There's nothing like a worldwide pandemic to send me reaching for some novels to help me escape, and that's just what I did with this novel Lost in Lavender by Lise McClendon.
Lise McClendonis back! on Tour October 20-November 2 with
Lost in Lavender is one of 13 books the author has written about five sisters who have a love affair with France, and a few international men as well. This book, which can stand alone, focuses on the sisters Merle and Elise. Merle lives in France full time in an ancient village, while Elise, the youngest, signs up for a work experience on a lavender farm in Provence. Haven't we all dreamed of working in France, picking grapes or cutting lavender or smashing olives into oil? Apparently, it's not as easy an experience as one might imagine, but even that, the author manages to make romantic. The idea of tired muscles and warm baths with the scent of lavender makes it all seem worthwhile. Plus the handsome tractor driver turns out to be a distraction as well.
The action in the novel takes readers across the country from Bordeaux to Provence, offering a chance to travel that we haven't had this summer. The descriptions of the scenery are just lovely:
The lavender fields were in full bloom, stretching in endless, bumpy rows toward the horizon. The purple was so vivid, as alive as blood in veins, the blossoms shivering in the wind.
If the beauty of the landscape, the allure of the French language, and a bit of international romance weren't enough to pull you, there's a mystery as well that the sisters must extricate themselves from.
If you're looking for a fun trip when you can't go anywhere, pick up Lost in Lavender.
Lost In Lavender(mystery/women’s fiction) Release date: October 15, 2020 at Thalia Press 254 pages
Facing a crossroads– both career and personal– the youngest of the five Bennett Sisters, Elise, does what she does best: she runs away to think. This time she runs to a farm in Provence that produces heaven-scented lavender for oils. The area is famous for the beautiful purple flower, the symbol of this southern region of France. Her sisters are stumped. Elise never seemed like the farming type, or even gardening, for that matter. But she’s signed up for a farm stay vacation, an idea she got from an unlikely source, the trophy wife of one of her law partners. When she arrives, courtesy her older sister Merle who drives her to the Luberon from the Dordogne, she discovers she is the only guest at the picturesque family farm who is not a college student. The rest are all doing a French language exchange program and are 20 years younger than Elise, leaving her feeling like an outsider and wondering about her life choices. Not only is her judgment in men and careers awful, but she can’t even plan a decent vacation. Meanwhile in the Dordogne, Merle’s niece, Willow, arrives for some R&R before she starts law school. But she brings a few surprises with her, a boyfriend plus Elise’s fiancé. Or is it ex-fiancé? It will take several sisters– and of course Pascal– to unravel the facts as all descend on southern France for July in the heat and lavender. Suspense, romance, intrigue, and humor as the summer heats up for the Bennett Sisters again. Another delicious adventure in international travel and cozy mystery as the Bennett Sisters fight their way to truth, justice, and a perhaps a summer fling, deep in Provence. A summer fling in France never hurt anyone, now did it?
Works fine as a stand-alone
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lise McClendon is the author of thirteen books in the Bennett Sisters mystery series including A Bolt from the Blue, Blame it on Paris, and DEAD FLAT. She wrote two mystery series, the Alix Thorssen and Dorie Lennox mysteries set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and World War II-era Kansas City (The Bluejay Shaman; One O’clock Jump). She also writes stand-alones as Rory Tate, including PLAN X, a thriller featuring a Bozeman, Montana policewoman. She edited the 2020 anthology, STOP THE WORLD: Snapshots from the Pandemic, bringing together 40 writers around the globe to discuss their experiences and emotions during this year, plus poetry and short fiction. Her short story, Forked Tongue, was included in the Anthony Award-winning anthology, The Obama Inheritance. As Thalia Filbert she wrote with four other well-seasoned crime writers the darkly comic culinary thriller, Beat Slay Love: One Chef’s Hunger for Delicious Revenge. Lise has served Mystery Writers of America in the past as a national board member and Montana representative. She lives in wilds of Montana near Yellowstone National Park.
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