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murder on the ile sordou book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Murder on the Ile Sordou is the 4th book in the Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery series. I will say that it was a VERY French mystery. It would also fall under the cozy mysteries category. I think there was almost as much time spent discussing the food being served as there was on character building.

We meet most of the characters one at a time and get little glimpses into their past and who they are. Well, most of them anyway. Several are conspicuously left blank as a mystery, and are mostly described by how they are perceived by the rest.

Antoine and Marine, our protagonists, are off to have a nice vacation together at a newly re-opened high-class hotel on a small remote island off the coast of Marseille. The proprietors Max and Cat-cat Le Bon have just spent a small fortune refurbishing the place, much of it their life savings, and that of a couple investors. One of the investors is an old school chum of Antoine’s and is also there for the grand re-opening.

There was a limited but wide-ranging cast of individuals. A washed up actor, his trophy wife, and her teenage son. A retired school teacher, Marine’s best friend and an American couple. There was also the hired help who came from varied background. The innocent local girl, the ex-con, the hot dock boy plus a couple others. And lets not forget the crazy local who takes care of the historic lighthouse.

The actual murder took place fairly far into the book giving me a pretty good idea of who the victim was going to be–mostly because he was the one most readers would want to see die! There were several different suspects for several very different reasons. However, if you are paying attention it will appear pretty obvious who did it and even why. I didn’t consider this one a big mystery, but more of an interesting story of one man’s fate that he brought upon himself.

Overall, I found the writing to be very good. I enjoyed the story and I think it will appeal to many with its simple plot and focus on the food for each meal.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Penguin Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.