Palm Trees in the Pyrenees by Elly Grant

Palm Trees in the Pyrenees by Elly Grant
Series: Book 1 in a series
Published: 2016 by Creativa
Genre: Murder Mystery, International murder mystery
Pages: 195
Available: ebook, paperback

Violence Level: đŸ˜¨minimal
Sexual Content: đŸ’—minimal

The Plot in brief: Danielle is a thirty-year-old policewoman in a small French town. She feels insignificant and unappreciated until a disliked foreigner falls to his death. Was it an accident or was it murder? Can Danielle solve the murder and get the recognition and promotion she deserves?

The Characters: Danielle is a likeable woman with a sympathetic personality. We see her change over the course of the book into a strong, confident woman, a phrase which the author repeats multiple times in case you don't quite get it. The reader is offered quite a collection of suspects, which took a while for me to sort out, but I thought they were believable and interesting in both their motivations and actions. 

The Writing:  Opening with the death of the victim, the story moves into a chapter in which Danielle herself speaks directly to the reader, a writing device which I do not care for, unless done extremely well. The remainder of the book is written in first person POV- present tense, my least favorite style to read, as the narration is often reduced to a 'then I did this and then I did that' feel, which is sometimes the case in this book.

The pace is pretty zippy and there are a few interesting twists and turns as each of the possible suspects shares their story with Danielle. At times, the dialogue is fussy and formal and doesn't sound natural, especially between Danielle and her best friend, Patricia. 

The book is well edited, without obvious errors. Yea! 

Overall Opinion: The murder-mystery part of the book was entertaining, and I enjoyed the setting. Elly Grant treats her readers to a taste of life in a small French town in the Pyrenees, complete with wine and baguettes! The story itself reads more like a cozy murder mystery, nothing too graphic, except for a liberal use of the 'F' word. Danielle comes off more as a sleuth than an actual detective and there is very little police prodedure in the plot. 

I did not like the juxtaposing of Danielle as a modern day policewoman with stodgy, ancient biases against women in positions of power. Maybe if the book was set in the 1970s or 1980s, the overt attitude against women might be more believable but I found it out-of-place in what seemed to be a modern day setting. ** Addendum to review: Elly Grant contacted me and assured me that there are still remote areas of France were people still hold a prejudicial view of women in positions of power, including police work. **

 I was certainly surprised by the ending! 

Recommendation: I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys cozy murder mysteries in an interesting setting. It's a quick, easy read and once you get the characters straight, there's not much to do but turn the page. A good beach read or just want a quick, entertaining story. 

I give this book 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐

My Ratings: 

1  Star: Not good at all, do not read!

2  Stars: Read only as a last resort, no other books available

3 Stars: Good, enjoyed it, will recommend with reservations

4 Stars: Really good, read this book!

5 Stars: So good, I might read it again sometime! Highly recommend


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