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~FREE PDF ♶ Death in the Vines ♡ A crime wave jolts AixenProvence in the third delightful Verlaque and Bonnet mystery Fans of Donna Leon and Andrea Camilleri, mystery lovers, Francophiles, and foodies will adore this whodoneit with a beautiful European setting In her riveting followup to Death at the Chateau Bremont and Murder in the Rue Dumas, M L Longworth evokes the sights and sounds of latesummer Provence, where the mistral blows and death comes in the most unexpected places Olivier Bonnard, the owner of Domaine Beauclaire winery, is devastated when he discovers the theft of a priceless cache of rare vintages Soon after, Monsieur Gilles d’Arras reports that his wife, Pauline, has vanished from their lavish apartment As Judge Antoine Verlaque and Commissioner Paulik tackle the case with a little help from Marine Bonnet, they receive an urgent call: Bonnard has just found Madame d’Arras—dead in his vineyard
And straight into the next of the enjoyable Verlaque Bonnet Provencal Mystery series However, I am starting to wonder if the series should be retitled Verlaque Paulik or even Judge Commissioner It is true that Marine Bonnet, published Professor and Verlaques girl friend provided some help in the solving of the previous cases, in this one it was the Judge and the Commissioner who were together most even to sharing a bedroom!To me the adjective atmospheric seems to carry undertones of menace when ascribed to books or films I thought that this novel was atmospheric but not in that way but in that it evoked the atmosphere of the french town complete with the background murmers in unrecognisable french, the sounds of the car horns sounded by gesticulating drivers and above all with the smell of food coming from the cafes and restaurants.This story is centred around the wine industry and one small vinyard where bottles of their oldest and most valuable wines have been disappearing Interwoven are three murders for the Judge and Commissioner to solve.In my notes of the previous book, I commented on the Epilogue Here, once again, an Epilogue serves the purpose of rounding off one aspect of the tale that didnt have a significant part in the story or its outcome Its a nice touch. Death in the Vines: A Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mystery is an excellent choice for both mystery lovers and Francophiles Don't pay too much attention to the cover which might lead you astray as to the plot and genrethis isn't a typical cozy mystery It is a cozy in the setting and the lack of explicit violence, but the detectives are not amateurs like Miss Marple; they are professionals with experience Also, while the setting has some village characteristics, AixenProvence is a small city that retains some of its smalltown atmosphere even as it continues to grow.An intelligent mix of interesting, complex characters and French culture and wine making, the novel's plots and subplots kept me completely involved There is no effort to sensationalize the murders as many contemporary novels do Murder is considered serious enough without including weird and shocking elements, and Judge Verlaque and Commissioner Paulik are as dedicated to apprehending the murderer as to discovering the thief of priceless wines and finding an old woman with Alzheimers who has apparently wandered off Well, the murders do take priority, of course, but the men are concerned about anything that happens in their district.In addition to learning about grapes and wines, AixenProvence and its difficulties with rapid growth, French food (drool inducing visit to a restaurant)I especially liked the section about Citroens Odd, because I can't tell one car from another and have never been interested in cars at all, but on finishing the book, I went straight to several sites and images of Citroens Having a poet describe vintage Citroens could set up new aficionados everywhere We are all so individual in our bookish tastes that I rarely bother to recommend, but Francophiles (I'm not one, but with novels like this could easily become one) should certainly seek out Longworth's novels This is the third novel in the series, and I will definitely look for the first two and will follow the series in the future :) Reminds me that I need to check on Martin Walker's Bruno: Chief of Police series again.NetGalley/Penguin Group.Mystery Publ date May 28, 2013 Print version 304 pages.ISBN10: 0143122444 Death in the Vines has just been published AS an amateur reviewer, I received a free copy I did not initially realize that this book was the third one in a series But I had no difficulty completely enjoying this story.It takes place in Provence, France, and area about which I know almost nothing So the cultural practices and scenery descriptions were wonderful I felt as if I had literally seen a small glimpse into the area, and I would definitely like to visit it now.The story interweaves three plot lines in a masterful manner There are a series of rare wine thefts at one winery, there are two disappearances of an elderly lady that ends with her being found dead after her second disappearance, and, there seems to be a serial killer starting a spree One knows there are interactive relationships between these three plots, but it is not clear in what ways until the very end.One element that I liked especially is that all the plot lines were not resolved in a neat package at the end, but each one resolved in it's own time over the last third of the book I am highly recommending this book It is a good piece of literature It is a finely crafted mystery There are interesting, multilayered characters And then there is the setting of AixenProvence, the wine country, and small town life I am going to find the first two books in the series and finish those as well! This is the third in the Verlaque Bonnet mystery series set in AixenProvence In the first two, Death at the Rue Dumas and Death at Chateau Bremont, I fell in love with the judge and his girlfriend In this one, I feel I'm falling in love with the whole city!While it's true that you don't have to read the books in order, you'll be surprised if you do You'll see that Longworth is not a formula author who approaches a series in a tried and true layout She is widening her scope and the direction she takes in this novel makes me eager to see how she continues to expound, expand and develop this series.The first two books centered around a single crime This one centers around multiple crimes and multiple characters However, these people aren't one dimensional just to carry the story along Longworth fattens her characters and fleshes them out, complete with a back history I feel I'm a part of the interconnectedness that longtime residents of Aix share The shop owners, the neighbors, the police force Every time I stand in a queue now, I think of Jules.At first I was eager to get to the off again/on again relationship between the judge and the lawyer, but when I realized the author's broader scope, I relaxed and enjoyed the new developments When the romance/relationship did come up, I was surprised at the focus it took.Food and wine are integral to French culture and Longworth always includes that in her stories Once again, I learned a lot and want to taste test per her suggestions! Minor Confusion: In most instances the judge is referred to by his last name whereas the lawyer is known by her first name Suddenly I found myself reading about Antoine and I was totally thrown off In another reference I believe it is an editing error where Marine is referred to as Sophia.A little 'hiccup'I see in the story line is Marine's helping Verlaque in the investigation I believe in real life a female police officer would be used The author has even had Verlaque echo these doubts a couple of times But overall, the main thing I love about Longworth's writing is it's 'realness.' I could walk the streets of Aix and feel right at home.One of things Longworth handles so deftly is the language issue We know that the characters are speaking French which we are reading in English When it is necessary to point out the use of English, Italian or any other language, Longworth does it so smoothly! What could be a cumbersome, complicated read simply flows.This book was a gift from the author. Series getsenjoyable ;D I picked up a copy of Death in the Vines at Gene’s Books on Sanibel Island, Florida, a real gem of a bookstore with a huge selection of mystery novels, crime stories, and other genres M L Longworth’s novel set in AixenProvence, France, features Examining Magistrate Antoine Verlaque (in the French system judges engage in detective work) and Commissioner Bruno Paulik trying to solve three murders and a wine theft from a local vineyard Are the murders connected? Is the theft somehow connected as well? Verlaque is a wealthy man of culture, enjoying fine wines, whiskey, art, and membership in a posh cigar club An original Pierre Soulages painting hangs in his bedroom He is anything but hardboiled How many police investigators would stop on the way to question a murder suspect to admire the design of a bridge and almost swoon over its beauty? “When I see something this beautiful,” Verlaque says to his subordinate Paulik, “made by man, I feel that all is well with the world.” But the story is engrossing, with lots of details about life in presentday Provence, including a loving description of the tasting menu at a threestar restaurant Longworth keeps the reader guessing with two exciting false trails before ending in an anticlimax when the killer is revealed.Others have mentioned before, and I have to agree, that the book cover is not apropos to the story to the point of being misleading Let’s hope that future editions will have a better cover design. The latest installment in this French mystery series, and the best so far What I liked: Longworth begins to develop the detective characters and their relationshipsfully I'm liking the direction she is going with all of the regulars; they are growing, changing and becomingrealespecially Antoine Verlaque, the primary investigator, who is becominggenerous,empathetic and generallylikeable In particular, I'm enjoying learning about the French system of crime investigation, which is fascinating and quite different from the police/lawyer/judicial relationship we Americans inherited from the Brits I also appreciated the epilogue to this story in which one of the side characters, the daughter of a French native and a Nazi soldier, feeling shamed and ridiculed for many years, now feels freed after the death of her halfsister, to go in search of her father in Germany What I didn't so much like: There were multiple mysteries in this book, perhaps one too many, and a few too many characters to keep track of Trying to remember who is connected to which crime and which evidence made the plot a bit too convoluted this time around Overall, I think Longworth is growing as a writer, her dialogue is tighter and less superfluous, and the setting richer andappealing with each book. Death in the Vines is a detective/cozy mystery While Judge Verlaque has the legal right to investigate the murder, the level of everyday detail waslike in a cozy mystery The cozy aspect was about them enjoying fine food, fine wine, fine cigars, and talking about expensive cars This novel is the third in the series, but it didn't spoil the previous mysteries You don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one Interesting details about France, vineyardtending, etc., were nicely woven throughout the search for whodunit The mystery was cluebased, and I had some accurate suspicions about (though no firm idea of) whodunit before the reveal The characters were likable, interesting, complex, and reacted realistically to the various situations The suspense was from curiosity about whodunit and relationship tensions.There were no sex scenes There was some explicit bad language (including a few British bad words and writteninFrench bad words) Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable mystery novel I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher for review purposes. Death in the Vines provides a superlative trip to AixenProvence (the ancient Roman capital of Provence) and its surrounding villages, vineyards and olive groves Besides providing a great murder mystery story, it makes one wish to visit Provence, or make return visits The multiple clever plots develop in an intriguing fashion, making it difficult to put this book down for a respite The author deftly keeps one in suspense until the final chapter Insights into the personality and past of Judge Antoine Verlaque are divulged, about which hints have been made in the previous two novels in this series of three.The author, Mary Lou Longworth, although born and raised in Canada, obviously has done her homework She has a prolific understanding of the food, wine, cigars, literature, traditions and history of Provence, and a keen sense of the “savoir faire” of French culture She aptly uses humour, amidst the three complex murders and theft of a valuable wine collection.This novel makes one eagerly anticipate the next in the series, when no doubtsecrets of the multifaceted characters will be disclosed and the relationship between Verlaque and his professor girlfriend, Dr Marine Bonnet will have some new twists and turns This book is the best to date and a real stunner, a perfect “curl up” summer read.