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Urban Leaving to Country Living

Mystery Books Read in August 2014



In August 2014, a number of the mystery books that I had reserved to read in June, in my “get to know France” foray, finally came into the library for me.



A Tail of Vengeance by Spencer Quinn (Fiction, Mystery, eShort) 4 star rating
A Tail of Vengeance by Spencer Quinn photo 189e6316-94a4-497c-8509-6e6d3cc288fe_zpsmhrhuzj7.jpg
I can’t remember a lot about this entry in the Chet & Bernie series, and that’s a little unusual for me with these books.

So even though I seemed to have enjoyed it (I rated it 4 stars when I read it), it’s perhaps not quite up to the usual sparkling standards for this series.

4 stars anyway


The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle (Fiction, Mystery) 4 star rating
The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle photo 5228e934-3595-4e4d-ac1b-c78e4dfd8063_zpsqfx3pxom.jpg
Peter Mayle, author of the perennially popular A Year in Provence also penned a less well-known four book mystery series featuring former lawyer and wine connoisseur Sam Levitt.

In Los Angeles, wine collector Danny Roth engages Sam after he is the victim of a wine heist. Sam follows leads to Bordeaux and Provence.

The France and wine details themselves made this worth the read, but there is also a decent mystery. 4 stars

Death in Truffle Woods by Pierre Magnan (Fiction, Mystery, Translated)3.5 star rating

Death in the Truffle Woods by Pierre Magnon photo 70f523cd-9805-4320-ae39-1d3dfaa2e5c6_zps1lsyxy78.jpgThis is the first book in the Commissaire Laviolette series, first published in French in 1973 but only recently translated into English.

This first adventure brings the Commissaire to 1960s rural Provence to investigate the disappearance of five people, within a climate of centuries-old superstition and secret and animosity, and gets him involved in the local politics and disputes. 3½ stars


The Messengers of Death by Pierre Magnan (Fiction, Mystery, Translated) 4 star rating
Messengers of Death by Pierre Magnon photo 9b9b459d-98b6-49c4-b646-14da298a00fa_zpsxtsaufjv.jpg
Commissaire Laviolette is lured out of retirement to help investigate the bayonet murder of an avaricious spinster. As Amazon says “the theme of this is as old as Cain and Abel”.

The characters in this seemed alive and the mystery is decent. This second entry in the series surpasses the series debut A Death in the Truffle Wood.

4 stars

Murder on the Eiffel Tower by Claude Izner (Fiction, Mystery, Translated) 3.5 star rating
Murder on the Eiffel Tower by Claude Izner photo 9da24021-cb69-4d66-afbe-b09c6cb61f56_zpspunhxxgh.jpg

This first in a series had the promising premise of an amateur sleuth in the person of 1889 Parisian bookseller Victor Legris. Legris investigates the deaths of several people, all apparently of bee stings, in connection with the newly opened Eiffel Tower.

The historical facts are carefully researched and there are wonderful details of the literary world of the time, but the whole thing was just a little flat.

Izner is the pseudonym of two sisters who are second hand booksellers in Paris. 3½ stars


I was especially pleased to read the translated books. Do you know any other translated mysteries set in France?


P.S. The links are affiliate links so I will receive a small percentage of any purchase you make after clicking through from this blog.

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7 Comments to

“Mystery Books Read in August 2014”

  1. On November 30th, 2016 at 10:21 am bermudaonion (Kathy) Says:

    I don’t read enough mysteries! I’ve read one Chet & Bernie book and really liked it.

  2. On November 30th, 2016 at 12:15 pm Debbie Says:

    There are some people who think that one mystery is too many mysteries, Kathy. For me, they are my comfort read.

    I’m glad you liked the Chet & Bernie.

  3. On November 30th, 2016 at 1:26 pm Vicki Says:

    I used to read mainly mystery or thriller, but lately haven’t been reading them much. Books about France do interest me a lot so I might add a few of these to my list.

  4. On November 30th, 2016 at 4:23 pm Debbie Says:

    Most of these were the best of both worlds for me, Vicki: France and mystery. What a great intersection!

  5. On December 1st, 2016 at 2:26 pm Cleo @Cleopatralovesbooks Says:

    I never realised that Peter Mayle wrote mystery stories – I love it when I learn new facts about books and their authors so thank you!

  6. On December 1st, 2016 at 5:27 pm Judy Krueger Says:

    The Cara Black mysteries are all set in France. Not translated, haven’t read any, but they were very popular at the bookstore where I used to work.
    Also Goodreads has a page that lists French mysteries:

  7. On December 2nd, 2016 at 11:10 am Debbie Says:

    Thank you, Judy, for the reminder about the Cara Black series. And I found a couple of new-to-me authors whose work looks very promising, on the GoodReads page. Thanks again!

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