Love & Death In Burgundy, the new cozy mystery by Susan C. Shea, is to some extent the product of author’s personal experience. Susan spent more two decades as a non-profit executive before becoming an author. With ample time in her hands to visit places she wants to write about, she now travels to France as often as she can and the experience of rural French villages have largely shaped the adventures of her amateur sleuth.
Living life as an expat can be challenging: The road to receiving acceptance by the local communities in many parts is uphill in a country such as France. Susan C. Shea summarizes the challenge and the idea behind her story brilliantly in a brief quote in the beginning of the book:
Life in a small French village is far more complicated than one might suppose, and memories are long. In the end, what happened couldn’t precisely be blamed on the collision of different cultures, although Burgundians will tell you their wines, cheeses, and history set them apart from the rest of the world. The truth is, tragedies ultimately are individual, and this one was no different, except perhaps that the people involved were oblivious to the import of the thunderclouds gathering over their village. That someone would soon be dead did not occur to anyone.
The Mysterious Death at the Chateau
In Love & Death In Burgundy, we meet Katherine Goff: After three years of living in the small town of Reigny-sur-Canne, all she really wants is to be accepted by her neighbors into their little community. But as an American expat living in the proud region of Burgundy, that’s no easy task.
When the elderly Frenchman who lives in the village chateau is found dead at the bottom of a staircase, the town is turned into a hot bed of gossip and suspicion, and Katherine suddenly finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into the small town’s secrets. A motherless teenager, a malicious French widow, a brash music producer, and a would-be Agatha Christie are among those caught up in a storm that threatens to turn Katherine’s quiet life upside down. As more and more of the villagers’ secrets are brought to light, Katherine must try to figure out who, if anyone, in the town she can trust, and which one of her neighbors just might be a killer.
This book is a bit more serious in tone compared to an average cozy mystery yet the main character is charming and its atmospheric plot set in rural France makes it like reincarnation of some great Miss Marple stories in a new setting.
Overall, a great addition to the bookshelf of any cozy lover!
Our Rating: 3.6