Friday, August 28, 2015

DVD: Death in Paradise

One of my favorite TV series at the moment is Death in Paradise. I've got all three seasons available in the US and I'm just waiting for Season Four to become available.

If you haven't seen this show its about a British Police Officer sent to a small island in the Caribbean to solve a murder. The only thing is, he doesn't quite appreciate his tropical surroundings. The characters are great and so is the scenery. I've also just noticed that the creator and writer of the series Robert Thorogood has come out with a novel based on the  characters in the show called A Meditation on Murder. When I get around to reading it I'll come back and post a review.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: Montmartre Mysteries

Montmartre Mysteries
Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen

Benjamin Cooker and his assistant Virgile are off to Paris for a tasting event but, before it starts Benjamin wants to visit a friend in Montmartre who owns a wine shop. Unfortunately, he is just in time to see his friend being attacked by an unknown assailant. Having witnessed this sad event he must now investigate on his own, with Virgile's help of course, in order to find out what happened to his friend and why.

This is an engaging tale into the secret life of an ex-foreign legion soldier. In the course of the investigation the reader is taken on a tour of all the right spots in Paris. Where good food and wine are plenty. Although, the book seemed a little darker and not as lighthearted as the other books I've read in this series; it doesn't suffer from this fact. It just proves that Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen are good at what they do, crafting picturesque and interesting stories for lovers of all things French.

Thanks to Netgalley and Le French Books for allowing me to review this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 24, 2015


When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow

When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow
Dan Rhodes

What a comical tale! I loved it! Professor Dawkins is an atheist and on his way to address the Women's Institute of Upper Bottom he gets stuck in a snow storm. The only place to stay is a B&B run by none other than an ex vicar. I thought the characters were great, well described and most of all just down right fun. Dan Rhodes has written a tale the kept me laughing the whole way through. This was my first Dan Rhodes book and I can't wait to read more.

Thanks to Netgalley for letting me review a copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


The Collector (Marion Spicer Art Mysteries #1)

The Collector
Anne-Laure Thiéblemont

This was a wonderful French thriller, unique, mesmerizing and full of rich details. Marion Spicer inherits an art collection from a father she never knew but, before she can actually claim it, she has some conditions to fulfill. That's when the trouble begins. Will she claim the prize? I'm not saying, because I hope you will read it and find out for yourself. I loved the style of this book. I think it would make a great and visually stunning movie. I look forward to reading more by this author.

Thanks to Netgalley and Le French books for providing the ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Dead in the Water
Peter Tickler

When Doug Mullen takes on his first case as a private investigator he has no idea it will lead him into an altogether different and more dangerous investigation. But, he's up to the challenge and frankly he doesn't have any other choice. What unfolds is an engaging, suspense filled story which was well written with interesting characters and location descriptions.

I did somehow feel that the ending was a bit abrupt and maybe the murderer should have given more detail into the reasons for his actions. Nevertheless, I found this an interesting story and I hope there will be more books available in this series. Readers of British mysteries will no doubt find this book interesting.

I was provided with an ebook from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Flambé in Armagnac
By Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen

This is another good story from the Winemaker Detective Series. Benjamin and his assistant Virgile investigate a fire at the Château Blanzac where the Armagnac has been destroyed and the master distiller is dead. Is it a straightforward insurance case or is it more? On the way to finding out the writers give the reader not only a good story but great food, drink and atmosphere. Once again, I feel like I've been on a journey through the French countryside. I can't wait to read more in this series.

I would like to say thanks to The Library Thing and Le French Books for providing the “Early Reviewers” copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

What I'm Watching

Recently I bought a new DVD from Amazon entitled The Brokenwood Mysteries, Series 1.
The series is set in New Zealand and it follows Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd as he takes on a new assignment in the small town of Brokenwood. Although I wouldn't quite compare it to the British TV series Midsommer Murder as the caption does on the cover, it was nevertheless an interesting mystery series. I will definitely buy a series 2 if it come out. So, if you like international Murder Mysteries this is one to try. And if you aren't sure about it I think there is a trailer available on youtube if not on amazon itself.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Im Licht der Normandie

Margot S. Baumann

Es ist die Geschichte von Flo die einen Brief ihrer verstorbenen Grossmutter findet. Um mehr ueber den Inhalt des Briefes und die komische Sprache in der er geschrieben ist herauszufinden, muss sich Flo in die Normandie begeben. Nach der Ankunft in dem Dorf Lisieux in die Normandie lernt sie den Lehere Alex kennen. Die Recherchen ueber den Brief bringen Flo und Alex naeher und am Ende der Geschichte finden sich beide in einem neuen Leben.

Obwohl die Geschichte am Anfang ein bisschen schleppend ist, wird es mit der Zeit interessanter und treibt einem dazu mehr ueber die Hauptpersonen zu erfahren. Es wird immer  spannender und ist gerade was man an einem Sonntagnachmittag braucht um sich zu unterhalten: Ein leichtherziger Liebesroman mir einer ganzen Reihe vor Faehrten.

In this story, the main character Flo, finds some letters in the apartment of her recently deceased Grandmother. Since she can't decipher the contents of the letters she decides to go to Normandy to look for the area mentioned in them. She meets Alex Dubois in Lisieux and together they search for  the meaning behind the letters, all the while becoming more attached to each other. This was a good and interesting story for a lazy Sunday afternoon.  

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Die Bucht des Schweigens 
Bernadette Calonego

Die Geschichte ist sehr beindruckend. Lory Finning such nach einem Moerder in einem kanadischen Dorf in Neufundland. Aber vor Sie das tun Kann, muss sie mit ihren eigenen Gespensten klar kommen. Sie muss mit traurigen und alten Geschichten von mistrauischen Gemeinshaften fertig werden. Einfach is das nicht in einem Ort wo eine Menge Sachen unter den Teppich geschoben werden.

Die vielen unterschiedlichen Elemente machen diese Geschichte spannand. Erstens, die Personen sind sehr realistisch und die Landschaft war selbst einie wichtige Characteristik, die durch die ganze
Geschichte geht. Es war viel mehr als ein Krimi vor mich. Ich lernte neues uber Neufundland und die
harte Kernigkeit von Menschen und wie es ist in ein isolierten Ort zu leben.

Durch diesen spannenden und lebensnahen Krimi werde ich mehr Buecher von Bernadette Calonego lesen.

As far as I know this book is not translated into English, at least not at the moment but, I hope it will be in the near future because I am sure a lot of people would enjoy it.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

International Films

Are you interested in international films? If so, I'd like to recommend the website: Although, the daytime is devoted to international news broadcasts the evenings are devoted to international films produced and or distributed by Mhznetwork. My favorites are Don Matteo on Monday nights, Kaboul Kitchen and The Churchmen on Thursdays and a great Swedish detective series on Friday nights called Camilla Lackberg's The Fjallbacka Murders.

You can watch by registering online. Then check out the schedule for programming and times in your zone. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Mayhem in Margaux by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen

"Mayhem in Margaux" is a pleasant, entertaining mystery story, in which France, its delectable wine,  enticing cuisine and beautiful scenery flow through every page.
The characters are not only interesting, but they also come alive on the page. The reader feels like a member of the family as we trail along with Benjamin Cooker on his quest to find out who tried to murder a wine estate manager and his daughter. It is a book that I would recommend to anyone who loves France, wine and mysteries.
If there is one slight drawback, it was the tendency of the translator to use literal translations. For instance, the translator used "dude" for "mec" and "lemon meringue pie" for "Tarte au citron". While these may be minor nuisances, they had the unfortunate effect of jolting me right back to America when I would prefer to stay in France. Somehow, the beauty and the sophistication suffered from this lack of attention to details. Nevertheless, I found this to be a highly enjoyable mystery, and I look forward to reading more works by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen.

This particular book and others in the series created by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen were used as the basis for the TV series Blood of the Vine which is available on DVD from or at Three seasons have been made, at least that is what is available in the the US as far as I'm aware and if you like the books you will definitely want to check out the DVDs.


Instruments of Darkness by Robert Wilson

Instruments of Darkness is a book about Bruce Medway a European in West Africa working as
a "fixer". His job is to find a missing expat, a trader in sheanut oil, who hasn't appeared for work with his local boss. The story follows Medway on this journey through Benin, Togo and Ghana where the author describes bustling cities and shady underworld dealings and politics. While the book is a good mystery it was at first a bit slow going.

I personally, found the first 90 pages to have too much description and attempts to turn a cleaver phrase that I almost gave up reading on two separate attempts. Eventually, the story shifts into another gear and I felt the descriptions and characterizations fulfilled a purpose. The characters seemed less flat than in the first half of the book and I could now feel more of a connection with them and the mystery that was unfolding on the page. Overall, if you like mysteries about shady business practices, and shady people set in exotic locations it is worth a read.

Monday, August 3, 2015

As you can see from the icon at the top of the page I'm taking the Netgalley Challenge. To learn more just go to If you are a blogger who loves books you will definitely want to check out this site.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

This week I've started reading Robert Wilson's Instrument of Darkness. Originally, I chose it because it was set in West Africa and I thought it might be interesting. Robert Wilson is also the author of The Blind Man of Seville, which has been made into a film. I recently acquired both book and DVD but I haven't read or seen them yet. I'm debating about whether I should read the book first before watching the DVD. If anyone has read the book or seen the film I would love to know what you think.