Sunday, August 14, 2011
Crime Fiction on a Euro Pass: France
Our next stop on our Crime Fiction Europass vacation get-away is France. Currently, I am at the Hotel L'Aigle Royal in Le Bosquet. I am staying with Lizzie Thomas, housekeeper and detective sidekick to former Detective Inspector and fledgling private investigator, John Webber. We've flown to France to get the local scoop on a horrible "accident" that occurred here about year ago or so. A couple in their 50s-60s were strolling along the beach of this picaresque French resort town when the wife's dress suddenly went up in flames--moments later, the couple were dead. Their daughter, Jessica Elberg, only recently learned what details there are--and there aren't many--and is not satisfied with the verdict. That's where Lizzie and her employer come in. Webber is busy back in London, tracking down business rivals and family secrets, while Lizzie, with her excellent French, and I try find out the details that didn't make it into the official reports. Oh, and the name of our mystery? The Elberg Collection by Anthony Oliver.
The beach is lovely with smooth yellow sand and the blue-grey water beckons in a very tempting manner. It's a little chilly for a swim though. Our hotel is a bit modest when compared to the more fashionable establishments at the other end of the seafront, but very comfortable. It was listed in the Michelin guide as "Comfortable," and other guides told us that it has been owned and managed by the same family since it was built in 1904.
This is an engaging little mystery. I'm only about half-way through it and I like John Webber and Lizzie very much. I've met them before in Oliver's first mystery, The Pew Group, and this outing only confirms my fondness for the characters. I am a little disappointed with the pacing and the fact that I'm quite sure who the culprit is. I'd tell you who I think it is, but then if I'm right and I say so in my review, I'll have spoiled it for you. You'll just have to trust me to tell the truth if I'm wrong. :-)