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Murder in the Rue Dumas (A Provençal Mystery Book 2)

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Almost all our characters are French (apart from the handful of Italians) and are deemed to be speaking French to each other despite the text being written in English, a long-standing convention in writing fiction in a language other than that of the characters. We know their background—well, for most of them—their lives, their relationships and personal passions; Bruno’s love of opera and Verlaque’s cigars.

Het begint allemaal heel “cosy” en Longworth neemt uitgebreid de tijd om de personages voor te stellen en de omgeving te omschrijven. Moette has announced his intention to retire and is all set to name his successor as well as name the graduate student recipient of an elite fellowship tied to the Dumas funds. I probably should read one in original English to see whether the writing is better in the original, although somehow I doubt it.Will Judge Antoine Verlaque, his on again/off again lady friend law professor Marine Bonnet and Commissioner Bruno Paulik of the Aix police unravel these mysteries? From Van Gogh in Arles, to Signac in Saint-Tropez; from Cézanne in Aix, over to Nice for Renoir and Matisse, the story unfolds of artists who knew each other and painted together in the warm south. Longworth’s entertaining second mystery set in Aix-en-Provence (after 2011’s Death at the Château Bremont) plunges magistrate Antoine Verlaque and his law professor girlfriend, Marine Bonnet, into the world of academe following a murder.

He has promised to name the recipient of the Dumas fellowship for which there are several competing and hopeful candidates, but instead he drops a bomb that he is not going to retire. What really makes Longworth's writing special is her deep knowledge of French history, landscape, cuisine, and even contemporary cafes and restaurants. So why the blazes does the text include various bits of random French , such as bonjour or merci, etc, basic 4th grade French words that everyone understands? Despite mysteries not being my favorite genre, I read this one right on the heels of the prequel to Luther. Another tedious repetition was the author showing off her knowledge of Aix, providing detailed steet-by-street, turn-by-turn routes various people walk through the city (sometimes including non-existent street names for no apparent reason).

Posted in One Nightstand | Tagged Antione Verlaque, armchair travel, books set in Europe, books set in France, books set in Provence, Fiction, Jim Harris, M.

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