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Death at the Château Bremont
Verlaque and Bonnet Series, No 1
M.L. Longworth

Penguin Books
June 28, 2011/ ISBN 978-0143119524
Mystery / France

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

Set in Aix-en-Provence, France, this mystery features a handsome, young judge, Antoine Verlaque, and Marine Bonnet, his ex-girlfriend who is a professor of law. After a local nobleman, Étienne de Bremont, falls to his death from the family château, Antoine visits the scene and suspects the death was no accident. Aware that Marine was friends with Étienne and his brother, François, Antoine enlists her aid in solving the mystery. It soon becomes clear that François and several other people would have benefited from Étienne’s untimely death. Then another death occurs – this one an obvious murder.

The mystery takes second place to Antoine’s and Marine’s intriguing relationship, and the author includes an in-depth description of the setting and people who live in Provence than one normally finds in a mystery. However, what I found most satisfying about this novel are the conflicting emotions that Antoine and Marine face in renewing their friendship. These are portrayed so well that I couldn’t stop reading. For example, in one scene when they dine together to discuss Étienne’s death, Antoine is inwardly upset that Marine ate an entire bowl of olives, but in the next scene, Marine confesses to a friend that she was so nervous, she couldn’t stop eating them. The characters’ emotional responses to each other were quite natural and realistic. Throughout the novel, we are allowed insights into the reasons why these two were attracted to each other, and learn about the idiosyncrasies that initially drove these two lovers apart. Somewhere in between, we cheer on their renewed friendship as they work together to solve the case.

Even though the mystery wasn’t the predominant theme in this book, I thoroughly enjoyed Death at the Château Bremont, and will keep my eyes open for the next release in this series.


Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2011
© 2011