I first heard of M.L. Longworth (short for Mary Lou) a few months ago when I listened to this delightful profile that was part of NPR’s Crime in the City series. I was instantly fascinated by the cigar smoking Aix-pat: francophile, writer, teacher, connoisseuse. My local independent, Politics & Prose, carried her début novel, Death at the Château Bremont, and I flew through it over the new year weekend: the perfect complement to a minor sore throat and a splash of Baileys Irish Cream in my coffee.
I read several so-so reviews on Goodreads, but the primary detractions for some readers were precisely what drew me in to this colorful, fast-paced mystery: the lush descriptions of French food, wine, and countryside, all the things that make this book so, as Mark Twain might say, wonderfully Frenchy. Throw in a bit of intrigue and suspense? Sign me up. And the best part is that I’m late to the game: Longworth’s already got three more novels in the series!