When theft escalates to murder at a French vineyard, a crime wave sweeps over the tranquil town of Aix-en-Provence
The newest book in the Provençal Mystery series, The Secrets of the Bastide Blanche, is available now from Penguin Books
Winery owner Olivier Bonnard is devastated when he discovers that a priceless cache of rare vintages has been stolen from his private cellar. Soon after, Monsieur Gilles d’Arras arrives at Aix-en-Provence’s Palais de Justice to report another mysterious disappearance: his wife, Pauline, has vanished from their lavish apartment. Madame has always been as tough as nails, but in recent weeks she’s been wandering around town in her slippers, crying for no reason.
As the mistral arrives to temper the region’s late-summer heat, Commissioner Paulik receives an urgent call from Bonnard: he’s just found Pauline d’Arras—dead in his vineyard. Verlaque and Bonnet are once again investigating, in what will prove to be their most complicated case yet.
Fans of Donna Leon and Andrea Camilleri, Francophiles, and foodies alike will adore this captivating whodunit. In her riveting follow-up to Death at the Chateau Bremont and Murder in the Rue Dumas, M. L. Longworth masterfully evokes the sights, sounds, and tastes of late-summer Provence, where the mistral blows and death springs up in the most unexpected places.
“Judge Antoine Verlaque, the sleuth in this civilized series, discharges his professional duties with discretion. But we’re here to taste the wines. So many bottles, so many lovely views. A reader might be forgiven for feeling woozy.” —The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
M. L. Longworth has lived in Aix-en-Provence since 1997. She has written about the region for the Washington Post, the Times (London), the Independent (London), and Bon Appétit. She is the author of a bilingual collection of essays, Une Américaine en Provence. She is married and has one daughter.
What People are Saying About This
Praise For Death at the Chateau Bremont
"This first novel in a projected series has charm, wit, and Aix-en- Provence all going for it. Longworth's voice is like a rich vintage of sparkling Dorothy Sayers and grounded Donna Leon...Longworth has lived in Aix since 1997, and her knowledge of the region is apparent on every page. Bon appétit."— Booklist
..A promising debut for Longworth, who shows there's more to France than Paris and more to mystery than Maigret."— Kirkus
"Your readers will eat this one up."— Library Journal
"Death at Chateau Bremont is replete with romance, mystery, and a rich atmosphere that makes the south of France spring off the page in a manner reminiscent of Donna Leon's Venice. A wonderful start to a series sure to gain a legion of fans."
— Tasha Alexander
"Mystery and romance served up with a hearty dose of French cuisine. I relished every word. Longworth does for Aix-en-Provence what Frances Mayes does for Tuscany: You want to be there-NOW!"
— Babara Fairchild, former editor-in-chief, Bon Appetit magazine
"Longworth has a good eye and a sharp wit, and this introduction to Verlaque and Bonnet holds promise for a terrific series."
— Globe and Mail
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the third Verlaque and Bonnet mystery. Having spent some time in Provence (Aix in particular), the series gets high marks for creating a sense of place. I was not as enthralled with the story line in this particular mystery. Several plot lines where running simultaneously, some of which merged (a bit unbelievably), some of which did not.
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Runs his hands down her naked body as her keeps thrusting deep inside. He thrusts again, sexually grinding his body upon hers. He puts his hands on her boobs.