Customer Reviews: A Chateau in Provence
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on December 30, 2011
I can probably count on one hand the number of reviews I have written. As a public librarian for over 23 years, I've read thousands of books. Of those thousands there are only scores that I would recommend to library patrons. "A Chateau in Provence" is one of the titles that is getting that honor. My favorite genres are contemporary fiction and mysteries. Loving foreign travel, plots set in European settings attract me. This book hits the mark on all accounts. I downloaded the book to my Kindle and read it straight through in almost one evening. I thought Sam Baker and his family would be the main characters, and they were, but fell in love with the hapless criminal Louis Jaubert and the not-so-upstanding policeman Maurice DesVaux. When the book finished, I could not stop thinking of the movie "Casablanca." It was a fun read and would make a dynamite PG movie. Hollywood, are you reading this? I can hardly wait to see what Charley Wood comes up with next -- and where will book 2 be set?
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on December 27, 2011
An entertaining read for all of us who have dreamed of stumbling across a painting that turns out to be priceless! This is a fast-paced story of the adventures of a family of American tourists who accidentally acquire a previously unknown Cezanne while traveling in Provence.
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on December 29, 2011
This short crime novel was a very fun read with some almost slapstick scenes and a crime twist that was unexpected. It brought me back to Provence with each twist and turn. I would recommend it for a light, enjoyable read.
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on June 19, 2012
First this is not a story about a Chateau in Provence!
But a completely unrealistic "suspense thriller"...
and one full of all the US cliches of french people, all the
fears and prejudices - I am surprised the word "frog" do
not appear in the book.
Shallow persons in a cardboard Provence.
If you look for Provencal atmosphere go elsewhere.
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on June 27, 2012
"A Year In Provence" this is not. I couldn't finish it, even though I was just listening to it on Kindle. There was nothing that brought this book to life: no lush descriptions of Cezanne's work, no meticulous filler on the mileau of Provence. It's as though just b/c the author sets the story in Provence, we readers are suppose to automatically fill in the details. Even worse, the characters didn't have a French feel: the mother read like something from "Throw Momma From the Train," or perhaps a relative of Norman Bates. I can plow through anything that has somekind of payoff; I'm currently rereading Les Mis to prepare for the movie's release, but this just sort of went down the drain in the middle, so I pulled the plug. Sorry.
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on January 3, 2012
Mr. Wood obviously knows Provence. His descriptions of this special part of France are spot on, and his characters come to life as they advance the plot. Lots of interesting facts, intrigue, and a fun story that could have happened (could be happening?) in a magical land that still offers plenty to explore.
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on January 27, 2013
I couldn't understand the title of this book. It didn't have anything to do with a chateau, but I thought the premise was fun. Some Americans vacationing in France get caught up in intrigue over a painting stolen by the Nazis and never returned. As a matter of fact, my own novel, The Summer of France, deals with some Nazi-stolen art as well. In spite of the good plot, the characters were not fleshed out enough so the reader could relate to them, and some basic editing would have helped the book. Also, when writing with a different language included, like French, it's always a good idea to check and re-check to get it right. Since I'm an English teacher, some basic punctuation issues, like misplaced commas, bugged me too. [...]
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on April 23, 2012
I downloaded this eBook with anticipation as I am an avid fan of Provence. Enjoyed reading it as it references so many locations that I know and love. The story was fun, a wee bit light and facile, but amusing nonetheless. What kept this book in the ** category for me was the lack of attention to the French references - awkward grammatical and spelling mistakes, proper accents in some cases, none in others, all in all quite inconsistent and nothing that couldn't have been corrected by proper revision/proofreading. This unfortunately was so prevalent that it became a major distraction. Granted, anyone who is not familiar with French and Provence wouldn't take notice and after all, this is not a guide book, but it seems to me that the author - with his background and French connections - could have been a wee bit more careful.

So, fun for lovers of Provence, but a tad aggravating for Francophiles.
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on July 26, 2013
Written by a "tour guide" who should have spent a little time research life and conditions in rural France that are current. He speaks of high medical costs and medications as the motivation for pursuing the "criminal behavior". France has had universal medical care since about the 1880s. a pleasant undemanding read by the pool.
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on October 25, 2012
Loved the mystery twist to this fun read. Expected more of a traveloge and got a great
mystery instead. Lets you feel a bit like the mouse in the woodwork peeking at the lifestyle
and culture of the locals. The struggle to improve the lot in life of a down-at-luck low life
using thievery to help his family. Musty old museums that have seen better days, police and
political corruption in a small town and the twist at the end leave a really good story.
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