author of Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama

“Deliciously trenchant, hilarious, and impossible to put down, this dark comedy says something profound about the world of celebrity and the mesmerizing subversives within it.”

—Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, author of the international bestsellers Sarong Party Girls and A Tiger in the Kitchen 

​“Witty, razor sharp, and enviably well-written, The Lemon is the bombshell book that members of the food-obsessed Kitchen Confidential generation have been waiting for.” 

—Adam Platt, former New York Magazine chief restaurant critic and author of The Book of Eating 

“S. E. Boyd has taken the secret ingredient to fame—‘shameless persistence’—and used it to pressure-cook up a novel funny enough and hot enough to singe the high brows off of any raised-pinky foodie.”

—Paul Beatty, Booker Prize–winning author of The Sellout

Authors photo

Photo: © Cole Saladino

About The Authors

S. E. Boyd is the creation of veteran journalists Kevin Alexander and Joe Keohane, and editor Alessandra Lusardi. All lightly damaged Catholics prone to extensive overanalysis, Alexander, Keohane, and Lusardi have authored four books between them, edited dozens more, and written for Esquire, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker, among others. Alexander also won a James Beard Award for food writing, a fact Keohane and Lusardi are both tired of hearing about. This is their first novel.



Tour Events

Nov 9 2022 (Wed)
2467 18th Street Northwest, Washington, DC
Lost City Books
In conversation with Joe House
7:30 PM EDT
Nov 13 2022 (Sun)
912 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA
The Plough & Stars
Talk / Q&A
4:00 PM EDT
Nov 14 2022 (Mon)
75 Market Street, Portland, ME
Hunt + Alpine Club
Print: A Bookstore will be providing copies of The Lemon for purchase.
5:00 PM EDT

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