“Murder on the Ile Sordou” is the fourth book in M.L. Longworth’s Verlaque and Bonnet series. It seems important to note that this is the first and only book in the series that I’ve read. When I realized, belatedly, that I missed three books, I admit that I was a little nervous about getting into this. The cover, with it’s very French style and beachy feel, convinced me to be brave and dive in.
I dove in. And I sunk a little at first. Around page 100, I found myself wondering how a book with murder in the title could go through a third of its pages without having a… murder!
I almost quit there but the characters were interesting enough to keep me going. Antoine Verlaque and Marine Bonnet are the legal eagles, for lack of a better word, on whom the series is based but they are not the most exciting characters, at least in this story. Verlaque can be plodding and deliberative, although I suppose that’s in line with the old school sort of judge he’s meant to be. Bonnet doesn’t really do much besides get to know people. With a small cast of characters on the fictional island, easily the most relatable and likable are Shirley and Bill Hobbs – the Americans who seem somehow out of place on such an exotic scene.
Shirley and Bill prove to be the linchpin that ties the story together in what might be the oddest, most unexpected, and yet still slightly underwhelming sort of way. The way the story wraps up is logical, believable, and surprising. It’s just not the bang! I was expecting after the whole thing had been set up with such careful detail and evidence.
The real beauty of the story lies in its descriptions – descriptions of the Mediterranean, of the French coast, of island life, of hotels belonging to another time and place, of food so well written you can almost taste it. A story happens here, amid the beauty and extravagance of the Locanda Sordou, but the best part was getting to escape to the South of France for just a little while.
“Murder on the Ile Sordou” is available for purchase now.
(I received a copy of “Murder on the Ile Sordou” through the Goodreads FirstReads program in exchange for an honest & original review. My review will be posted on Goodreads and at my blog.)