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Murder in the Rue Dumas (Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mysteries) Paperback – September 25, 2012

51 customer reviews

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Murder in the Rue Dumas (Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mysteries) + Death in the Vines: A Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery (Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mysteries) + Death at the Chateau Bremont: A Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery (Verlaque and Bonnet Mysteries)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“What really makes Longforth’s writing special is her deep knowledge of French history, landscape, cuisine, and even contemporary cafes and restaurants. This is that rare atmospheric mystery that is street-wise and café-canny.” – Booklist (starred review)

“As intricate as the mystery is, what provides the most pleasure in reading Murder in the Rue Dumas is Longworth’s description of Verlaque and Bonet’s daily lives… one can practically smell the freshly-baked croissants.” – Seattle Post-Intelligencer 

“Fans of European sleuths with a taste for good food … will have fun.” – PW


“Longworth’s gentle procedural succeeds on several levels, whether it’s for academic and literary allusions, police work, or armchair travel. With deftly shifting points of view, Longworth creates a beguiling read that will appeal to Louise Penny and Donna Leon fans.” – Library Journal


“French-set mysteries have never been more popular [and] among the very best is a series set in Provence featuring Monsieur Verlaque, an examining magistrate, and his sometime girlfriend, law professor Marine Bonnet.” – The Denver Post


Praise For Death at the Chateau Bremont

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“This first novel in a projected series has charm, wit, and Aix-en- Provence all going for it. Longworth's voice is like a rich vintage of sparkling Dorothy Sayers and grounded Donna Leon...Longworth has lived in Aix since 1997, and her knowledge of the region is apparent on every page. Bon appétit.” – Booklist
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“A promising debut for Longworth, who shows there's more to France than Paris and more to mystery than Maigret.” – Kirkus

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“Mystery and romance served up with a hearty dose of French cuisine. I relished every word. Longworth does for Aix-en-Provence what Frances Mayes does for Tuscany: You want to be there-NOW!” – Babara Fairchild, former editor-in-chief, Bon Appetit magazine

   .

Death at Chateau Bremont is replete with romance, mystery, and a rich atmosphere that makes the south of France spring off the page in a manner reminiscent of Donna Leon's Venice. A wonderful start to a series sure to gain a legion of fans.” – Tasha Alexander, author of the Lady Emily mysteries

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“Longworth has a good eye and a sharp wit, and this introduction to Verlaque and Bonnet holds promise for a terrific series.” – Globe and Mail

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Death at Chateau Bremont offers charming French locales, vivid characters and an intriguing who-done-it.” – Kevin R. Kosar, author of Whiskey: A Global History

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“Here's hoping the series lasts for years.” – RT BookReviews

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“Your readers will eat this one up.” – Library Journal

  

About the Author

M.L. Longworth has lived in Aix-en-Provence since 1997. She has written about the region for The Washington Post, The Times (U.K.), The Independent (U.K.), and Bon Appétit Magazine. She is the author the Verlaque and Bonnet series, as well as of a bilingual collection of essays, Une Américaine en Provence. She divides her time between Aix and Paris, where she teaches writing at NYU's Paris campus.

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Product Details

  • Series: Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mysteries
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 Original edition (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143121545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143121541
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M. L . Longworth has written for The Washington Post, The Times (London), The Independent, and Bon Appétit magazine. She is the author of a mystery series set in Southern France, Verlaque and Bonnet Provençal Mysteries, published by Penguin USA. 'Death at the Château Bremont' was published in June 2011, 'Murder in the rue Dumas' in 2012, 'Death in the Vines,' in 2013 and 'Murder on the Ile Sordou' on Sept 30, 2014.

She has lived full-time in France for over seventeen years and divides her time between Aix-en-Provence, where she writes, and Paris, where she teaches writing at New York University's Paris campus.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
In this second Verlaque and Bonnet Provençal mystery (2012), a theology professor is found dead in his office at the Université d'Aix. He had been hit over the head with a 700-year-old piece of wood, and the two hapless students who had broken into his office to determine the recipient of an important fellowship did not report their grisly discovery to the police. It was left for the cleaning lady to rediscover the defunct professor.

"Murder in the Rue Dumas" is the epitome of a French cozy. People are eating and/or drinking wonderful provençal concoctions on almost every page. Even the theology devolves into an intellectual food-fight over supporters of the Cluny monks, who "ate roast chicken and drank fine wines" versus more ascetic medieval orders where the monks "ate porridge and drank broth." I wouldn't be surprised if a 'Verlaque and Bonnet Provençal Cookbook' spins off from this mystery series.

Judge Antoine Verlaque and his six-foot-two former rugby player commissioner Bruno Paulik attempt to solve the mystery of Professor Moutte's death, with the help of law professor Marine Bonnet, who is Verlaque's mistress. The narrative voice shifts between multiple characters, including the students who are competing for the Dumas fellowship, various colleagues of the deceased professor, and the three main sleuths. It was a bit confusing, especially since I hadn't read the first mystery in this series, "Death at the Chateau Bremont: A Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery (Verlaque and Bonnet Mysteries)." But I was carried along on the strength of the author's characterizations and her robust French setting.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ralph on April 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is part light romance and a lot of travel guide.
The "mystery" and "detective" and especially the concept of "solving" are pretty much
forgotten.
Lots of prospective murderers, but none stand out.
"Clues" lead to nothing.
The detectives are simply told by other police departments about related crimes, to no help.
Eventually one killer simply jumps on the roof and confesses out of guilt.
The other murder is absurdly forgotten about.
But the lovers end up together and babble about scenery.
Just shouldn't call it a mystery.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Harris on November 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
In Sept. 2011, I first discovered Mary Lou Longworth and her first mystery (Murder at the Chateau Bremont) set in Aix-en-Provence. I have waited, impatiently at times, for her follow up book MURDER IN THE RUE DUMAS (ISBN 978-0143121541, trade paperback, $14.00). It was worth the wait.

Professor Moutte, the Doyen of the School of Theology at the University of Aix, is found murdered in his office. The murder occurred just after he announced that he would not be retiring. His announcement affected three of his colleagues who thought they were in the mix for his prestigious position. Also affected were 4 post-graduate students in the competition for the lucrative Dumas Fellowship. Two days later, the professor's secretary was killed in a hit and run accident. Coincidence or related to the murder? Into this turmoil, another crime is added -art glass forgery.

Who is responsible for the murders? Are the murders related to the art forgeries? Will Judge Antoine Verlaque, his on again/off again lady friend law professor Marine Bonnet and Commissioner Bruno Paulik of the Aix police unravel these mysteries?

If you have never been to France (or Italy), Longworth's descriptions of the places visited by the cast of characters will make you want to visit them yourself. If you have visited Europe, the book will make you want to book the next flight to Aix-en-Provence. Personally, I could smell and taste the croissants and coffee that appear in the story.

Go. Buy. Read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terrie Curran on August 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard of this author on NPR and all the tribute to the wonderful Provence atmosphere--locale and food descriptions--is true. The easy relationship of Verlaque and Bonnet also keeps interest, and I assume develops over the series. Yes, a 'soft' mystery--nothing terribly gruesome, though the conclusion was a bit convoluted and out-of-the-blue. A good bedtime read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynne E. TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a thoroughly enjoyable "cozy" mystery, convincingly set in Aix-en-Provence. Briefly, the plot goes like this: Following a faculty/student gathering in the luxurious apartment of the head (doyen) of the Aix University Theology Department, the doyen is found murdered in his office. The likely suspects include four faculty applicants for the soon-to-retire doyen's position, four student candidates for the prestigious Dumas fellowship, and the doyen's administrative assistant.

It soon develops that the doyen was bludgeoned with a 700-year-old work of art, and that the doyen, who was an expert in Galle art glass, may have been selling fraudulent reproductions to finance his extravagant life style. It is up to Judge Antoine Verlaque (the examining magistrate) and law professor Marine Bonnet (his girlfriend), as well as Aix police commissioner Bruno Paulik (Verlaque's subordinate), to track down the murderer. In France, an examining magistrate is a member of the court system who actively investigates and gathers case facts, rather like a detective in the United States.

Judge Verlaque and Professor Bonnet are lovers; they are also sophisticates, highly educated and extremely well-read. Sometimes they are a little too high-brow for my personal tastes. (For example, Marine uses a quote from Montesquieu's PERSIAN LETTERS as a discussion starter for her law students; and the wealthy Antoine is a connoisseur of expensive cigars, French and Italian wines, and French and Italian country hotels and restaurants.)

My only real complaint about this otherwise very well-written mystery, is that it skips around so much that I kept losing track of minor characters and plot elements.
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