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The Curse of La Fontaine by M. L. Longworth
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The Curse of La Fontaine

by M. L. Longworth

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Actually 3.5 Stars

Judge Antoine Verlaque & Marine Bonnet have just gotten married. He is a Magistrate of Aix (France) and she is a Professor of Law who has just finished writing a book on the relationship between Beauvoir & Sartre. They share two apartments, but it is Marine's that overlooks the garden & "La Fontaine".

La Fontaine is the source of water for those living around its garden and is said to be cursed due to the hanging of a French peasant who refused to hail Louis XIV and the murder of two WW II partisans by the Nazis. Whenever murders have taken place, La Fontaine has stopped flowing until justice has prevailed.

When the new tenant, Chef Sigisbert "Bear" moves in & opens a small restaurant, the past is stirred. While working in the restaurant's herb garden the skeleton of a young man is dug up, and La Fontaine immediately stops flowing. To further add to the mystery, Bear begins to receive threatening letters, the local racists & pro-nobility group gets riled up and begin making threats as well...

There are other quasi-interesting sub-plots, but for those you must read the book.

At first I really didn't know what to think about the book... It was odd in the fact that I really couldn't be sure that this was a mystery; Antoine's & Marine's life was just going along just fine (I was like: "where the heck is the murder?") and then in the 8th-9th chapter the bones were dug up in the garden. From that point, the book picked-up and became much more interesting, which gave it the extra 1/2 star.

The writing has a nice comfortable flow and it held my interest. Although I enjoyed the characters, I held no pronounced feeling for them one way or another. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jun 3, 2018 |
The best thing about "firsts" is discovering new authors. That is what happened to me in this case. I not only found a new author but a new series of books as well. After having such an enjoyable time reading this book, I want to go back and check out all of the prior novels.

Verlaque and Bonnet were good together. They were the right balance. Verlaque is a bit more serious and Bonnet is free spirited. Although, Verlaque and Bonnet were not the only ones that I had the pleasure of meeting in this book. There is Chef Bear and his staff as well as the other Aixois of the historical society.

It was like I was transported to this quaint city in France. Everyone I met throughout this story was so interesting. The mystery regarding the death played nicely in tying in the story and bring out the relationships involving the characters. A nice cozy mystery. If you are in the mood for a new author to try, then, you have to check this book out. ( )
  Cherylk | Mar 17, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143110942, Paperback)

In the latest captivating installment of M. L. Longworth’s acclaimed Verlaque & Bonnet Provençal Mystery series, the newlywed investigators contend with their most sinister challenge yet: a centuries-old curse

Chef Bear Valets has just opened his own restaurant, La Fontaine, in Aix-en-Provence. It’s an immediate success—glowing reviews and a loyal clientele, including our favorite investigative duo, Verlaque and Bonnet. But when he decides to extend his restaurant’s seating into a historic courtyard, some very powerful neighbors are against him. The local historical society wants the courtyard, which witnessed a seventeenth-century hanging of and two World War II-era murders, to remain untouched.

Valets charges on, even after a skeleton is found buried next to the courtyard’s ancient fountain. But when Valets begins receiving threatening letters, he becomes convinced that his life is in danger. And then the fountain inexplicably stops running. By disturbing the garden, has Bear triggered an age-old curse? And can newlyweds Verlaque and Bonnet solve the mystery before someone else ends up dead? Set against the blossoming backdrop of the south of France, M. L. Longworth’s latest is sure to thrill fans of Donna Leon and Andrea Camilleri.

“Longworth’s novels are mysteries for foodies, with the plot providing a table upon which the enchanting meals and accompanying wines are served.” —Booklist 

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:59:40 -0400)

"In the latest captivating installment of M. L. Longworth's acclaimed Verlaque & Bonnet Proven?cal Mystery series, the newlywed investigators contend with their most sinister challenge yet: a centuries-old curse...Chef Bear Valets has just opened his own restaurant, La Fontaine, in Aix-en-Provence. It's an immediate success--great reviews and a loyal clientele, including Verlaque and Bonnet. But when he decides to extend his restaurant's seating into an historic courtyard, some very powerful neighbors are against him. The historical society wants the courtyard, which had witnessed the 16th century hanging of an innocent man, and the murder of two resistant fighters in 1943 by the Gestapo, to remain untouched. Valets charges on, but has to temporarily close the restaurant when a skeleton is unearthed in the garden, buried in shallow ground next to an ancient stone fountain. La Fontaine reopens, only for more bad luck to hit. But when Valets begins receiving threatening letters, he becomes convinced that his life is in danger. And then the fountain, for only the third time in 352 years, stops running. By disturbing the garden, has Bear triggered the curse of la fontaine? And can newlyweds Verlaque and Bonnet solve the mystery before someone else ends up dead?"--… (more)

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