The splendor of the Pyrenees Mountains provides the backdrop of this short read about death in a small French town.
Steven Gold lies dead in the street after falling to his death from an apartment building. Did he jump? Was he pushed?
Storyteller Danielle, the gendarme who ends up investigating the death, introduces us to a host of suspects, all of who have more than enough reason… and hatred… to help the unscrupulous businessman to his death.
Danielle is burdened by her own load of hatred and discontent. Underappreciated and ignored by her superiors, at odds with a mother who barely tolerates her, and the constant subject of a gossipy town who questions her sexuality, the young police officer is not living her best life.
Everyone has their prejudices and sensibilities, but the bigotry Danielle admits to is jolting. Her opinions of the usurpers or foreigners as she calls them is not unwarranted, just unexpected from someone so young. She likens them to the palm trees that grow in her Pyrenean town—incongruous and out of place, but here, nonetheless. I believe along with the possibility of finally getting noticed by her superiors and promoted, Danielle’s bigotry motivated her to take the path she chose.
Palm Trees in the Pyrenees has a good story premise. Danielle’s list of suspects run the gamut from meek and depressed to rude and arrogant. I would like to have spent a bit more time with them and gotten to know them… or understand them more, but as this is told in the first person, Danielle’s view of them is all we get.
And despite the town rumors and gossip revealed in conversations and her internal thoughts, Danielle’s view of herself is all we get, and it wasn’t enough for me to accept the ending. Her fears over a possible attack by Alan or being manhandled by David seem hollow in comparison. For me, it’s a great plot twist, but it’s out of place. It answers a question I had at the book’s beginning but with little conflict or suspense. I wasn’t shocked or surprised.
However, I don’t have a problem with being in the minority on this. I can see mystery fans enjoying the investigation and plot twist.
A rookie cop, a dash of mysterious death, and a heap of suspicion – as the heat rises, lethal tensions boil over in the Pyrenees.
Unappreciated, unnoticed, and passed over for promotion, thirty-year-old Danielle’s fledgling career in law enforcement is going nowhere – until the unexpected death of a hated Englishman turns her small town upside down.
Set in the idyllic south of France, Palm Trees in the Pyrenees is the first whodunit novel in Elly Grant’s thrilling murder mystery series. Against a background of prejudice, jealousy, and greed, Danielle pieces together the sparse clues of a fractured homicide. But will she find enough evidence to solve the case – and get the recognition she deserves?
To find out, get your copy of ‘Palm Trees in the Pyrenees’ – right now.
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16th – 20th Sept 2019