Today I have a review of Death in Provence by Serena Kent, now available from Harper Books!
Death in Provence is a shiny new mystery series, bordering on cozy, by Serena Kent. Every mystery needs a sleuth, and here we have Penelope Kite. She seems to find dead bodies wherever she goes.
Penelope buys Le Chant d’Eau (“The Song of Water”), a stone farmhouse in the hilly countryside of Provence, as a retirement gift for herself. She’s divorced from a cad and tired of playing free babysitter to her grandchildren, so this phase of life is about her. In her former life, she worked in forensics in England. I can’t fail to mention The Song of Water needs some work- some major work!
Penelope’s idyllic early retirement life is short-lived when she finds a body floating in her swimming pool. The “arrival” of this body exposes the secrets and darkness underlying this for-all-appearances charming village.
Penelope’s former work drive has her wanting answers and now. This hits too close to home (literally) to just let it go. So, alongside the lackluster chief of police, she does her own investigation. Her friend, Frankie, arrives to lend some support, too.
Oh, how I loved the setting of Provence for this one! It adds so much atmosphere, warmth, and history. I loved Penelope – she’s a delight with sharp intelligence and clever wit. I’ll definitely be following along on her next adventures. Easy breezy and full of humor, this is just the kind of book you want to nestle into. The mystery was engaging, there’s lots of yummy Provençal food, and Penelope is already a master at sailing this new ship of a series.
I also have to add, Serena Kent is a wife and husband author duo. I LOVE THAT.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
The first entry in a clever, lighthearted mystery series set in modern Provence—a delightful blend of Agatha Christie and Peter Mayle—featuring the irrepressible Penelope Kite, a young-at-heart divorcee with a knack for stumbling across dead bodies.
It’s love at first sight when Penelope Kite sees Le Chant d’Eau—The Song of Water—the stone farmhouse tucked high in the hills above the Luberon valley, complete with a garden, swimming pool, and sweeping mountain vistas. For years, Penelope put her unfaithful ex-husband and her ungrateful stepchildren first. Since taking early retirement from her job in forensics at the Home Office in England, she’s been an unpaid babysitter and chauffeur for her grandchildren. Now, she’s going to start living for herself. Though her dream house needs major renovations, Penelope impulsively buys the property and moves to St. Merlot.
But Penelope’s daydreams of an adventurous life in Provence didn’t include finding a corpse floating face down in her swimming pool. The discovery of the dead man plunges her headlong into a Provençal stew of intrigue and lingering resentments simmering beneath the deceptively sunny village. Having worked in the forensics office, Penelope knows a thing or two about murder investigations. To find answers, she must carefully navigate between her seemingly ubiquitous, supercilious (and enviably chic) estate agent, the disdainful chief of police, and the devilishly handsome mayor—even as she finds herself tempted by all the delicacies the region has to offer. Thank goodness her old friend Frankie is just a flight away . . . and that Penelope is not quite as naïve as her new neighbors in St. Merlot believe.
Set against the exquisite backdrop of Provence, steeped in history, atmosphere, and secrets, Death in Provence introduces an irresistible heroine and a delightful new mystery series.
Have you read Death in Provence, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR