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Murder in Lascaux (A Nora Barnes and Toby Sandler Mystery) Hardcover – October 4, 2011
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“I found the world of this book a charmed one.”—Lynn C. Miller, author of Death of a Department Chair
“Art history (and prehistory), French food, wonderful descriptions of France’s lovely Perigord region, and a clever mystery to boot. What’s not to like? Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden have a wonderful knack of educating you painlessly—almost without your noticing—while you make your way through their twisty, witty plot.”—Aaron Elkins, Edgar-winning author of The Worst Thing
“A whodunit that nicely balances a breezily light travelogue with urgency and suspense. Readers will hope this is the first of a series.”—Publishers Weekly
“That the book feels like the seamless work of a single author is no coincidence; readers of Draine and Hinden’s first mystery will be both entertained and educated by what is clearly a shared passion for the Dordogne and its considerable charms.”—Capital Times
“Take a touch of prehistoric art, sprinkle in some delicious southern French cuisine, add a dash of World War II history and a dollop of murder, and you’ve got a mystery novel that’s appetizing, intriguing, and informative. . . . If you like murder mystery you can get your teeth into, give this one a try. Bon appétit!”—Mystery Scene
About the Author
Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden cowrote the memoir A Castle in the Backyard: The Dream of a House in France and translated and edited The Walnut Cookbook by Jean-Luc Toussaint. They are professors emeriti of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Top Customer Reviews
Nora has persuaded the authorities to allow her and her husband to participate in one of the 5-at-a-time tours of Lascaux. They are accompanied by another American couple and a mysterious Frenchman. Toward the end of the tour the cave is plunged into darkness. When the lights come back on, the Frenchman is found dead, the victim of a bloody garrotte. His body is posed in a tableau that mirrors one of the images in the cave, an image that appears to be rich in symbolism though that symbolism has never been satisfactorily explained.
As she takes her cooking classes and studies the work of the woman painter, Nora is drawn further and further into the murder case. She and her husband conduct their own investigation and later appear to be the target of the perpetrator's murderous intentions.
The authors' previous study of life in the Dordogne and the house which they purchased there has prepared them to write in depth concerning its topography, geography, demography, cuisine and ice age cave art. One key scene occurs in the Rouffignac cave, a deep cave that is accessed by a small train which travels between cave bear pits on one side and a serious dropoff on the other. In 1994 my wife and I were fortunate to have participated in a tour of the caves (including Rouffignac) and I can say that the authors' descriptions are dead-on accurate.Read more ›
Let me add that the parallels between modern family members and those of the past give the reader some first- hand involvement. And the last sentence of the book is one of the best I have ever read.
Thoroughly researched, I would recommend this for those attracted to historic writing or writing about place. Though there are surprises to keep you wondering, the story lacks a dramatic arc. I fault the fastidiousness of the authors. Had they played even a little looser with events Murder in Lascaux might have proved a more exciting journey.
John Lehman, Rosebud Book Reviews.com
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved it I felt like I was on a vacation in the South of FrancePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
well-developed, and for those francophile foodies with an art interest, good fun.Published 16 months ago by L. A. Reynolds
Fun read with lots of historic references about the area where it takes place.
Quick pace with surprises. I have been to the Dordogne, so liked the setting.