Death and Croissants
A Follet Valley Mystery
by Ian Moore
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 1 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2021
The disappearance of a guest in highly suspicious circumstances is one thing, but you just don’t mess with a fellow’s hens!
Richard is a middle-aged Englishman who runs a B&B in the Loire Valley. Nothing ever happens to him and that’s the way he likes it.
One day, however, an older guest goes missing, leaving behind only a bloody handprint on the wallpaper. Another guest, the enigmatic Valérie, persuades a sceptical Richard to investigate the disappearance, revealing a world of mafia crime, nudist colonies and fowl play...
Death and Croissants is the first book in a new murder mystery series by leading stand-up comedian, Ian Moore. Set in France, it is inspired by Moore's own B&B in the Loire Valley.
***PRAISE FOR DEATH AND CROISSANTS***
‘Death and Croissants is a far funnier book than a story about a bloody murder has any right to be’. Josh Widdicombe
'This is like two great books in one, a tricksy whodunnit, and a really, really funny story.' Jason Manford
'Ian is one of my favourite writers; this is hilarious and a great mystery too.' Jane Godley
'Good food and a laugh-out-loud mystery. What more could anyone want in these dark times?” Mark Billingham
‘Death and Croissants is such a relentless rollercoaster ride of laughs and twists, it should come with a height restriction and health warning.’ Matt Forde
'I’d never connected the words “death” and “croissants” before, but now they’re inextricably linked. It’s a rollicking qui-dunnit with as many twists as the Loire itself'. Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French
'Moore's French whodunnit is an engaging caper through the Loire Valley with an expat reluctant hero mixed up with a Maigret-like rural cast, a glamorous heroine and a couple of Mafia killers. It is finely paced, truly funny and written with a wry detachment that conjures up a gentler age of murder mystery.' Charles Bremner
‘Just like the Loire’s other great export, Sancerre, Ian Moore’s prose is reassuringly dry, beautifully constructed, and deeply satisfying. The Follet Valley series is a pleasure you’ll return to again and again.’ Marty Wilson, Australian Comic of the Year
***EVERYONE IS WANTING MORT! - WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT IAN MOORE***
‘Charming, witty, a brilliant read.’ Sarah Millican
‘There are a great many comedians who think that they can also write books, myself included, but very few who can rival Ian Moore’s immediate warmth and skill with language.’ Jon Richardson
‘Ian Moore is a brilliantly funny writer and that’s all there is to it.’ Annabel Giles
‘Everything its author is: immaculately turned out, sharp and consistently hilarious.’ Mark Billingham
‘What a strange and wonderful sight Ian Moore must present in the Loire Valley – an English Mod kicking around rural France with a young family, a few goats and big dreams of the good life. His brilliant book is warm, funny and big-hearted – easily the best Englishman-abroad memoir since Gerald Durrell was in short trousers and knocking around pre-war Corfu.’ Tony Parsons
‘So well written and funny you feel you’re there flailing with him in the chicken coop. Warm, tender and incredibly funny. Treads that perfect balance between thigh-slappingly hilarious and heartbreakingly human: a unique and wonderful book.’ Isy Suttie
‘Ian Moore is a brilliant comedian whose wit is as sharp as his dress sense and he has managed to take that on stage story telling brilliance and put it in his writing. A great read – even if you're French!’ John Bishop, Comedian and Broadcaster
Average rating from 141 members
Richard, a 50-something Englishman running a French B&B, has is quiet life interrupted when a bloody handprint is found at his hotel. Throw in a glamorous and managing French woman, a couple of Italian honeymooners, a couple of swingers who run a rival rival B&B and a pair of elderly twins who hate each other (one of whom may or may not have gone missing). I enjoyed this gentle mystery, it’s well written with nice touches of humour. It seems to be aimed at fans of The Thursday Murder Club and cosy Sunday night detective shows, which is no bad thing.
I enjoyed this mystery quite a bit. It reminds me of the PBS/BBC shows that I like to watch. It has humor too which those shows sometimes don’t have. I recommend this book for anyone looking for any enjoyment in a lovely book.
A light, very funny mystery with appealing characters in a wonderful French countryside. Its like a more amiable Carl Hiaasen book with French accents.
Richard is a middle aged man living a quiet life in France. One day, one of his guest goes missing living a bloodied hand print behind and suddenly Richard find himself dragged along femme fatale Valérie who is determined to find out what happened. Richard is more of an outside viewer to the events taking place around him until one of his beloved hens is found dead. You don’t mess with a man’s hen. Death and croissants will take you on a ride with nudists, mafia, old man with a grudge, an other one with a price on his head and secrets. WHAT I LIKED - The humor - The relationship between Valérie and Richard - The excentric characters (especially the Thompsons) - All the funny quips againts the french people WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE - The weird french names (You can tell that maybe the author tried a little bit too hard to made them sound french) I truly liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who loved the Thursday Murder club by Richard Osman. In fact Valérie reminds me of Elizabeth. They have the same personality. I can’t wait to read more about this duo.
I'm a huge fan of crime fiction, especially this kind of comic 'cosy mystery. Death and Croissants didn't disappoint. Full of witty one liners that had me literally laughing out loud and with a solid plot that kept me guessing. I would recommend it for fans of The Thursday Murder Club, the Death in Paradise novels and Agatha Christie. Thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks to Netgalley, Ian Moore and Farrago for the ARC.
Cleverly written with a hilarious plot. It took me a little while to get into this book but it built up to an entertaining tale about chickens, classic films, missing persons, murder, mafia and chambre d’hôte owners with unique pastimes. More comedy than mystery but enjoyable either way. Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
Wonderful read love the setting the French Countryside.A mystery chickens well written characters really enjoyed.#netgalley #duckworthbooks
A hilarious murder mystery set in the Loire Valley with a cast of unforgettable characters, lots of verbal pyrotechnics and a crazy plot centred around the quiet life of Richard Ainsworth, an English expatriate, B&B owner and genial film buff (Hollywood Golden Age of course) whose peaceful existence is suddenly shattered & thrown totally out of kilter by the rather ominous disappearance of one of his guests.....Of course mayhem quickly ensues and with the help of a beautiful and mysterious femme (maybe) fatale our phlegmatic Brit will soon find his daily grind packed to the rafters with bounty hunting, the Italian mafia, swingers, cantankerous twins, onanistic chimpanzees, murdered fowl and much much more...... A terrific blend of Gallic offhandedness and English humor that heralds the arrival of a new and hilarious series full of murderous fun and delicious pastries! Finally and thanks to Mr Moore, I will probably waste lots of time during my next camping trip around Tours or Blois, asking every hen or rooster unfortunate enough to cross my path if they knew Ainsworth's beloved Ava Gardner... Yes, it's going to be impossible to look at those feathered creatures the same way after reading his crazy novel...🐓🤣👍 Many thanks to Netgalley and Farrago for this marvellous ARC
Oh wow, this was funny. I love cozy mysteries for their humor but this one just knocks it out of the park. Made me want to check out as much as I can from this publisher/author, too.
It was a great comical murder mystery to read. Loved all the one liners in it. The story did keep me guessing till the end too.
This is a brilliant read. The Englishness of Richard just made me laugh when his old time sayings were detailed to Valerie, it is so true we do say such things. The murder was just the right side of cosy crime and the pace of the story was so good I did not want to put the book down and I finished the book in 2 days and desperately want to start on the 2nd in this series. This is a must read for the summer and I can see this being filmed as a series. Just read you will not be disappointed.
This is the first in a new mystery series from comedian Ian Moore and lives up to the reviews - the praise from a number of high profile comedians says it all! A twisty tale with a cast of flamboyant characters, all depicted with impeccable wit. Poor, ever-so-English Richard is the unlikely hero of the story, and the plot cleverly unfolds as he begins to understand (or misunderstand) the completely bewildering situation he suddenly finds himself in. A clever whodunit that leaves the reader guessing as well as laughing. A perfect summer read. Thanks to the publishers for an advanced digital copy - I can't wait for the next installment!
Delightfully Bonkers.... Delightfully bonkers mystery set in rural France and the first in a new series. A cast of colourful and eccentric characters populate a fun and fast moving plot, much madcap humour and and witty one liners aplenty. A reading joy and most definitely some perfect escapism. Awaiting the next with gleeful anticipation.
Thanks for the digital ARC. What a charming read! They say you should not judge a book by its cover but this story is just as charming and brilliant as its cover. Richard is a middle-aged English man living a perfectly non-exciting life and running a B&B in France. He's got a hobby that might be considered "boring" by many, a general disinterest to the world at large, and a sense of humour that is in a distinctly English way. His perfectly boring life in France got upended by a charming French woman, Valerie, who is a guest staying at his B&B and could best be described, in Richard's opinion, as "a force of nature". Before He knows it, he was deeply involved in a murder investigation, dealing with hitmen, breaking into houses, and on a mission to avenge one of his hens; all the while trying to deal with his failing marriage and disillusioned adult daughter. The book is very lighthearted. The humour is constant and perfectly delivered. The cast is, alas, sometimes stereotypical, but in a charming way--it serves the humour and is diverse enough. The mystery component is not very strong. A reader well-versed in cozy mysteries may be able to guess the plot points but there's not much of a clue so to speak. The story is not meant to be a murder mystery that you can try to solve along with the cast, but more a cozy read for you to just kick back, relax, and enjoy.
Richard is living a mundane life as an owner of a chambre d'hote in France. Separated from his wife his life is boring in spite of (or perhaps because of?) his encyclopediac knowledge of every film that was ever made. When an exotic and enigmatic guest, Valerie enters his life she sweeps him along in a hunt that involves mysterious letters, disappearances and a dead hen. I loved the tongue in cheek humour of Richard's thoughts and references to old films. Having lived for a short time in France myself I found the characterization authentic but I was left with one question. Who killed the hen and why?
This was received as an ARC from Netgalley. Richard is a middle-aged English man running a B & B in the French countryside. He lives a mostly mundane life. until one day, he finds a bloody handprint on the wall and one of his guests missing. Over all, this was a great, lighthearted, mystery that keeps you guessing about where Richard and his new friend Valerie will take you next. Right when you think you have it figured out, you're hit with a new twist that leaves you wanting more. With that being said, the ending may seem a little anticlimactic.
Super cute Romcom set in a Loire Valley B&B, run by Richard Ainsworth, a very British man of a certain age, separated with his wife, and barely sustained by a nerdy love of filmdom. Gliding elegantly into his ho-hum humdrum-ness sails chic and glamorous inn guest Valérie d'Orçay, followed by a mystery involving elderly twins known as the Monsieurs Grandchamps, one a judge and the other a criminal with mafia ties. I love main character Richard's vulnerability, it lent his character a depth and completeness that really resonated. Richard's feeling unseen and under-appreciated and having opted for so long to do things he must do rather than what he wanted to, made me appreciate author Ian Moore attributing all that to a male character. Much of the humor here stems from cultural stereotypes, British, French and Italian; done artfully, without offense or exploitation, as perhaps only a professional comedian can pull off best. The cast of characters is as comical as it is memorable: Madame Tablier Richard's angry housekeeper, Martin and Gennie Thompson the sex-caper-obsessed British neighbors, Clare his estranged wife, Alicia their 27-yr old daughter, various other suspects and randoms. Normally I don't go in for literary series, but this set of characters I would be happy to read more of. Death and Croissants is a well-crafted light and entertaining read, I didn't want to put it down, and I came across a number of edifying new words including passepartout, chunter and (my ultimate fave) gurning contest.
I managed to find 5 minutes this morning to enjoy my coffee in some sunshine and finish my book, what a blissful way to start a Tuesday. The first in a new series, Death and Croissants sees hapless b&b owner Richard drawn into a murder mystery in a sleepy French town, and before he knows it he's taking on the Sicilian mafia, dressed as a chicken, and breaking into houses with the elegant and over-enthusiastic Valérie. An entertaining and witty whodunnit, this is perfect for fans of The Thursday Murder Club or The Marlow Murder Club. Thank you @netgalley for the arc.
What a fun and funny mystery, the first in a new series, set in rural France. The author has created a wonderful cast of quirky and interesting characters and a well developed, fast moving plot. I really enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout. I can't wait until the next book! I need to know what happened to the hen!
A lighthearted and quick novel featuring murder mystery in a quiet french town. Richard, the proprietor of a quaint bed and breakfast, is cliché an englishman as they come: crotchety, tutting and entirely over-thinking. His life is a lull, the polar opposite of the film noir he devotes his pastime to, until a guest checks in that knocks him flat: the leading lady Valerie. She’s a tour de force in getting him out of his comfort zone, via the self-appointed quest he’d much rather avoid. But as the English way, confrontation just won’t do and, alas, the game is afoot!
I would like to thank Netgalley and Farrago Books for an advance copy of Death and Croissants, the first novel to feature Bed and Breakfast owner Richard Ainsworth, set in the Loire Valley. Richard is enjoying a quiet early retirement, running a B&B and watching old movies, but that changes when he finds a bloody handprint in one of the bedrooms and no sign of the guest. Persuaded by another guest, the glamorous Valérie Dorçay, to investigate he soon finds himself caught up in all sorts, the mafia, nudity and murder most fowl. I thoroughly enjoyed Death and Croissants, which is a fun, lighthearted read with a genuine mystery at it’s heart. It is told entirely from Richard’s point of view and that’s the source of much of the humour as Richard is a put upon 53 year old Englishman with a rather naive world view. I don’t know anything about the middle class South of England mindset, so I assume that what I took to be a rather cruel portrayal of an unassuming man will resonate with readers who understand it. It’s the same idea as The Thursday Murder Club and while I wouldn’t read another one in that series I will read this series again. This novel has a sparkle and verve that is appealing, both in the dialogue and the comedic plotting. Swingers and the Mafia in the rural Loire Valley? Pure gold. Then there’s all the crossing and double crossing, sundry motives and secrets. It’s a caper that is cleverly and humorously executed and which had me fooled most of the time. Death and Croissants is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
Richard is just trying to run a quiet bed and breakfast and blend into the background, but when a bloody handprint and a missing guest disturb his morning, he finds himself right in the middle of a murder mystery. Even worse, attractive but overzealous guest, Valerie, is determined they will solve it together. Death and Croissants was laugh out loud funny with just the type of humour I love and poor reluctant Richard was the sort of self-depreciating character I like best in my comedy! Part quirky Rom-Com, party mystery, with a ton of twists and surprises, this one was just such a fun read. I think it will appeal greatly to lovers of British humour. I’m so glad this is the start of a series and not a stand-a-lone, I’m looking forward to reading more!
Lovely, cosy story - feels old-fashioned in a nice way - with a gentle touch of humour that I really enjoyed. A very well-written tale. Good escapism!
This is a perfect summer read for anyone looking for a bit of cosy crime! I loved the setting and the grumpy hotel owner. This is great for anyone who would like an escape and who enjoyed Osman's book!
Death and Croissants by Ian Moore is the first in the Follet Valley series and it’s simply hilarious. In short, Richard Ainsworth, a film historian who runs a B&B in the Loire Valley, discovers that one of his guests is missing after finding blood on the walls of his room and a broken pair of spectacles. He then finds himself in a rollicking manhunt with another of his guests, the exotic Valerie d’Orcay. I thoroughly enjoyed this romp, full of brilliant characters creating so many laugh out moments...the comedy just so typically British worked well in the French setting. It’s bonkers but fabulously entertaining, I most definitely recommend this read if you want a good laugh...I’m so looking forward to the next adventure in the Follet Valley. Big thanks to Ian Moore, Duckworth Books and NetGalley for this eARC which I chose to read in return for my honest review.
small-business, small-town, hotelier, expats, situational-humor, verbal-humor, sly-humor, family-dynamics, friendship, France, farce, animals***** Richard is a Brit film history buff and hotelier in rural France when he is dropped into a world with people who absolutely befuddle him (like the older couple of nudist swappers) and the twin brothers who are more than a bit dotty and bitter rivals. The characters most certainly are! And the names of the chickens! I laughed myself silly, and that was after a bad day! I requested and received a free temporary ebook from Farrago Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
A pleasant tale with some laughs along the way with a quirky cast of characters to spend time with. Involves a helpless Englishman, lost in a film dream world to escape reality, who is the owner of a B and B in France, having he experience of a guest that disappeared leaving behind blood stains and a bloody hand print at subsequently repeats at different hotels/B &Bs, meeting a formidable femme Fatale wno inveigles him to investigate, involving a pair of elderly feuding twins where one disappears, a pair of mafia assassins hunting for a man with a price on his head and a mysterious murder of a pet hen. What a rich witches brew to delve into!!
A really quirky funny whodunnit. I loved this book- the characters are so realistic and relatable, and the plot twists and turns like a slippery fish. Brilliant, fast paced fun.
Good entertaining story with likeable characters. I felt myself feeling very sorry for the male lead. The plot was easy enough to follow and the story had been written in a witty, simple fashion. Also, being set in France did not detract from the storyline. Looking forward to reading the next in the series.
A light, very funny mystery with appealing characters in a wonderful French countryside following Richard who owns a b & b in the Loire Valley. One day, however, one of his older guests disappears, leaving behind a bloody handprint on the wallpaper. Another guest, the exotic Valérie, persuades a reluctant Richard to join her in investigating the disappearance and what follows is a funny and fast paced intrigue.
It's a while since a book made me cry with laughter quite as much as "Death and Croissants" has done. That this far-fetched comedy about a Brit expat running a B & B in the Loire Valley area of France is written by British comic Ian Moore who himself owns a B & B in the same area begs several questions about the life of a B & B owner! I am now waiting for the next in the series to be published, and recommend this book to someone looking for an entertaining quick read, or a relaxing read on holidays or when travelling. With thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me a copy of "Death and Croissants" in exchange for this honest review.
I enjoyed this very light detective story. Totally unbelievable but enjoyable anyway. Richard is a middle aged owner of a French B&B to whom nothing ever interesting happens! Until he becomes embroiled in a mystery when a guest disappears leaving a bloody handprint and a broken pair of glasses. Add bounty hunters, the Mafia and various French locals and you have an entertaining tale. It was a fun light hearted read and I will be interested to see where the author takes it next.
Richard is a middle-aged Englishman who runs a B&B in the fictional Val de Follet in the Loire Valley. Nothing ever happens to Richard, and really that’s the way he likes it. One day, however, one of his older guests disappears, leaving behind a bloody handprint on the wallpaper. Another guest, the exotic Valérie, persuades a reluctant Richard to join her in investigating the disappearance. This is a feel-good, easy read and one you can get sucked into from the get-go! This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
Really enjoyed this book! It was the first one for me to read by this author and I can't wait to read more! The characters stick with you long after the book is over.
Richard’s in a bit of a rut, IMDB has made his job as a film historian largely irrelevant, his wife isn’t interested in making a new life in France and his B&B is ticking along and would be perfect if not for the guests. One of these pesky residents goes missing in mysterious circumstances leaving behind a bloody handprint and a smashed pair of glasses, Richard’s more bothered about the damage to his wallpaper than finding the missing man but then Valerie, a glamorous and rather determined guest prods Richard in to action. Then just to make matters worse someone goes after Richards chickens and that tears it something must be done. Along side Valerie who isn’t all she seems Richard plunges head first into adventure and intrigue in the Loire Valley. This was fun and sharp, Richard is just grumpy and reluctant enough and Valerie is his perfect foil. I love that she gets none of his references and doesn’t care. I want to be Valerie when I grow up.
The first book in the Follet Valley series, set in the French Loire, this book is absolutely marvellous, a real happy tonic for these awful days of virus and misery. Richard Ainsworth runs a B&B in the Follet Valley. He likes the quiet life, doesn’t really enjoy his guests , but adores his hens, all named after classic film stars. He is separated from his wife, Clare, and his only member of staff seems to be Madame Tablier, who is a foul mouthed cleaner, and critic of the guests, and life in general. Those of you who have been to France, know this type intimately.!! One day, an elderly gentleman guest goes missing, leaving behind a bloodied handprint on the wallpaper, ‘ that’ll never come out!’, but it later disappeared.! Into this puzzle comes Valerie, a femme fatales, who rips Richard out of his comfort zone as they zip a round the countryside meeting many stereotypical characters. The Policeman is top notch, I have met several like this during my many years in France, but only when you can actually find an open rural police station!! Disappointingly, I have not met any Echangistes, but I’m sure they exist!! I shall regard the Loire Valley in a different light when I next visit. The children are still scarred from visiting too many Chateaux and really haven’t yet forgiven me, so this book recommendation will help them lay those particular ghosts to rest!! An hilarious, crazy, over the top delightful book that exercises the chuckle muscles! So very droll, so English, a perfect combination of English understatement and Gallic exaggeration, perfect for fans of Jonas Jonasson ( Sweet, Sweet Revenge) and Richard Osman( The Thursday Murder Club). I shall be eagerly awaiting the next instalment. Now, who do we get to act in this , in readiness for the film?!! A five star read. My grateful thanks to Netgalley and Farago books for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
British expat, Richard Ainsley, lives a perfectly predictable, mundane life running a B&B in France. One morning, one newlywed Italian couple, a beautiful French woman, her dog, and a bloody handprint turn Richard’s mundane world upside down. All of a sudden he seems to be living in one of his beloved film noirs. Murder, mafia, bounty hunters, and more. This book has it all. Moore’s writing style and use of wit and humor make this rather dark story fun and light. Thanks to NetGalley and Farrago Books for this digital advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
France, boutique hotel, missing guest, murdered hen, cunning women and brothers, not to forget all the movie references and other jokes. Death and Croissants is a cozy mystery, with a protagonist whose ex-cinematography teacher, for whom IMDB.com is an insult. After he was made redundant at work, he and his wife moved to France to open the boutique hotel, but shortly after that his wife returned to England and he stayed, irked by his needy guest, but he has time to watch his favorite movies. Even when one of his guests leaves without paying, leaving behind a bloody handprint, he is not bothered, even if a charming French lady with a doggie, wants him to go looking for the missing … but then somebody is murdering one of the divas from his hen’s flock. Even if the start is somewhat slow, soon you’ll be giggling and go along with this mad carnival ride and you’ll enjoy this ride. I know I did. :)
Ian Moore is a comedian who has written the first of a series of mysteries set in rural France. Richard Ainsworth runs a B&B (or chambre d'hote) in the Loire Valley. One morning, a bloodied handprint is found on the wall of a bedroom and its owner disappeared. Another guest, Valérie d'Orçay, a formidable Frenchwoman, decides to investigate and Richard finds himself tagging along, not entirely by choice. All manner of farcical goings-on ensue. A sweary cleaning lady, chickens named after famous actresses, a retired judge who hates his twin brother, a young Italian couple, mafia connections, a tall American with a Stetson, an actor who dresses up as a chicken, a senior policeman, and a kinky English couple straight out of a Carry On film are among the panoply of characters inhabiting Ian Moore's story. There is humour to be had, with events putting me in mind at times of an Ealing comedy caper with an added je ne sais quoi. It all seems improbable but that is part of its charm - a slice of escapism, shot through with the stoical Englishness of film-lover Richard who blunders into the right answers without even realising, and the indomitable Valérie with her dog Passepartout. I rather enjoyed it and would be happy to see where Valérie and Richard's sleuthing leads them next. I was sent an advance review copy of this book by Farrago Books, in return for an honest appraisal.
I enjoyed this book, the rather wet British hotel owner gets dragged along by a vampish French female assassin, and discover that the dark side is more fun - as long as he doesn't have to spend too much time with the neighbouring hotel owners!
I received this ARC via Netgalley and Farrago Books, in return for an honest review. As the first book in this series, you’re introduced to Richard Ainsworth, an ex-pat Englishman whose marriage is effectively over and now runs a B&B in the Loire Valley of France. There only a few problems to overcome – he’s a strong introvert, really doesn’t like people that much, and his cleaning woman is a foul-mouthed, loudly opinionated Frenchwoman. Oh, and a guest has gone missing after leaving smashed glasses and a bloody handprint on the wallpaper. While not particularly interested in solving the mystery, Richard is inveigled into investigating by mysterious and exciting Valerie, another guest who flaunts his rules about animals by bringing her pet dog everywhere. I envision Richard as the John Cleese character in the movie, ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ – somewhat befuddled, a deeply buried sense of adventure that’s brought slowly to life and being constantly pulled into the unexpected by those around him. There’s something for everyone in this book – from hitmen to mistaken identities to identity swapping!
Richard wants the quiet life. He runs a B&B in the Loire Valley spending his days looking forward to his afternoon nap. When a guest mysteriously disappears leaving only a bloody handprint and some glasses smeared with blood, he gets drawn into finding out what happened. He reluctantly teams up with a guest, the vivacious Valerie, who is much more than she appears to be. When Ava Gardner, one of his chickens is murdered, he decides he needs to find out whodunnit. With hitmen, bodies and S&M dungeons, Richard's journey out of the mundane is very lively and interesting!
What a fantastic series debut! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Death and Croissants. Quirky characters, a dash of humor and a (murder) mystery to keep guessing till the end, this book is an absolute delight for mystery lovers. Rural France setting, croissants, a bossy French lady and a dog named Passepartout - now, doesn't this sound exciting? Wait, there's more - do not forget to add Italian mafia, movie dialogs and double crossing to the list. Entertaining, unique and absolutely marvelous mystery. Highly recommended!
What can one say about a book that has more than ten comments under the ‘Praise for’ section on Waterstones.com? Hopefully I will dredge up something new, but I will agree with the general tone of those comments, and that is that Death and Croissants is brilliantly good fun. It will inevitably be compared to Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club due to timing, style, the cover, and the authors both being TV personalities, but Ian Moore holds his own. He may be riding Osman’s wave, but he does so with style. Death and Croissants has everything I love in a mystery book: a slightly ridiculous yet compelling crime to solve, a quaint setting that hides something more sinister, humour, and a great cast of characters. I think, without good characters, all the other points still wouldn’t hold up the story as well, so it’s lucky that Moore has created quite a cast for his debut. First there’s Richard Ainsworth, a middle-aged Englishman running a B&B in France, looking at a future as a bachelor after his marriage has come undone. The only things bringing joy to Richard’s life are his pet hens, and his vast knowledge and love for old cinema. He has the typical self-deprecating humour of the English, and a lot of the story involves him trying to find his place in all this chaos, and his character arc is really quite lovely. Next up is the classic femme fatale, Valérie d’Orçay; she is a guest at Richard’s B&B, and when she learns of a bloody handprint in the room of an elderly gentleman who seems to have disappeared, she insists on investigating, pulling poor Richard along. She is something of a mystery, and both Richard and I, as the reader, felt deeply suspicious of her while inevitably being pulled along by her enthusiasm, charm, and knowledge. The dynamic between her and Richard is great fun to read, and you can’t help but cheer them both on, even when one or the other does something questionable. Last, but not least, is Madame Tablier, the cleaner at Richard’s B&B, with a mean tongue and an imposing presence. She will leave everything spotless, but grumble as she does it, and I love the touch of her name; Tablier means ‘apron’ in French. She is more of a side character, but I loved the energy she brings to the story, and I hope that future books will hold a greater role for her. There are, of course, other characters, but I feel that introducing them all might spoil the fun of meeting them on the page, but I must say they all come together to create the perfect murder mystery, and there was even the classic moment at the end, where everyone is present for the great reveal of the culprit, but with an interesting twist! The other thing I really loved about this story was the backdrop. As a European living in England, it’s amusing to see it the other way round, and though I am not French, I appreciated the way the author made good-natured digs at the differences in culture, and from what I’ve experienced it’s quite spot on. I particularly like the recurring theme of French characters lamenting a member of their family moving away, only for the reader to discover they’ve only moved a town over, but for rural France it’s like going to another country. My only complaint is that the Italians didn’t come out of this book with a great reputation, but as it made for an entertaining story, I shall let it slide! Overall, a great read, and a perfect book to sit out in the sunshine with!
I really enjoyed this book. It was a light, well written whodunnit filled with interesting characters and amusing dialogue. I feel it was written in a similar vein to Agatha Raisin books, but set in France. I would definitely recommend this novel and look forward to reading the next in the series.. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read a preview copy of this book.
This was such a lovely, funny book to read. Very relaxing and it just made me laugh. It read a little like a cozy mystery. This would make a good tv series which I enjoy watching. The characters were so funny even the miserable ones. I hope this is the start of a long series. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
My thanks to Farrago Books and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Death and Croissants is the first of the Follet Valley Mysteries and is a crazy, quirky, comic, and slightly over the top cosy mystery. In the book, we meet Richard Ainsworth, a middle-aged Englishman who has moved to the bucolic Loire Valley where he runs a Bed and Breakfast or rather a chambre d’hote. Richard is dejected, slightly boring even, and his only interest in life is old movies, so much so that the hens in his establishment are named after actresses—Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth and Lana Turner. He is estranged from his stylish wife Clare who found nothing to keep her in France and has returned to England. Life goes on monotonously for him, most days being pretty much the same, only his cantankerous (but observant) cleaning lady, Madame Tablier for company. But one morning Richard’s life turns topsy-turvy. A guest at the B&B, old man Grandchaps has gone missing leaving a bloody handprint on his room wall (also broken, blood covered specs as they later find), and while Richard is inclined to leave the matter alone (why should it bother him?), another guest, the glamorous, beautiful and domineering Valerie d’Orcay decides they must investigate, and browbeats Richard into agreement. (He becomes more keen on joining in when Ana Gardner is targeted). At first it seems like Richard is simply being dragged all over the place by the (over) enthusiastic Valerie—trying to track Grandchamps to his village (where an interesting surprise awaits them), following clues, and suspects (among them, an Italian couple), but before long he realises that this is the most fun he’s ever had in his life. But yes, there is a murder to solve, and the danger that can put them into is very real! This was a fun, crazy read with everything from cranky twins (or at least one crank among them), a not-so-bright (or so it would seem) village policeman, swingers, dubious dealings, the Italian mafia, a mysterious Texan (complete with hat), hens, chimpanzees, and also a chihuahua called Passepartout! As you can well make out, the characters are (as they sound) pretty eccentric, their antics crazy, but at the same time, (as I was glad to see) the mystery is very real. Not only that, there are quite a few twists and turns along the way, a nice fat one particularly that I didn’t see coming, so I enjoyed it very much indeed (some of my guesses was not completely on track either, right but in a different way than I’d thought). But like another reviewer has also said, we never do discover who it was that killed poor Ava Gardener! Given’s Richard’s love of films, all the references to old movies were good fun and I liked the idea of Richard considering himself the equivalent of IMDB before it existed. I also loved the reference to The Avengers and Mrs Peel, especially because lately whenever I see the Avengers referenced, it ends up being the Marvel Comics one, not the old series and film (that was equally quirky and crazy but one I enjoyed very much but really, I’m digressing now). The humour and the quirky characters were great fun for the most part, but may be a bit over the top sometimes. Still I liked both Richard and Valerie (and the dog Passepartout) very much, and look forward to their further adventures. I wish Valerie did like cats though!
This was a splendid book which was genuinely funny. The laid-back main character reminded me of the Charles Paris books by Simon Brett. If you enjoyed them you will revel in Death and Croissants. Apparently there is another in the pipeline so I will look forward to that with relish.
This is a really cosy mystery. It has everything from intrigue to extremely humorous plots. The characters and likeable and really comic. I understand there is another book to follow .. it will definitely be read!
A fun start to a new cozy series set in, sigh, France. Richard, an ex-pat Brit, has been living a small quiet life running a B&B in the Loire Valley. The great joy in his life are his hens. Suddenly, it all turns a bit nuts when one of his guests disappears, another convinces him to investigate, and then, worst of all, Ava the chicken is murdered. What's going on and why on earth would anyone hurt a hen? There's a lot of quirkiness and some of the humor misses the mark but points for the setting and the hens. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC. A quick read (it's short) and I'm curious where this will go next.
With thanks to Farrago Books and Netgalley for the ARC. I Loved this book. Its funny, clever and twisty. I'd never came across Ian Moore before but I will look out for him in the future without a doubt. Richard Ainsworth runs a B&B in a quiet corner of the Loire Valley, he is boring, dull, uninquisitive and, well just really boring. When a guest in his B&B appears to have been murdered, he's only mildly interested until another guest, the formidable Valérie Dorçay pulls Richard into investigating the mystery. This could be classed in the same genre as Richard Osmans 'Thursday Mystery Club'. Its funny, erudite and very very clever with that little bit of 'je ne sais quoi' Highly recommended.
This is so funny that I couldn’t decide what I liked more - the plot, the characters or the dialogue. It’s a good mystery, too, but I just loved the writing style and the pace and flow of the story. The title made me think it would be a “cosy mystery” but it doesn’t really fit any genre!
Death and Croissants by Ian Moore is the first in a series featuring Bed and Breakfast owner Richard Ainsworth and is set in the fictional Val de Follet in the Loire Valley. Richard is enjoying retirement, running his B&B and watching old films, until his cleaner Madame Tablier spots a bloody handprint in one of the bedrooms though there is no sign of the guest. Convinced by another guest, Valérie Dorçay, another guest with a dog called Passepartout, to investigate he soon finds himself embroiled in all manner of shenanigans... I found Death and Croissants a fun, lighthearted read with a fabulous mystery at its core. Told entirely from Richard’s point of view, I loved the humour it contained. Richard is a put upon 53-year-old Englishman and I would certainly pick up the next instalment in the series. This novel is well-plotted and has a definite sparkle with some clever dialogue. The double-crossing, secrets and various motives all result in a delightful, engrossing, highly comedic caper. Death and Croissants is a super-duper, worthwhile read that I recommend very highly. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Farrago Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
This is such a fun romp of a book. You are immediately drawn into the story and the characters can so easily be imagined. You can just tell from the very beginning that Richard and Valerie are off on a great adventure and that Valerie may not be exactly who she seems to be. There was enough mystery to keep it interesting but the real pleasure is the writing - so much wit and the dialogue so engaging. But truly Richard’s internal dialogue is just fabulous, some of it is laugh out loud funny. It doesn’t take long to read this book but it definitely takes you away to an enjoyable place for a short time. Appears this is the beginning of a series and I look forward to more of Richard’s adventures.
Love this book, it is funny, easy to read with lots of unexpected twist. Our main character - a movie buff - (which is funny too) gets caught up with contract killers and the mafia. Set in France with a murder, some romance and...........You will need to read it.
A fun and a bit of a silly read. I enjoyed the humour and the murder mystery aspect kept the story moving at a good pace. The actual murders arent OTT grisly or detailed which I think would make this a good book for just about anyone.
A witty, highly entertaining and engrossing cozy mystery that made me laugh and kept me reading. There's plenty to love in this story: the quirky characters, the humor (loved the names of the chicken) and the solid mystery. It's a first in a series and I hope there will be others as I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Death and Croissants is the first instalment in the Follet Valley Mystery series set in France and inspired by Moore's very own B&B in the Loire Valley. It's a charming comedy murder mystery featuring reluctant, out of his depth amateur sleuth Richard Ainsworth. Richard is a British ex-pat in his late-fifties who moved to France for a quiet early retirement and is estranged from his wife, Clare, who was once by his side in his rustic Loire Valley chambre d’hote venture but returned home to England shortly after. He also has a disillusioned 27-year-old daughter, Alicia, who has become indifferent to her father's presence in her life. He loves the small pleasures, lives a fairly mundane, ordered existence and has that stereotypical British stoicism in which the stiff upper lip must be maintained at all times. He also has the classic sardonic, self-deprecating humour we Brits tend to favour. Disinterested in many normal hobbies of men of a certain age, Richard has two loves in his life: old movies, and cinematography, especially those from the Golden Age of Hollywood and his beloved girls - a brood of hens who he names after his favourite prominent actresses. For being the old, cantankerous introvert that he is and given his preference for a relaxed and boring lifestyle with few surprises, it makes you wonder why exactly he had chosen the astute, loudly opinionated, profanity-spouting Madame Tablier as the establishment's cleaner given they are like chalk and cheese. When one of the older guests, Monsieur Grandchamps, vanishes and has seemingly left a worrying bloody handprint on the bedroom wall close to the en suite bathroom and a smashed pair of glasses, surprisingly Richard isn't too interested in solving the mystery and is more concerned about it permanently staining the wallpaper than anything else; that is until the glamorous, dominating presence of femme fatale Valérie d'Orçay compels him to act and he is exposed to a mysterious world of crime. But a short time later, adding to the farcical nature of the plot, things become really serious when someone murders Ava Gardner, one of Richard's hens. The disappearance of a guest is one thing, but you just don’t mess with a fellow’s hens! This is a compelling, madcap and entertaining cosy mystery with a wonderful charm to it and both cheeky wit and humour throughout. It is the perfect summer pick-me-up and pokes some fun at the British in an amusing fashion all set against the searing heat of the French countryside and featuring rich descriptions of the landscape, people and the delicious cuisine. It's a fun and sometimes surreal read and I felt the characters were some of the most quirky, idiosyncratic and beautifully painted I have encountered of late. If you enjoy lighthearted mysteries full of eccentricities then don't let this pass you by. I am already looking forward to reconciling with this delightful, unforgettable cast. Highly recommended.
Death and Croissants by Ian Moore ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Publication Day 1st July Richard just wants a quiet life running his B&B in the beautiful Loire Valley, but when one of his guests goes missing he gets caught up in the action! This book has laugh out loud British humour, brilliantly eccentric characters including a pair a English ex pat swingers, a grumpy housekeeper and a mysterious femme fatale! If you enjoyed The Thursday Murder Club I’d really recommend you give this one a go. Also pleased to see that this is just the first of a series 👍 Thanks so much to @netgalley and @farrago for gifting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review
Richard is a middle aged Englishman who leads a relatively quiet life, running a B&B in the French countryside. But, the disappearance of one of his guests and of a bloody handprint brings havoc into his quiet life. The beautiful Valerie, one of his guests, drags him into an eventful and surprising search. While I would not say more about the story for fear of revealing too much, I can say that I really enjoyed the book. It is a good mystery, written with lots of humour (of course making a little bit of fun of the French countryside life in the process) and it made me chuckle often. The plot is not complicated but nicely done and I found the whole set of characters really interesting and colourful. I switched between the book and the audiobook, which gave me the added enjoyment of listening to the story read by the author himself. A good, fun and light mystery read.
This was such a fun, caper-y book, very much in the spirit of the late Peter Mayle’s French countryside mysteries. Death and Croissants protagonist Richard Ainsworth is—sadly and by his own admission—no Cary Grant, a realization that the harassed and slightly defeated B&B owner comes to while he is being driven pell mell through the French countryside by the mysterious woman who enlists him to help her solve a missing persons case that is much more than it at first appears to be. The mystery is a light one, and the book is full of delightful humorous touches. The whole thing has a very campy (in a good way) feel, from Richard’s references to his beloved classic cinema to the madcap, zany race to solve the mystery. I would have loved more local color a la Peter Mayle, but otherwise this was a fun and funny romp anchored by a clever mystery and lovable characters. More, please!
A fun and quick mystery read that will keep the reader amused and guessing until the end. A first read from this author for me and will keep an eye out for more. Easy recommendation.
3,5 ⭐️ Death and croissants is the first installment in the Follet Valley Mystery series. I’ve read lots of cozy mysteries but none set in France so, that and the gorgeous cover (a croissant and a dead hen?!) convinced me to give this one a chance. It stars Richard, a British ex-pat running a B&B in the Loire Valley turned reluctant amateur sleuth when one of his guests goes missing and another one, Valérie D’Orcay, compels him to investigate. The characters are the strong point in this story. They’re eccentric, witty, quirky…Some of them were a bit OTT but that was part of their charm. Richard’s British sarcasm made me chuckle more than once. The whole cast of characters was well drawn and they made a really interesting bunch. With some surreal characters and situations (Richard’s hens are named Lana Turner, Joan Crawford and Ava Gardner) the humor is one of the main ingredients of the novel. The weakest part in my opinion was the mystery itself. For a cozy mystery it was a bit convoluted at times and the fact that sometimes the reader is just told some crucial facts of the investigation without knowing or seeing how the characters found out about them did not help. Entertaining mystery with some charming and crazy characters that results in a lighthearted and amusing read. Thanks to NetGalley and Farrago Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an hones review.
Ian has created a vast cast of eccentric, fun and loveable characters. From swingers/nudists, Italian Mafia to cleaner's that would run any good business into the ground. Richard finds himself drawn into this murder mystery in a bid to solve it despite his unwillingness. The description of the Loire Valley is amazing never been but I can picture it so clearly. Death and Croissants is a fun read with that British humor that all will recognise. I look forward to seeing the next installment in this series.
Richard is a middle-aged Englishman who runs a quiet B&B in the Loire Valley in France. His life is uneventful and that’s the way he likes it, until one day, his peace is interrupted by the disappearance of an elderly guest and the appearance of a bloody handprint on the wall. Another guest, the undeniable Valerie, persuades Richard to investigate the disappearance with her. Death and Croissants is one of the best comedy/cosy mystery novels I’ve read. It’s twee, funny and has a genuinely good plot. Richard is a brilliant protagonist for this kind of story. He’s timid and reluctant, but the way he gets sucked into Valerie’s investigation is entirely believable and he gradually came out of his shell as the plot progressed. There were a few points where I started to lose track of the plot a little bit, but that honestly didn’t matter. There are a lot of moving parts, but it didn’t get too over the top and did succeed in making it impossible to guess what was really going on. However, the best thing about this book was definitely the humour. The characters are genuinely funny and I really enjoyed their antics. Also featuring swingers, the Italian mafia, and a chihuahua named Passepartout – what more could you want?
📚Book Review: Death and Croissants by Ian Moore I am very partial to a light-hearted, cosy mystery, so I was very excited to hear about the brand new Follet Valley series, of which Death and Croissants is the first instalment. This series features unlikely sleuth, Richard. A middle aged, expat, film buff, who names his chickens after leading ladies from the Golden Age of Hollywood. As part of a mid life crisis, he is running a B&B in the Loire valley. Life is quiet and monotonous and he loves it that way. At least he thinks he does. One day his life is turned upside down by the mysterious disappearance of one guest and the earth-shaking arrival of another. Monsieur Grandchamps seems to have scarpered without a trace, except for a bloody handprint on Richard’s expensive wallpaper. Vivacious Valerie, has just arrived and is so intrigued by the mystery that she draws Richard, reluctantly, into a page-turning murder investigation. After reading the blurb, I was expecting something along the lines of The Thursday, or even The Marlow, Murder Clubs. That’s very much what I got only much more over the top and a whole lot sillier. With a cast of characters that includes swingers, mafioso, bounty hunters, warring twins, and an actor whose current role is playing a chicken, you can see how this quirky tale might occasionally descend into farce. It does this with great style though and I found myself giggling along to the unlikely escapades. I loved the way Richard’s inherent Britishness was constantly at odds with the outrageousness of some of the other characters. I also found his film obsession and the many great movie references very endearing. It was really enjoyable to see Valerie teach Richard to find excitement in life again. Overall, this is an amusing, entertaining and easy read, that will keep you puzzling out the clues until the very end.
Death and Croissants is the first in a new series of Follet Valley mysteries written by the comedian @monsieurlemoore. Whilst cosy murder mystery is not a genre I read very often, like many people I read and enjoyed The Thursday Murder Club so this seemed like the perfect book when I was looking for a fun, light read - and it proved to be exactly that. Richard is a middle-aged British expat leading a quiet, some might say unexciting life running a B&B in the Loire Valley - but that’s the way he likes it, at his happiest indulging in his passion of watching old films. However all that changes when one day an elderly guest disappears, leaving behind a bloody handprint on the wall. Another guest, the glamorous Valerie, persuades Richard to get involved in solving the mystery - and suddenly he finds himself in all sorts of crazy situations, including dealing with the Sicilian mafia and with the local swingers, dressing as a chicken and breaking and entering to name just a few. Full of madcap adventures and quirky characters with lots of personality, this is a fun easy read that will keep you guessing as you follow the clues and try to solve the mystery. Moore has created a fabulous cast of characters and I look forward to revisiting them and reading about future no doubt equally crazy escapades.
'Death and Croissants' is a brilliant title (great cover too!) and I was immediately drawn to the book and its premise – I love the idea of living in France and have toyed with the idea of running a B&B in the past. So to be fair, I was predisposed to look favourably on this novel. And with the myriad accolades offered by a 'who’s who' of British comedians and writers it can only mean that either this is a remarkable book or the author has a lot of very influential friends… Well, it turns out it might possibly be both. I started reading this and then for one reason or another, stopped about a third of the way through to pick up something else. It was only then that I realised how much I was enjoying 'Death and Croissants' – throughout the book for which I chose to set down 'Death and Croissants' (which itself was very good), I couldn’t wait to get back it. To be fair, and despite the accolades, 'Death and Croissants' is not chockful of jokes, but it is quite good: gently humorous throughout and with a genuine and very entertaining mystery which holds up through the entire novel. But what makes it special is that there is such a feeling of lightness and warmth which really evokes the location in which it is set which makes it a real winner for me, particularly at this time of year, or if you just need a pick-me-up, as many of us currently do. Great fun!
Although I don’t read many cosy mysteries, this niche little genre is one that I would love to dive deeper into. I thoroughly enjoyed Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club last year and I’ve been looking for books of the same ilk ever since. This new release seemed to fit the bill. Richard is an English man of a certain age, who has found himself running a B&B in the beautiful Loire Valley in France. Although he is going through a divorce, nothing majorly exciting is going on in his life and that’s the way that Richard likes it. But when one of his guests goes missing and leaves a bloody handprint on the wall, a beguiling woman named Valerie wants his help in investigating the disappearance and Richard becomes a passenger on the case. And then one of his beloved chickens winds up dead and suddenly, Richard is flooded with fresh inspiration to find out who is behind these very odd goings-on. One of the best descriptions of Richard comes from Valerie. He is a man, who perhaps comes across as older than he really is because he is tired of life. He is indeed like ‘an old hunting dog’, looking for a quiet life. However, I was convinced that there was something left in Richard that indicated he hadn’t quite finished with the excitement of life yet. He is completely bewitched by Valerie from the start and I had no doubts that he would follow her on any adventure she chose to have him on. Richard is wonderfully English and the fact that this book is set in France amongst European people means that his innate Englishness really stands out. He would really much rather completely ignore the fact that a guest has left without paying and ruined an expensive piece of wallpaper with a bloodstain than find out what really happened. The English are known for being slightly awkward and hating to make a fuss, which is why Richard is reluctant to investigate the mystery himself. It’s only Valerie’s determination and intense curiosity that causes them to end up taking the case into their own hands. Martin and Gennie Thompson are an English couple, who also own a B&B in the area. Due to them being swingers with a strong interest in Richard, Richard has naturally avoided them as much as he possibly can. They speak almost exclusively in sexual innuendos and are not opposed to most kinds of experimental sex. Although many of the things they say will make you roll your eyes, they’ll also make you chuckle. I definitely laughed out loud more than once during scenes featuring the Thompsons. Another fantastic character is Richard’s housekeeper Madame Tablier. She has the air of a Victorian matron but with none of the refined manners. I could picture her so clearly from her very first appearance and I had every faith that Madame Tablier could solve the case before Valerie and Richard had taken the first step. I would have loved to see more of her and for her to have been a more integral part of the resolution because she is certainly a formidable figure! The missing guest, Monsieur Grandchamps, has a twin brother who appears to be his nemesis. On interviewing him, Richard and Valerie, along with the local policeman Bonneval, they find Monsieur Victor Grandchamps to have very little love for his missing brother. He is very dramatic and tells them why he hates his brother in a very supervillain-esque speech that made me laugh. The fact that he is actually just a very ordinary, dissatisfied and petty old man seems to be completely irrelevant to his deluded mind. The humour comes from the fact that people like this really do exist and their many foibles are a constant source of amusement to the rest of us. The development of the relationship between Richard and Valerie was so fun to watch. At the start, Valerie comes across as an aloof guest while Richard is a bumbling, confused proprietor but as the narrative progresses, they ease into a very lovely friendship complete with insults that come from a good place. Richard’s adoration of Valerie is evident from the beginning and I think that Valerie learns to care for him in a charming, sexless way that makes them a great team. Death And Croissants is a fun, witty celebration of small town eccentrics with a very enjoyable mystery alongside it. The characters really are the best part of the book because they are so believable. I know that these people are real and they are exactly the type of people to inexplicably get caught up in crazy situations. The book also does a great job of transporting the reader to the Loire Valley. It’s not a part of France that I’ve ever been to but I really felt that I had been, when I finished the book. Full of both comedy and intrigue, it’s the ideal quirky escape to disappear into.
I knew I was going to enjoy this debut mystery from the first line - "Is there anything in this world quite as joyless as muesli?" As he later says, it reminded him of "discarded bird silage". Any book that has me wanting to share lines and has me giggling and laughing out loud is going to earn five stars from me. Richard Ainsworth is fifty-three, retired and the owner of a B&B in the Loire Valley. His marital status is, according to hi daughter, complicated. He and his wife bought the B&B but she found it too, too boring and returned to England. Poor Richard, he who hates mornings but must be the charming host for his guests every morning, he's feeling worn out like his Nan's old brown sofa. One morning all of that changes when the glamorous new guest, Valerie appears at breakfast with her chihuahua, Passepartout. How had he missed that? No dogs allowed, it says so on his website. Before he can figure out the best way to handle that conversation the world tips when the cleaning lady discovers a bloody hand print on the wall of a now missing gentleman. Richard wants it to vanish but Valerie will have none of that and drags him into an over the top murder investigation that had me forgetting all of my stress. As they say, laughter is the best medicine. The mystery is fun but the number one draw, the reason I give it five stars are the quirky cast of characters and the humor. I'm ready for another Follet Valley mystery starring Richard Ainsworth. According to the blurb at the back of the book there are two more: Death a la Cuisine and Death at the Banquet. (Ian Moore is, in real life, a stand up comedian living in rural France who makes the commute back to England every week.) My thanks to the publisher Farrago and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
Loved this book, had some real laugh out loud moments. Richard is a bit like a rabbit in the headlights when the vivacious Valerie is around. Could be a French farce, mafia, missing bodies, corpses ressurrected, Well written
New author alert and I just love a new author especially ias he lives in rural France just like me. So this was a great treat to find this author and a comedian as well. Double whammy! Death and Croissants by Ian Moore is the first in a new series its set in the fictional Val de Follet Valley in the Loire Valley. It's a great mystery But a little crazy and very quirky, but, slightly over the top cosy mystery, and I loved it. It was a fun book to dive into! We meet Richard Ainsworth, who is a middle-aged Englishman who has moved to the Loire Valley where he runs a Bed and Breakfast or rather a chambre d’hote in his words. Richard is, very boring even, and his only interest and passions are to live in the life of old movies and his dream is to call his establishment under the names after actresses—Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, & Rita Hayworth. He is estranged from his very stylish wife Clare who hates France and has found there's nothing here to keep her here! and has gone back to England! But, life goes on for him, and most days are the same........Pretty boring and only has his cleaning lady, Madame Tablier for company. OHHHHHHH, until one morning Richard's life goes Bang and turns upside down, when one guest at his B&B goes missing a old Grand chaps, who has left a bloody handprint on his rooms wall - Christ thats gonna be a pain to clean!!! Richard want to do something about this and get to the bottom of where Grand chaps has gone? It sounds pretty boring bit this book is fun and this is where the fun begins! However, it took me a while to get into it but I am glad I stuck with and hoping to read more books from Ian Moore in the future. Big Thanks to NetGalley and Farrago Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review
I went for this book because it is set in France (which I love) and I like Ian Moore's writing and it didn't disappoint. It is set in a B & B in the Loire run by Englishman Richard whose marriage is on the rocks. It is a mystery/thriller written in detail with some laugh out moments. A great summer read especially if you are lucky enough to read it whilst enjoying France!
Ian Moore is a British comedian living in rural France decided to write a mystery series called Follet Valley. Book one in the series, Death and Croissants, is delightful. Richard Ainsworth a beige sort of English man is living in the Follet Valley and running a B and B after being made redundant ( that means laid off for us Americans). His wife Clare missed the UK so she headed back home leaving Richard in limbo. He doesn't know where his marriage stands but at least he has his chickens named for 40s movies leading ladies. He stands around fading into the wallpaper, getting drunk on wine and watching old movies. He was a film historian until IMDB came along. When a guest goes missing and a woman checks in that reminds Richard of Doris Day from a Rock Hudson movie, Richard's life seems to take a turn. Next thing he knows he is breaking and entering, helping kidnap Italian assassins and wearing a chicken costume in a dungeon while taking a FaceTime from his daughter. I can't wait for book two. This series is absolutely amazing!!!!!!