I picked up this book on a whim from the library- and was extremely impressed. It’s like Charles Todd’s Inspector Rutledge meets “A Year in Provence.” The part that impressed me, though, was the ability to make the reader aware of the political undercurrents in France. For instance, the rise of Martine Le Pen’s party, and the distress that the average person has and inability to do anything about it; the massacre of Algerians in 1961 in France (why does the press never talk about this?), and the role conversely that they played in terrorizing the country side while employed by the Nazi Party. I think all of these events need to be considered in understanding the recent events in Paris, Nice, and the state of politics there.
The author also managed to squeeze some history regarding the Bosnian/Serbian conflict, as the hero of the book, Bruno, is a veteran of this war. He also was able to discuss the conflict that people in France feel regarding the “Year in Provence” phenomenon (English buying rural French houses to make them vacation homes), and some of the Joie de Vivre that French people are famous for.
Even though I think this would be considered a cozy mystery novel, the genius lies in the author’s ability to change the way you think about current events and recent history. I can’t recommend this book highly enough- I’m looking forward to the next one from the library!