It’s a real live book!

Posted by in Bennett Sisters, Fave New Book on Jan 3, 2024

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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