I am taking pain killers for my ankle and they are seriously disrupting my sleep cycle. Due to this I have been getting a lot of reading done at night. Last night I read the above four novels, all relatively short and quick reads. My favorite by far was Peter Mayle’s French Lessons. His books evoke a fantastic sense of place and his obvious love of France and all things food comes through in his writing. The book is broken up into topics or explorations into food and wine throughout France. From snails to wine and from cheese to spa food, Peter Mayle’s writing allows the reader to experience La Foire aux Escargots in May and Les Glorieuses in December among many other excursions. Well written and interesting, a highly recommended read for anyone interested in food, wine and/or France.
The other three books were all cozy mysteries and were all firsts in their series. Pleating for Mercy is a Magical Dressmaking Mystery, Family Skeletons is a genealogy themed, Torie O’Shea Mystery, and Frankly My Dear, I’m Dead is a travel agency/tour company themed mystery. All three of these would just fall under okay, as far as I would say. There was nothing to make them stand out from the vast selection of cozy mysteries. The characters seemed standard cozy mystery fare and somewhat one dimensional and/or unlikable. In Frankly My dear, I’m Dead, there was an attempt to make a Christie-esque isolated house where the murders occurred and all the suspects are trapped there…except they really weren’t, the police were there and other people were coming and going.