Death and Croissants

Poisoned Pen. (Follet Valley Mysteries, Bk. 1). Mar. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781728270555. pap. $16.99. M
DEBUT At 53, Richard Ainsworth, a former film historian, only wants to lead a quiet life running his bed-and-breakfast in France’s Loire Valley. His daughter is married, and he and his wife are separated. When his housekeeper informs him Monsieur Vincent Grandchamps, a guest, is missing, and there is a bloody handprint on the wall, Richard moans that these kind of things are not supposed to happen to him. But, another guest, Valerie d’Orcay, is excited. The widowed Valerie is bored and looking for excitement, so she’s eager to search for the missing man. She enlists a hesitant Richard to help search. When they learn the missing man is the brother of a local judge, and Vincent has a price on his head with a dangerous couple searching for him, the investigation takes an intriguing turn. Richard is reluctantly caught up in Valerie’s drama, until someone kills Ava Gardner, his hen. Now, even the timid Richard is willing to launch a dangerous search for the missing man, because no one messes with his beloved chickens.
VERDICT The charming mystery, released in 2021 in the UK, is a fast-paced, witty story for those who enjoy dry British humor.
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