Death and Croissants Cozy Book Review
|Title:||Death and Croissants|
|Published:||March 14, 2023, Poisoned Pen Press|
|No. of Pages:||290|
|Cover Price:||$7.99 Kindle|
Ian Moore is a stand-up comedian who performs in London and lives in France. He is also a bestselling writer, and author of The Follett Valley Mysteries featuring Richard Ainsworth who is proprietor of a bed and breakfast in the Loire Valley. The first installment of the series, Death and Croissants, which introduces the characters and the setting. An old man who has been staying at the “Chambre d’hôte” as Richard refers to his B&B, has disappeared and has left a bloody handprint on the wall as well as a broken pair of spectacles. Valérie de Orçay, a classic and bossy French woman who is a guest, tells Richard that the old man asked for her help and she is determined, with Richard’s help, to find him. The evidence in the man’s room disappears. This starts a series of silly scenarios where they travel to the neighboring village where the victim, Vincent Grandchamps, lives across the way from his twin brother, Judge Victor Grandchamps, who hates him. During their investigation the pair comes in contact with a strange bobby, a barmaid and cleaning lady, a naturist couple who owns another B&B nearby and who hosted Vincent Grandchamps as well (he left bloody spectacles there also and a bloody handprint there too), and an Italian newlywed couple who Richard believes has ties to the Sicilian mafia.
The story is difficult to follow, but Moore does a good job of developing his characters. The way things are going in Richard’s B&B, it seems he will get enough bad reviews that he won’t be able to make a decent living, much due to his cantankerous cleaning woman, Madame Tablier, and the poor service from Richard who is distracted by all that is going on.
Readers who like slapstick British comedy will find this a humorous cozy mystery, albeit difficulty in following it. Others, who prefer understated types of comedy, not so much.
While there is a fairly good storyline, it is presented in an amateurish way, which won’t appeal to mainstream cozy readers. Hopefully the subsequent additions to the series will be easier to follow.
Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.
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