It’s a real live book!

Monsieur Moonlight is here, lurking on a dark, spring night, deep in rural France. He shows up like a bad penny, intent on who knows what besides drinking his way through Pascal’s wine cellar. The half-brother who could hardly be less welcome after twenty years of estrangement. What is he really up to? Can it be anything good?

Meanwhile one of Pascal’s colleagues at the Wine Fraud Division is found dead in his apartment in Bordeaux. Did he eat a poisonous tea cake? Who would do such a thing, surely not the sweet lady next door who bakes for him? And why are these bureaucrats from Paris swarming all over the château, looking for nonexistent artifacts that the previous owner looted? Pascal and Merle have already donated them all to a museum. And yet the invasive search continues unabated.

 

Duelling mysteries, plus the added annoyance of an unwanted houseguest, make MONSIEUR MOONLIGHT a delight.

Each book in this series is a little glimpse into life in France: not idealized, but imbued with a deep love of the little fortified towns and the wonder of being able to visit Paris easily. We visit country town open-air markets, eat wonderful food and drink the best of the local wines, and along the way Pascal and Merle solve the mysteries, get the wrongly accused off the hook, and ensure that the guilty are arrested. McClendon writes in a conversational tone with just enough French thrown in to feel that we’re there learning our way around along with Merle. I’m ready for the next one! — Mary F

Ms. McClendon writes with a perfect combination of suspense and wit, with mystery weaved through each of the segments of the story. And, of course, we are gifted the beauty of France throughout, with its food, its farmers’ markets, and of course, its wine. — Denice S

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Fly Away to France with me!

Ah, France. I have been here about ten days and have only a few more to savor all that is delightfully French. Here are a few highlights.

We spent a week dodging bicyclists in Paris… yes, it is a task not taken lightly! In the last few years Paris has tried to eliminate pollution from cars, a very worthy goal, by increasing bike lanes, rental bikes, and bicycling in general. The result so far is a chaos of bicyclists, going every direction in the bike lane, zooming through red lights, narrowly missing pedestrians so that French parents are afraid to send their children walking alone to school. It’s a problem! But somehow we survived. With the help of French food, of course!

We went on a food and wine tour of the Marais and learned that is the word for swamp. Do not drain the Marais, it is lovely now. In this food court we found a socca stand and sampled this crepe-like treat. Sampled cheese and wine, and of course chocolate. I recommend a food tour in an area you don’t know yet. Very fun. Next up, the Dordogne.

As seen in Midnight in Paris
At the Musée d’Orsay. Not as crowded as last year, thank goodness.
Near the Panthéon
Versailles, Fontaine de Neptune
Sightseeing is exhausting! A minute later a lady asked us in German if she could please sit down on the bench. Somehow we communicated!
In the hall of mirrors, Versailles
Nôtre Dame, still under construction from the fire five years ago. NOT scheduled to be completed in time for the Olympics now.
Entrance to the food court in the Marais
Picasso and Gertrude Stein show at Musée du Luxembourg

Here are a few Paris haunts.

A variety of chèvre – fresh goat cheese
Making the socca- very miam miam
View from an evening cruise on the Seine
Tarte de poireaux… a leek tart

May the Glitches be Behind Us

Merci beaucoup for checking out the new web store here on my website. There has been a learning curve but I am satisfied that the glitches have been identified and eradicated!

There are a couple new things for you to look at, besides the box sets for Bennett Sisters Volumes 1-8 and 9-18… there is a swag pack of bookmarks and stickers. (If you’re going to Bouchercon in San Diego at the end of August, I will also be giving these away… find me at my panel about cozies and cuisine: A Community as Warm as the Cuisine panel on Friday, Sept. 1, at 3:35-4:25pm. I will be signing books in the book room after.) Shipping is free in the US for the swag pack, and it’s just $5. The bookmarks are shiny and BIG! I’m excited about these stickers too… I am putting them on my laptop!

Also available is the fancy hardcover of Blackbird Fly. This is the one that was only available at the Kickstarter but now you can get it without all those nasty Kickstarter rules and regs! It has color interior pages and a snazzy dust jacket. It’s a keeper for you collectors.

See the web store HERE

Love a book? Tell us!

I have read many books over the years, and I’m sure you have too. So basically, every day is Book Lovers Day! But today is a “National” Book Lovers Day, when readers all over the country celebrate the magic that is a book. What is your favorite book? I have several: Alice Hoffman’s Turtle Moon, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, A.S. Byatt’s Possession, and so many more.

 

What are your favorites? I picked ones I’ve read multiple times, the sure sign of love of a book, of its prose, characters, and tone. It’s interesting that Possession is subtitled “A Romance.” In a way it is but then you get to read this quote inside on why:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book (Possession) is very much a love affair with books, poetry, words, as much as between characters. Set in the Victorian age, it definitely is an “attempt to connect a bygone time with the very present that is flitting away from us.”

What are some of your favorites? From that “bygone time” or right now. Give us suggestions on what to read!

 

How the Kickstarter worked out

Spoiler alert — awesomely!

Books are here!
With six color interior pages… including this title page

The special collectible editions of ‘Blackbird Fly,’ available through the Kickstarter and very soon through my store here on my website, have been shipped! I am sending them on their way this week to everyone who pledged (plus Kristen who won the giveaway). Thank you, everyone!