Murder in the Rue Dumas

M. L. Longworth, 1963-

Book - 2012

When Dr. George Moutte is found murdered, Judge Antoine Verlaque is stumped. Certainly, the director of theology at the Universite d'Aix had his enemies. Moutte was just about to name the recipient of an elite fellowship as well his own successor--a hightly coveted position that includes a lavish apartment in the seventeenth-century mansion--when his lips were sealed permanently. Yet, Verlaque isn't convinced that any of the academics are capable of murder. Aided by his on-again, off-again girlfriend, law professor Marine Bonnet, Verlaque turns Provence upside down, uncovering a world far more complicated than university politics.

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Mystery fiction
New York, NY : Penguin Books 2012.
Main Author
M. L. Longworth, 1963- (-)
Physical Description
296 p. ; 20 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Henry Kissinger once summed up academic life: University politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small. In this mystery, centered on the theology department at the public university in Aix-en-Provence, the stakes are at least relatively high two prizes are in the domain of the cruelly manipulative director of the department, Professeur Moutte. The professor who succeeds the about-to-retire Moutte receives rent-free residency in a seventeenth-century apartment in the center of historic Aix. The other prize is a graduate fellowship that just about guarantees a soft academic life. Moutte throws a party to announce the prizes and then upends everyone's expectations by saying he's not ready to retire and he's not ready to announce the fellowship. The next morning Moutte is found with his head bashed in. Enter Antoine Verlaque, examining magistrate of Aix-en-Provence (who was introduced in Longworth's Death at the Chateau Bremont, 2011). The mystery expands to a consideration of whether Moutte's murder was due to collegial revenge or to an attempted theft of his belle-epoque glass collection. Just considered as a mystery, this is highly engaging. The dynamics between Verlaque and his girlfriend are also compelling. But what really makes Longworth's writing special is her deep knowledge of French history, landscape, cuisine, and even contemporary cafes and restaurants. This is that rare atmospheric mystery that is streetwise and cafe-canny.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Longworth's entertaining second mystery set in Aix-en-Provence (after 2011's Death at the Chateau Bremont) plunges magistrate Antoine Verlaque and his law professor girlfriend, Marine Bonnet, into the world of academe following a murder. Someone has battered in the head of Dr. Georges Moutte, the chair of the theology department at the University d'Aix, who was about to retire. The body was found by two students who broke into Moutte's office to learn if either of them had won a prestigious fellowship, but who left the scene without reporting the murder in order to conceal their own breaking and entering. Apart from probing the rivalries among the university's faculty, Verlaque also looks into the possibility that the killer was an art thief. Fans of European sleuths with a taste for good food such as Martin Walker's Bruno (Bruno, Chief of Police) will have fun. Agent: Katherine Fausset, Curtis Brown. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

The idyllic French town of Aix-en-Provence is disrupted by a murder on the local university's campus. Apparently, someone couldn't wait any longer for the theology school's aging dean, Dr. Moutte, to retire. Moutte loved to manipulate his professors and students, so motives abound. While Commissioner Bruno Paulik and his boss, Judge Antoine Verlaque, query the parties involved, Verlaque's lover, Marine Bonnet (a law professor at the same college), investigates in her own amateur-sleuth style. They realize that much more than academic promotion is at stake when the value of Moutte's prized Galle vase collection is revealed. Seeking answers, Antoine and Marine travel further afield into Italy's Umbrian region. VERDICT Longworth's gentle procedural succeeds on several levels, whether it's for academic and literary allusions, police work, or armchair travel. With deftly shifting points of view, Longworth creates a beguiling read that will appeal to Louise Penny and Donna Leon fans. Readers might benefit from reading the first title in the series (Death at the Chateau Bremont) before embarking on this one, but it's not required. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.