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Mystery set in Bordeaux, World War II

1st October 2016

Cold Winter in Bordeaux by Allan Massie, mystery set in Bordeaux, World War II.

I had never read any of Allan Massie’s books before and had no expectations. However, the book soon gripped me, mainly due to style of writing. No unnecessary words are used: no gushing dialogue. The stage is set and the action begins with characters that are both believable yet not always endearing!

mystery set in bordeaux

Predominately set in Bordeaux, the main character Superintendent Lannes is called to report on a murder of a woman. Ostensibly she is a piano teacher, teaching young girls and living a comfortable life – or so it appears on the surface. The mode of her death and the following investigation allows Lannes to follow what is termed a ‘pre-war crime.’

His investigations lead him to mix with a number of characters – and this is where Allan Massie’s craft comes to the fore. One can picture them. The prostitutes of both sexes; nasty and corrupt criminals; indeed a degree of corruption is a common theme.

Almost as important to the tale are those characters on the peripheral, the fretting wife; the young daughter in the throes of her first love; the absent son – his whereabouts unknown to Lannes but known to the reader.

Given Allan Massie’s background it is hardly surprising that the history of the book is fascinating and never dull. Set in the Second World War, there are references made to German occupation; Free French and the Vichy government of the time. The cultural elements are interesting too. Brandy or cognac at any time of the day, chain smoking and the importance of stopping for lunch.

I’m very tempted to read his other books.

KAGA for the TripFiction Team

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For more novels set in Bordeaux, just click here.

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Comments

  1. User: Dawn O'Brien

    Posted on: 07/10/2016 at 7:43 pm

    sounds fab, will be adding it to my wish list, thanks!

    Comment

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