My review today is for the latest novel from Loire based author and stand-up comedian, Ian Moore, Death and Croissants (A Follet Valley Mystery).
Poor old Richard. One minute his life, running a B&B in the Loire Valley, is calm to the point of being dull, just how he likes it, then mysterious guests and strange happenings at his chambre d’hôtes mean life becomes a dangerous adventure overnight.
In a plot with more twists than one of Richard’s favourite classic movies, most of the time I felt as clueless about what was going on as poor Richard. With the energetic Valérie d’Orçay calling the shots, Richard is thrown into a bizarre world of grown men dressed as chickens, mysterious feuding old Frenchmen, odd British expats, the Mafia and more. In an attempt to discover what really happened to old Monsieur Grandchamps, we get to visit the city of Tours, the Château de Chenonceau and the Zoo de Beauval, as well as meet the locals in the village bar. Richard might have no idea how his routine changed so quickly, but he can’t deny that life with Valérie d’Orçay by his side is exciting, and, that excitement feels good.
Richard’s passion has always been the cinema and the many references to films, actors and plots all added a certain something to this story, which along with the humour you would expect from an author/comedian made it a very readable book.
The laughs might have been at Richard’s expense, but this just made me like him more, as I tried to work out how it would end. This really is a book where nothing is quite as it first seems.
Will he ever find his missing guest, or more importantly discover who killed his favourite hen, Ava Gardner?
If you are looking for a light-hearted who-done-it, with lots of humour and a fun cast of bizarre characters, this would be a great choice. I can’t wait for the next instalment from the Follet Valley.
Death and Croissants is available in hardback and ebook format.