Saturday, January 10, 2015

Murder on the Ile Sordou by M.L.Longworth

4 Star

In Murder on the Île Sordou, Judge Antoine Verlaque and his girlfriend, law professor Marine Bonnet, are hoping to enjoy a relaxing holiday at the Locanda Sordou, an opulent hotel that is reopening after decades, but someone has other plans.

Maxime and Catherine Le Bon have spent their life savings restoring the Locanda, which lies on an archipelago just off the coast of Marseille. The murder of one of the guests casts a shadow over everyone’s vacation, and Verlaque and Bonnet are once again called to investigate. But things go from bad to worse when a violent storm cuts off all communication with the mainland. Will the killer strike again?

Kathryn - 4 Star

For the thriller/mystery reader it’s true that this novel may be a little predictable and you might find it a bit heavy on the character development rather than the clues and subterfuge.  I really enjoyed this novel but I’m certainly not a genre connoisseur.

There was something inarguably charming about the setting of Murder on the Ile Sordou that made me relax and enjoy the story without getting too hung up on sorting out the murderer right off the bat. In fact to be quite honest I didn’t really guess who it was until close to the end which I fear would make me completely useless detective.  But as I don’t have detective aspirations this was of no import- I think I got more out of the book not having a clue than if I’d been searching for clues throughout.

The magical qualities of the setting were captivating and I found the characters charming and appropriate.  There were quite a number of them though and I did find myself having to stop and think about who was who but in the end they all came together and were given enough personality and back story to make them each involved in the plot. 

I wished there had been a touch more angst around the murder - there was a distinct lack of panic about the place even in the face of the possibility of another victim. I would have expected at least someone to be more worried they might be next on the list, particularly the hotel staff.  Funnily enough though I could also accept that the surroundings allowed the guests to relax, as there was nowhere to escape to so why panic? Judge Verlaque also approached his investigation with such calm that everyone else was forced to follow suit.

This novel is part of a series following the Judge but can certainly be read alone- I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed the book.

Thank you to Penguin Books for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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