The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral

Penguin (Provençal Mystery, Bk. 9). Apr. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9780143135296. pap. $16. M
Musée Quentin-Savary is a small museum in Aix-en-Provence. There’s a collection of porcelain and a newly acquired Felix Ziem work, but nothing to attract the attention of thieves. When museum director Achille Formentin arrives on Tuesday after the Easter weekend, he’s stunned to find all the contents of the museum are gone. It’s a challenging case for Antoine Verlaque, chief magistrate for the region. He welcomes the distraction from his worries about his wife’s pregnancy and where to send his child to school. He and commissioner Bruno Paulik are unhappy when they discover that a dozen people have keys to the museum. Their case becomes more serious when two men are attacked in the museum, one left for dead. Despite the careful police investigation, Verlaque and Paulik always have time for a gourmet meal and an excellent bottle of wine.
VERDICT The ninth in the series (after A Noël Killing) continues the author’s focus on ambiance and the good life in Provence: the food, the wine, the art. Foodies who enjoy mysteries like David P. Wagner’s Italy-set “Rick Montoya” titles will appreciate the emphasis on gourmet meals in this police procedural.
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