Take a rookie female cop
Add a dash of mysterious death
And a heap of prejudice and suspicion
Place all in a small French spa town
Turn up the heat
And simmer until thoroughly cooked
The sudden and mysterious death of a hated Englishman is about the change the life of a small French town forever.
Danielle, the only cop in this small Pyrenean town, feels unappreciated and unnoticed. Having been passed over for promotion in favor of her male colleagues working in the region, she feels her life is going nowhere.
But everything is about to change, as the unexpected murder turns the town upside down.
First novel in Elly Grant's murder mystery series, Palm Trees in the Pyrenees is an entertaining and surprising whodunit set in idyllic southern France.
His death occurred quickly and almost silently. It took only seconds of tumbling and clawing at air before the inevitable thud as he hit the ground. He landed in the space in front of the bedroom window of the basement apartment. As no one was home at the time and as the flat was actually below ground level, he may have gone unnoticed but for the insistent yapping of the scrawny, aged poodle belonging to the equally scrawny and aged Madame Laurent.
Indeed, everything in the town continued as normal for a few moments. The husbands who'd been sent to collect the baguettes for breakfast had stopped, as usual, at the bar to enjoy a customary glass of pastis and a chat with the patron and other customers. Women gathered in the little square beside the river, where the daily produce market took place, to haggle for fruit, vegetables and honey before moving the queue to the boucherie to choose the meat for their evening meals.
Yes, that day began like any other. It was a cold, crisp, February morning and the sky was a bright, clear blue just as it had been every morning since the start of the year. The yellow Mimosa shone out luminously in the morning sunshine from the dark green of the Pyrenees.
Gradually, word filtered out of the boucherie and down the line of waiting women that the first spring lamb of the season had made its way onto the butcher's counter, and everyone wanted some. Conversation switched from whether Madame Portes actually grew the Brussels sprouts she sold on her stall or simply bought them at the supermarket in Perpignan then resold them at a higher price, to speculating whether or not there would be sufficient lamb to go round.