A trip to France as a teenager by this talented author, awakened a lifelong love of France, its culture, food, and people. This love resulted in the beautiful Dordogne area, and in particular the village of Frettignac, becoming the setting for an intriguing mystery story.
However, the tale actually begins in Manchester in the UK, where the main character, Trevor John Penny was born into an ordinary family.
However from a young age, ‘ordinary’ doesn’t sit well with Penny. So, when he earns a scholarship to Oxford University, he uses his wit, charm, and uncanny ability to mimic people to become popular, and ‘reinvent’ himself, including changing his name to John Penny.
The graduating ‘new man,’ leaving his roots behind forever, and with the world his oyster soon discovers that he has charm in abundance and uses it in ways which eventually result in him needing to leave the UK. Undaunted he accepts a post teaching at the AULA University in the Dordogne region of France.
No teacher’s quarters for Penny though, he rents a lovely old house just outside Fettignac called Puybonieux, a house with secrets of its own!
The village has connection to the famous English writer Jonathon Steeple, and Penny enthusiastically set up an exhibition about the writer and his works in the library. Settled, with no lack of female attention, doors opening and social ladders to climb, things can only get better for the ambitious Penny, that is, until he discovers that sometimes even the cleverest of people can become blasé, and too trusting.
To the wonderful backdrop of this beautiful region of France with its breath-taking landscapes and majestic castles, the author has written an outstanding mystery story. It has a very clever plot involving the discovery of artwork which gives the book its double-edged name – but we won’t tell you any more as we don’t want to spoil it! There are great twists and turns right throughout – right to the very last page.