The French for Murder by Verity Bright
A grand villa, croissants for breakfast and a dead body in the wine cellar… Lady Swift can’t seem to take a vacation from murder!
Summer 1923. Lady Eleanor Swift is finally persuaded by her butler, Clifford, to take a villa in the south of France for the season. She plans to do what a glamorous lady abroad should: long lunches on the balcony followed by lazy afternoons lounging by the pool. Even Gladstone the bulldog is looking forward to a daily paddle in the ocean.
But when Clifford examines the wine cellar, he discovers there are no decent reds but there is a very dead body. The victim is famous American movie star Rex Armstrong. Poor Rex seems to have been stabbed with a sword from the film set. So how did he end up in Eleanor’s villa?
Before Eleanor even has time to change out of her travelling suit, her beloved butler is arrested for the crime. At sea without her right-hand man, Eleanor must gather her wits if she’s to outsmart a murderer and save Clifford.
Attending a glitzy party at the luxurious Hotel Azure with the film’s cast and crew so she can question her main suspects, Eleanor overhears the director having a most unsettling telephone call that throws all her theories out of the water. Can Eleanor unmask the true killer before her time abroad is cut murderously short?
A gripping historical murder mystery full of charm and intrigue, set in the beautiful French Riviera. Fans of Agatha Christie, T E Kinsey and Lee Strauss will adore The French for Murder.
|The French for Murder by Verity Bright|
This might have been my first Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery, but I think it’s safe to say, it won’t be my last, although this book also worked perfectly as a stand-alone novel.
The French for Murder was a deliciously period read that really brought the 1920’s French Riviera to life, at a time when things were changing. The writing style was fresh and fun, but also managed to cleverly bring together the Britishness of Lady Eleanor Swift and her stiff butler Clifford, the new wave of American society with their insatiable appetite for parties and the bemused French, who understood neither culture, but did appreciate the importance of the American wallet.
Lady Eleanor, Clifford and the household staff had nothing more than a month of relaxation in the south of France planned, until the inconvenience of a body found in their wine cellar. The murder victim is an American and at the cunning persuasion of the French police and town Maire, their unique investigation skills are demanded once more.
I do love a spot of amateur sleuthing, and I thoroughly enjoyed trying to piece together the clues dropped into the storyline, along with lots of English humour, French idiosyncrasies, American high jinks and the behind-the-scenes world of the movie theatre. The characters were great fun and I had a ball living the high life in the south of France with them all. From sherry supped of an evening with a game of chess, to the casino at Monte Carlo, plus Clifford’s sniff of disgust at the behaviour of scantily clad ladies and her household staff in rapture at the refrigerator, vacuum cleaner and washing machine, this book had it all and more.
If you fancy a trip to the French Riviera of the 1920’s this summer, I am sure Lady Eleanor and Clifford would be delighted if you joined them.
Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.
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