EXCERPT: ‘So what have you decided?’ She sat down on the bench and he sat back down beside her.
‘I’ve decided that I don’t like being pushed around.’
‘Who’s pushing you around?’
‘I am not.’
‘Yes you are.’ She looked hurt. ‘Look, it’s not your fault, not really. I’m very easy to push around, but it’s Ava Gardner here who’s paid the price.’
‘I don’t think I’ve pushed you around at all.’
‘Oh, you have. You and everyone else I know.’ He sighed wearily. ‘All I want is a quiet life, but what happens is you end up just being dragged along by other people’s whims. I don’t blame you as such, but in a very short space of time, I’ve lost a guest, very possibly murdered – in your opinion – possibly more than once, if what the Thompsons told you is correct. And two Italian killers – in your opinion – are sending me hen-based mafia death warnings.’
ABOUT ‘DEATH AND CROISSANTS’: Richard is a middle-aged Englishman who runs a B&B in the fictional Val de Follet in the Loire Valley. Nothing ever happens to Richard, and really that’s the way he likes it.
One day, however, one of his older guests disappears, leaving behind a bloody handprint on the wallpaper. Another guest, the exotic Valérie, persuades a reluctant Richard to join her in investigating the disappearance.
Richard remains a dazed passenger in the case until things become really serious and someone murders Ava Gardner, one of his beloved hens … and you don’t mess with a fellow’s hens!
MY THOUGHTS: There is considerably more death than there are croissants.
I loved the setting of this humourous cosy murder mystery. Set in a B&B in the Loire Valley. A hapless ex-pat Brit is drawn into a search for a missing guest after finding a bloody handprint on the bedroom wall, and a pair of broken spectacles. He is aided and abetted, or rather bossed about and led by a beautiful and strong willed Frenchwoman, Valerie de Orcay.
My favourite character was Madame Tablier, the indomitable and irreverent housekeeper, followed closely by Richard’s hens, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, and Katharine Hepburn. I also enjoyed Richard’s obsession with vintage movies, but there were times that I felt the author had ‘overdone’ the characters, making them more caricatures than relatable people. And that, I think is part of the problem. I really didn’t care about any of the characters, and at times Death and Croissants read more like a ‘Carry On’ novel than a cosy murder mystery.
I have read a lot of this genre lately and unreservedly enjoyed them, but I am afraid that Death and Croissants fell a little short of the mark in comparison. I have to disagree with its description as an unputdownable mystery. I put it down several times, sometimes for days on end.
While I wasn’t tempted at any point to not finish this, it did seem like a much longer read than it actually is. I don’t think I will be reading any more of this series.
I: #ianmoore @farragobooks
T: @MonsieurLeMoore @farragobooks
#contemporaryfiction #cosymystery #murdermystery
THE AUTHOR: Ian is an English stand up comedian who lives in rural France and spends most of his time travelling grumpily between the two while his family grows and his wife adopts every maladjusted animal in the area.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Farrago Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Death and Croissants by Ian Moore for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and Goodreads.com