Death in Avignon by Serena Kent
Publishing Date: 27th June 2019
Series: Penelope Kite Mysteries #2 (review of Book 1 here)
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 336
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Return to the warmth of Provence for the next delightful Penelope Kite mystery…
When Penelope Kite attends the opening of an art exhibition on the arm of the gorgeous Mayor of St Merlot, Laurent Millias, it seems she is finally settling into life in Provence. But beneath the glamour, trouble is lurking. Shockwaves ripple when British expat artist, Roland Doncaster, collapses after choking on an olive.
A tragic accident? Or was he poisoned? Penelope is thrust once again into the middle of a murder investigation, but when she casts suspicion on one of the Mayor’s friends, she finds herself out in the cold.
As winter draws in, Penelope must rely on the friendship of her local music group – including the dashing art dealer, Gilles de Bourdan – the support of the effervescent Frankie, and her own sleuthing instincts to untangle this mystery…
Penelope Kite enjoys her decision of leaving her old life behind and moving to Provence. However, trouble seems to follow our Penny around and during a very usual art exhibition that she’s attending one artist is taken ill. He dies in hospital few days later. But it is only the beginning of further dead bodies, people going missing and smuggled art and Penelope finds herself in the centre of this all. Her old habits outweigh her common sense again and she starts to investigate. In the meantime, her whole family comes to visit and then Frankie to help her with the investigations, again against the recommendations of Penny’s nemesis, police chef Georges Reyssens.
It was another brilliant, light and quick cosy crime authored by Serena Kent. It is a second book in the Penelope Kite series, but to be totally honest, it doesn’t matter too much if you have read the first book or not, there are enough cameos and references to what has happened, and the characters actually stay the same. Though I’d really advise you to read “Death in Provence” because it was simply another great and entertaining read.
Serena Kent is a dazzling story – teller and her writing style is engaging, welcoming and chatty. She knows well when to loosen up the atmosphere and when to put a red herring to make the story even more complex and thrilling. It is also humorous and more than once a sentence or innocently dropped word or two made me chuckling to myself. The descriptions of the landscape, setting and food are long and very detailed but they are vivid, beautiful and bring all the things to life easily and effortlessly.
The characters are so well developed and feel very realistic, really, like breathing and living people. The banter between them is flawless and effortless, actually everything in this book seems to simply flow seamlessly, and it is a great feeling. Because not many new characters are introduced in this book, I felt like coming back to a group of my old mates and beginning right where we have ended our last adventure. Penelope, as usual, soon finds out that there is more to the deaths as initially supposed and with police that’s not so willing to cooperate, she has to use her skills she’s learnt as a former forensic pathologist’s assistant. Who did it? And why?
“Death in Avignon” was a breezy, light – hearted read, a perfect escapism that you’re going to enjoy on an evening or two, with a glass of wine. Or two. It has such a relaxing feeling to it, flawlessly transporting you to the autumnal and wintry Provence. Even though it deals with murder and some dead bodies there is a lightness to it, humour and sparkling, clever sarcasm and irony. There are many possible killers in this story, and it was absolutely brilliant, to read about their motives, trying to make a guess and – of course – not guessing. But that’s me, the super – detective. So pour yourself this above mentioned glass of wine, grab a croissant and prepare yourself for a fantastic visit to France, with a murder or two as a bonus. Truly recommended!
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