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Cover image for Death in Provence : a novel
Format:
Title:
Death in Provence : a novel
ISBN:
9780062869852
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2019]
Physical Description:
350 pages ; 24 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
1.
Summary:
"It's love at first sight when Penelope Kite sees Le Chant d'Eau--The Song of Water--the stone farmhouse tucked high in the hills above the Luberon valley, complete with a garden, swimming pool, and sweeping mountain vistas. For years, Penelope put her unfaithful ex-husband and her ungrateful stepchildren first. Since taking early retirement from her job in forensics at the Home Office in England, she's been an unpaid babysitter and chauffeur for her grandchildren. Now, she's going to start living for herself. Though her dream house needs major renovations, Penelope impulsively buys the property and moves to St. Merlot. But Penelope's daydreams of an adventurous life in Provence didn't include finding a corpse floating face down in her swimming pool. The discovery of the dead man plunges her headlong into a Provence stew of intrigue and lingering resentments simmering beneath the deceptively sunny village. Having worked in the forensics office, Penelope knows a thing or two about murder investigations. To find answers, she must carefully navigate between her seemingly ubiquitous, supercilious (and enviously chic) estate agent, the disdainful chief of police, and the devilishly handsome mayor--even as she finds herself tempted by all the delicacies the region has to offer. Thank goodness her old friend Frankie is just a flight away . . . and that Penelope is not quite as her new neighbors in St. Merlot believe"-- Provided by publisher.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Status
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M KENT Serena
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Kent, S.
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MYSTERY Kent, S.
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MYS KENT
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Kent
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On Order

Summary

Summary

The first entry in a clever, lighthearted mystery series set in modern Provence--a delightful blend of Agatha Christie and Peter Mayle--featuring the irrepressible Penelope Kite, a young-at-heart divorcee with a knack for stumbling across dead bodies.



It's love at first sight when Penelope Kite sees Le Chant d'Eau--The Song of Water--the stone farmhouse tucked high in the hills above the Luberon valley, complete with a garden, swimming pool, and sweeping mountain vistas. For years, Penelope put her unfaithful ex-husband and her ungrateful stepchildren first. Since taking early retirement from her job in forensics at the Home Office in England, she's been an unpaid babysitter and chauffeur for her grandchildren. Now, she's going to start living for herself. Though her dream house needs major renovations, Penelope impulsively buys the property and moves to St. Merlot.

But Penelope's daydreams of an adventurous life in Provence didn't include finding a corpse floating face down in her swimming pool. The discovery of the dead man plunges her headlong into a Provençal stew of intrigue and lingering resentments simmering beneath the deceptively sunny village. Having worked in the forensics office, Penelope knows a thing or two about murder investigations. To find answers, she must carefully navigate between her seemingly ubiquitous, supercilious (and enviably chic) estate agent, the disdainful chief of police, and the devilishly handsome mayor--even as she finds herself tempted by all the delicacies the region has to offer. Thank goodness her old friend Frankie is just a flight away . . . and that Penelope is not quite as naïve as her new neighbors in St. Merlot believe.

Set against the exquisite backdrop of Provence, steeped in history, atmosphere, and secrets, Death in Provence introduces an irresistible heroine and a delightful new mystery series.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Peter Mayle fans will enjoy this first novel and series opener from the pseudonymous Kent, an English husband-and-wife writing team. Penelope Kite, a divorcAce and former assistant to a Home Office medical examiner, decides on impulse to buy a run-down farmhouse in St. Merlot, high in the hills of Provence's Luberon Valley. Penelope soon gets an expatriate's crash course in the history of St. Merlot, family rivalries, and occasionally inscrutable French customs. When the village drunkard, who greets her with a tirade claiming ownership of her house, winds up dead in her swimming pool, Penelope and the local police plunge into parallel investigations. Her experience in forensics from her Home Office job comes in handy. The cast of characters includes agreeable, occasionally shrewd ProvenA§al natives, a forceful English best friend, and an effortlessly chic Parisian real estate agent. Kent provides loving descriptions of food, wine, and weather, and though the resolution is telegraphed a bit, this series is off to an amiable start. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, Gernert Co. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

An Englishwoman abroad seeks repose but finds murder.Pity all those recently divorced cozy heroines who must fend for themselves financially by opening bookshops or offering bus tours. Penelope Kite is luckier. Shedding her chronically unfaithful husband, David, leaves her with enough cash to purchase a house in Provence. In buying Le Chant d'Eau in the tiny town of St. Merlot, Penelope envisions quiet afternoons looking out at the tranquil Luberon Valley with a carafe of ros at her elbowjust as soon as she gets the water and electricity running, tames the overgrown garden, and cleans the years of grime and cracked plaster from the walls and floor. Fortunately, Agence Hublot, the local realty company, takes an expansive view of their portfolio, and realtor Clmence Valencourt supplies Penelope with an electrician, a plumber, and a gardener as well as frequent advice about what a good Frenchwoman would eat, wear, and say. She also introduces Penelope to Pierre Louchard, a neighbor who doesn't usually like foreigners but who invites her for a glass of plum brandy anyway. Unfortunately, Clmence's expertise stops short of murder. So when Penelope's initial effort at restoring Le Chant d'Eau's swimming pool to its former glory turns up the body of local lowlife Manuel Avore, chic Clmence directs her new friend to her old friend, mayor Laurent Millais, who's more approachable than surly police chief Georges Reyssens. The more enmeshed she becomes in village life, the more Penelope sparkles, turning what could have been a lightweight Shirley Temple into champagne.Although Kent makes no promises, updates on her heroine's further adventures would be most welcome. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

Penelope Kite is fed up with her ex-husband, his ungrateful adult children, and the badly behaved grandchildren. A rundown house in Provence is a perfect escape. She envisions problems with French bureaucracy and slow workers but does not expect a dead man in her swimming pool, a persistent estate agent, or a sexy mayor. The French police may see a middle-aged British woman, but Penelope's background at the British Home Office, where she was the assistant to a forensic pathologist, taught her to evaluate a corpse and weapons. Penelope is shrewder than the police or her new neighbors think she is. The charming, leisurely paced mystery is filled with details of food, customs, and history in the small village of St. Merlot, with the atmospheric setting and nostalgic tone providing a strong sense of place. VERDICT While the quirky characters are enjoyable, it's the details of Provençal life that will attract armchair travelers, fans of Peter Mayle, Frances Mayes, or even David P. Wagner's Italy-set "Rick Montoya" mysteries.-Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.