MURDER IN THE RUE DUMAS by M.L. Longworth is the second installment of A Verlaque & Bonnet Provencal Mystery series. This time L’Universite d’Aix theology department politics supplies the backdrop for murder. As Longworth is a resident of Aix-en-Province in the South of France and a University Professor, she wrote about what she knows well.
The lead sleuths returning in this second mystery are: chief magistrate Antoine Verlaque, his on and off girlfriend Marine Bonnet law professor at the university and commissioner Bruno Paulik. Longworth provides a cast of characters including both faculty and students and any one of them could have committed the crimes.
Dr. George Mouette, the director of the theology department, said he was stepping down and naming his successor. Additionally, it was time for his yearly announcement of a prestigious fellowship for a deserving graduate student. So when Dr. Mouette decided not to step down and change the course of things there were any number of the faculty most angry with him. But were any of them angry enough to hit him with a 700 year old relic or was it someone else? The more this murder is investigated the clearer it seems there is a cover up underway.
Longworth skillfully sets the stage to point to a character and each time I fell for it, just when I thought I might be zeroing in on the suspect a second murder occurs which throws me completely off. I was not sure whodunit till the end.
It is not all murder in MURDER IN THE RUE DUMAS, Longworth gives the lead characters lives outside of their detective work. Verlaque and Bonnet are dating and travel for work and pleasure. Verlaque and Paulik work the case together but there is always time for a coffee or a meal. In the Verlaque & Bonnet Provencal mysteries Longworth provides plenty of time to take in the ambience, culture, food and drink.
I can see this series being around for many years to come. It is not hard imagining it being developed for the small screen in the tradition of Morse and Poirot. Only Verlaque has his home base in Aix which makes my knees weak, thank you M.L. from the bottom of my heart. This mystery light and I anxiously await the return to Aix in the next release in the series.
GIVEAWAY: With special thanks to the folks at Viking an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky person. If you would like to be transported to Aix-en Provence and see if your sleuthing skills are better than mine please leave a comment and share a mystery or series you have read recently that you enjoyed.
NOTE: Winner will be chosen at random and this giveaway ends on Friday, October 26th at midnight.