Under a Tuscan sun, a summer in Provence…..American fantasies of the good life in the southern climates of Europe surrounded by wine and cheese and a connection with a village of authentic characters. Maggie Newberry lands in the middle of this fantasy, complete with French boyfriend with mysterious dark past, now turned good boy all for her love. He inherits a vineyard and she takes a leave of absence from her marketing/advertising job in Atlanta to spend a year living the dream. Except she can’t let go and live it. She refuses to learn French and obsesses over whether or not her boyfriend, Lauren, intends to return to the States when the year is up. She doesn’t particularly like her job and her parents are able to visit, so her desire to return home is a bit unclear until her mother pushes her and she reveals that she is not sure what she would do. It takes her mother five seconds to give her an idea that she can embrace.
Wine cellars, charming villagers, yummy baked goods, sexy French boyfriend who insists on cooking, an old murder story with loose ends, and a new murder with a cast of sinister characters as possible bad guys and Maggie’s year in southern France becomes a fun mystery that she, with no other way to fill her time, decides to solve.
The setting, the characters, and the plot are all fun. If only Maggie, who had the guts to leaver her job with no promise of a place when she returned and fly to an unknown village and live in a house outside which a mass murder took place, if only Maggie had made clear why she could not embrace waking up every morning in a free vineyard next to a sexy Frenchman, and decide what oh what she would do with herself. Give me those kinds of problems, right? Other than this small flaw, it’s a fun read. Maggie has other mysteries, which means murder follows her around (rather odd, but we’ll go with it) and now that she has resolved her France issue, the read should be nothing but fun.