The Verlaque and Bonnet series is one that I came into a little late, but have always enjoyed the mysteries. They have a sophisticated feel to them but they still manage to maintain their charm.
I think one of the things that always keeps this series in the forefront of my mind is the covers. The covers are incredible and eye catching. Every time I see one I instantly think, ‘oh yes another Verlaque and Bonnet mystery!‘. The covers are so recognizable and admittedly why I picked up the series in the first place. This book features the new redesigned covers and while I think it’s a pretty design, it doesn’t stand out to me.
Maybe that’s because I am so used to the old covers. But at any rate don’t let the aesthetics fool you, this is a great series that I’ve been looking forward to picking back up!
Christmastime in the south of France is as beautiful as ever, but when a shady local businessman drops dead in the middle of the festivities, Verlaque and Bonnet must solve the case while keeping the holiday spirit alive
Antoine Verlaque, examining magistrate for the beautiful town of Aix-en-Provence, doesn’t like Christmas. The decorations appear in the shops far too early, festive tourists swarm the streets, and his beloved Cours Mirabeau is lined with chalets selling what he regards as tacky trinkets. But his wife and partner Marine Bonnet is determined to make this a Christmas they can both enjoy, beginning with the carol sing at the Cathedral Saint Sauveur, a beautiful service in a packed church.
Just as the holiday cheer is in full swing, a man is poisoned, sending the community into a tailspin. The list of suspects, Verlaque and Bonnet quickly discover, almost fills the church itself, from the visiting vendors at the Christmas fair to the victim’s unhappy wife and his disgruntled business partner. In A Noël Killing, with the help of an ever-watchful young woman named France, the pair must solve the murder while the spirit of the season attempts to warm Verlaque’s stubborn heart. (summary from Goodreads)
No one describes the south of France like Longworth. She has an incredible gift at descriptions and every time I read one of her novels I immediately want to hop a plane and move there permanently. Having this novel set during Christmas time in the south of France made it all the more enchanting and wonderful to read.
This is truly a wonderful read for the holiday season, but of course any time would do but with the holidays coming up, it felt a little extra special reading it as we come up on Thanksgiving and the official holiday season kick off. As always Antoine Veralaque and his wife Marine Bonnet remind me a little of the odd couple, each are different in their own ways but together they work. Veralaque is a little more reserved and definitely not into the holidays where as Bonnet is more festive and fun, and it’s much this way throughout the series and I love watching them come together to solve mysteries.
The mystery itself was enough to hold my interest. As I said before there is a certain sophistication about all of the mysteries in this series though it’s hard to describe, but I certainly feel as though the mystery was well thought out and executed. Throw in Longworths love of the French countryside, food, and wine, you have a winning series that lets you take a little trip there from the comfort of your own reading nook.
I am looking forward to the next books in this series so much, and with that said, you can easily jump around in the series as I have done over the years.
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