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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Fleur de Lies (Passport to Peril Mystery, #9)

Fleur de Lies - Maddy Hunter

This series has always been a bit all over the joint for me:  some of them are so-so at best but every other book or so is well done enough to keep me interested and coming back for the next one.  

 

There's also a very clear maturing of both the character and the writing; Emily started off the series as a rather frivolous MC, always leaping to stupid conclusions and rarely using her head.  Fleur de Lies shows Emily at her best; she's calmer, more thoughtful and much more rational in her responses, while still maintaining a bit of sass.

 

The gem in this series and in this latest book is, as always, the group of seniors Emily travels with.  They're a hoot and a half.  In any other demographic, their addiction as a group to their iPhones would be irritating and cloying but here, it makes me laugh because my mom would totally be one of these travelling, tech-addicted seniors; although I'm pretty sure she'd look up from her phone to enjoy the scenery.

 

Fleur de Lies takes place, as is obvious by the title, in France; specifically, a boat tour down the Seine that starts in Normandy.  There's a lot of focus on WWII and some great backstories come out.  As she does in every book, Ms. Hunter brings the settings to life; my desire to see France again was ratcheted up a notch while reading, and I am dying of curiosity about the white stones on the beach of Étretat.

 

The mystery/plot was excellent.  The author leads the reader on a merry chase with clues and red herrings littering the pages, and an ending that I never suspected.  Really well done.

 

The only things I didn't like:  I'm not a fan of Jackie.  I love the inclusion of this character and her backstory, but she's an idiot.  Brainless idiot.  

 

The author uses "Eewww" for at least two different purposes only one of which is to express disgust, which is what I'm used to seeing it mean.  I was confused a lot when she used "Eewww" to mean "oohh".

 

NB:  This didn't irritate me (much) because it's something that seems to confuse a lot of people, but the author mentions "pastel coloured macaroons" in the French pastry shops and I'm quite certain she means "macarons".  They are not the same:

 


(weddingish.com has a nice explanation of the differences, for anyone interested.  Image src: weddingish.com)  

 

When I was home on vacation, macrons were just starting to be a "thing" in Tampa, popping up in the more high-end pastry/chocolate shops.  I'd never heard of macarons until I moved to AU, where they are massively popular and incredibly decadent.

 

 

 Overall, a solid cozy mystery with a delightful cast of characters.  I'll be looking out for the German one coming out next.