A Château for Sale by Carrie Parker: This really exciting romantic thriller is set between beautiful rural Kent and the majestic Château de St Geniès-Lafontaine in the south of France, and I found it compelling reading.
The key characters are the gentle Kate, and her husband Alastair, who live in a lovely cottage in Kent which they have renovated themselves. Kate loves her garden and she has help with it from Alastair’s good friend Richard. The manor house next door has been recently bought and professionally renovated by Joanne, queen of a successful business empire, and her suave husband Nick who just loves being the gentleman farmer.
Kate’s love of gardening is much admired by Nick and Joanne, and so when they purchase the Château de St Geniès-Lafontaine it seems perfectly natural to ask Kate if she will spend some time out there with Nick redesigning its neglected gardens. However, what no one realises is that Kate and Nick have a secret, and their visit to the château has been carefully construed. The pair have a very good reason for wanting to be away from their partners at that particular time. However it is a reason which will ultimately reveal itself, whether they like it or not.
As the old saying goes “truth will out” and, sure enough, worried by the lack of contact with Kate, Alastair and Richard decide to make a surprise visit to the Château de St Geniès-Lafontaine. However, upon arriving unannounced, they make a shocking discovery, and their reactions to this, and the terrible unforeseen repercussions of that evening are to change their lives forever. Alastair, to his dismay, realises that perhaps he never really understood his wife, especially after the decisions she makes that night.
Naturally the tongues of the locals and expats are wagging. Suddenly, after years of quietly standing there, the château, and its inhabitants are the cause of their gossip. People are dying and disappearing, and with mysterious comings and goings, the plot thickens. Everyone is wondering, what is happening at the château?
This is a very exciting and thoroughly enjoyable book. It is an excellent murder mystery, fast paced, thought provoking, and it has plenty of twists and turns right until the very last page. A bonus for those of us who love France is that a lot of the story is set at the Château de St Geniès-Lafontaine, in the south of France, which gives lovers of France the opportunity to immerse themselves in the author’s wonderful descriptive writing of the region, its traditions, and people. If you are looking for a great read, set in a wonderful location, with a thrilling plot and a little spice, then this is the book for you!