Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for the latest book in the Lady Eleanor Swift series. You can find my reviews for the earlier books on the blog. Many thanks to Bookouture for having me on the tour and giving me a copy of the book to review.
A grand villa, croissants for breakfast and a dead body in the wine cellar… Lady Swift can’t seem to take a vacation from murder!
Summer 1923. Lady Eleanor Swift is finally persuaded by her butler, Clifford, to take a villa in the south of France for the season. She plans to do what a glamorous lady abroad should: long lunches on the balcony followed by lazy afternoons lounging by the pool. Even Gladstone the bulldog is looking forward to a daily paddle in the ocean.
But when Clifford examines the wine cellar, he discovers there are no decent reds but there is a very dead body. The victim is famous American movie star Rex Armstrong. Poor Rex seems to have been stabbed with a sword from the film set. So how did he end up in Eleanor’s villa?
Before Eleanor even has time to change out of her travelling suit, her beloved butler is arrested for the crime. At sea without her right-hand man, Eleanor must gather her wits if she’s to outsmart a murderer and save Clifford.
Attending a glitzy party at the luxurious Hotel Azure with the film’s cast and crew so she can question her main suspects, Eleanor overhears the director having a most unsettling telephone call that throws all her theories out of the water. Can Eleanor unmask the true killer before her time abroad is cut murderously short?
A gripping historical murder mystery full of charm and intrigue, set in the beautiful French Riviera. Fans of Agatha Christie, T E Kinsey and Lee Strauss will adore The French for Murder.
The Review: I’ve been reading this series of books since the first one, A Very English Murder, and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. In this book, we head to sunny France, as Lady Eleanor has agreed to take a holiday and has brought the Henley Hall team with her. The idea of the holiday is to get a break from the seemingly endless stream of murders Eleanor ends up involved in, unfortunately changing countries doesn’t change this as almost the minute they arrive at the rented villa, Clifford finds a dead body. This time there are film stars and French police involved so it puts rather a different spin on things and provides a nice change of scene and character interactions.
Clearly I enjoy these books and it’s because they are so well-written. The characters are realistic and the descriptions of the places and people are so good that it all comes alive. It’s easy in these stories to feel as if you are part of it, watching and experiencing everything that Eleanor does. The difference in this book, and the last few, is that many of them are set outside of Eleanor’s home, Henley Hall. This adds more options with location and characters and it benefits the stories. I would go so far as to say I think this may be the best one so far. While I love Clifford and have warmed to Hugh, this one felt to me as if it gave Eleanor more of a chance to show off what she’s learnt over the course of the series.
I loved this book. The French riviera setting was ideal (especially if reading in the sunshine!) the French police inspector was an interesting character and quite a contrast to Hugh and it was good watching Eleanor and Clifford working together again. This is a series I find reliable. I know, when I pick up one of these books that there’s a strong chance I’m going to enjoy it and it’s nice to find a series I can say that about.
Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.
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