Girl in the Empty Dress

Merle is back in France with all four of her sisters plus one extra, a law colleague of one sister who upsets the “finely-tuned five-spoked karma.” Merle is celebrating her 50th birthday, tramping along the backroads of the Dordogne, when the women find an injured dog in the ditch. Their idyllic women’s vacation takes a dark turn as it appears that many people are interested in this dog. And just who is this Girl in the Empty Dress?

Merle Bennett is spending another summer in France, vacationing with her four sisters and one friend, lawyers all, tramping around the backroads of the Dordogne. The sixth member of their walking tour is a law colleague, Gillian Sargent. She hasn’t made a good impression on the Bennett sisters, being annoying and secretive and upsetting the delicate karma of sisterhood. When Gillian finds an injured dog along the roadside and wants to keep it for her own, the idyllic summer trip of sisterly bonding and wine-drinking turns dark and dangerous. Who else is after this dog? Why is she so special? And what secret is Gillian Sargent keeping so close to her chest that her co-workers call her ‘The Girl in the Empty Dress?’

Lise McClendon introduced Merle Bennett in Blackbird Fly, taking readers on a journey of self-discovery for Merle as her late husband’s life opened up its secrets. He left her a stone house in the Dordogne he never mentioned, his family estate. Merle’s efforts to fix up the abandoned ruin, extract a squatter, and discover the family secrets help her through her grief.

Now, back in this corner of southwest France of dark, oaky wine, rocky hills, foie gras and earthy truffles, she juggles sibling bickering, her teenage son, two boyfriends, and the law. All she wants is to unwind in the golden light of France. But France has a few tricks up its sleeves again. Thanks to a sad, dirty little dog and a woman with too many secrets.

Truffles, wine, romance, sisters, and intrigue.

Also available in audio

Bonus Content

While I was writing The Girl in the Empty Dress, the sequel to Blackbird Fly, I put together this little teaser. These are photos of my own walking tour in France, the one that inspired the Bennett Sisters’ hike through the Dordogne. We didn’t see any injured dogs along the way but had plenty of other adventures! My thanks to fellow hikers, Helen, Anne, Stephanie, Sara, and Jean, for all the good times.

Reviews

A perfect summer read: it had mystery, romance, the complexities of family relations and the beautiful countryside in France. The author’s writing was engaging and I loved how the different storylines were interconnected.  I recommend and enjoyed this story.” Book Nerd

“I liked Lise’s writing style, loved her brilliant descriptions like: “He had the face of an ice block hardened by many winters”, [they] brought her characters alive. The situations they found themselves in often made me laugh and there was just the right amount of ooh-ing and aah-ing over the tasty French cheeses, truffles and wine to remember they were in France and loving it. I can recommend both Blackbird Fly and The Girl in the Empty Dress (Bennett Sisters Novels) as perfect summer holiday reads. I will be looking out for more Bennett Sisters Novels” French Village Diaries

Other books in the Bennett Sisters Mysteries

Blackbird Fly Give Him the Ooh-la-la! The Things We Said Today The Frenchman Odette and the Great Fear Blame It On Paris Bennett Sisters French Cookbook: Recipes inspired by the Mystery Series A Bolt from the Blue Dead Flat 1: Bottle of Lies Dead Flat 2: Outside the Bubble Dead Flat 3: Uncorked Lost in Lavender Birds of a Feather 1: Swan & Peacock Birds of a Feather: 2: Crazy as a Loon Birds of a Feather 3: Fly the Nest Château des Corbeaux Here There and Everywhere Monsieur Moonlight Dead Flats Trilogy Birds of a Feather Trilogy The Bennett Sisters Mysteries: Volumes 1 – 8 Bennett Sisters Mysteries Vol 9-18 Bennett Sisters Mysteries Vol 1-4 The Bennett Sisters French Coloring Book