Judge Verlaque and his girlfriend, law professor Dr Marine Bonnet are taking a much needed vacation on a secluded island off the coast of France, Sordou.
The island was once a haven for the rich and famous in the 1960’s but was long forgotten but the elite in favor of other island destinations in the south of France.
However the Le Bon family, Cat-Cat and Max, just bought the hotel and hope to restore it to its former glory.
With the opening weekend on their life’s savings on the line, they need everything to go perfect….the last thing they need is a murder.
This novel totally reminded me of Clue, set in France. It was full of a number of eccentric characters each seemingly with no motive.
You have the retired American couple on holiday, the famous publicly unhappy couple, the tormented teen, the unhappy investors, the retired teacher and budding poet, and Bonnet’s good friend and third wheel Sylvia all with little reason to murder someone.
Then there is the staff who are also colorful: the bartender who loves to people watch, the chef who just wants to cook, the fresh faced innocent maid, the seductive manager, the sexy boatman, the matronly maid, the wildly eccentric lighthouse manager, and finally the struggling owners. Again, none with a reason to murder.
It’s up to Verlaque and Bonnet to sold the mystery before the killer strikes again, which will take good old fashion police work.
I really loved this mystery. It was simple and yet entertaining. Again it totally reminded me of Clue. There were wonderful descriptions of the island, Sordou, and the charming coastal town of Marseille. I literally felt like I was right there on the rocky coast swimming in the clear water….Longworth’s descriptions of the south of France and the region as a whole were glorious!
The other thing that made this novel for me were all the descriptions of the food! Oh my my my! I am not a foodie, I can barely boil water, and I often find this kind of description distracting in novels, but in this novel it actually worked for me!
And here is why…..being on vacation is about the setting…..the landscape and of course that includes the food. It’s time to get away from daily life and focus on little luxuries and that’s how this book felt with all the descriptions of the island, Marseille, and the food. That’s why I think it all worked together so well. I found myself eager to ‘go down to dinner’ to see what the Chef was making!
This wasn’t a complicated murder mystery and the characters weren’t overly complex of duplicitous which I actually found refreshing in some ways. Sometimes I just want to escape into an easy to follow book that had enough to keep me interested but not so much that I have to over think it…..that’s what this book was. I loved its simple yet engaging qualities.
And a final note…I love the cover designs for this series! They are quirky, colorful, interesting, and whimsical. They totally made me want to read the series even more! I love love love the design!
This book made me want to visit the French country and seaside in a bad way….I totally want to read the other books in the series now. If you are looking for a charming detective novel that was easy to read with lots to enjoy, then this is a great series to satisfy your desire. The best part, I didn’t feel like I needed to read the other books in the series first….it read easily as a stand alone book.
Paperback, 320 pagesExpected publication: September 30th 2014 by Penguin Books
- Review copy provided by: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5
Genre: Mystery, detective novel, suspense
Memorable lines/quotes: NA