Monday 2 November 2020

Death in Avignon

Finished October 29
Death in Avignon by Serena Kent

This is the second book in the series featuring Englishwoman Penelope Kite. Here, Penelope has settled into her new home and is continuing renovations, painting, getting more bathrooms installed, and tightening the house up before winter comes. She likes that traffic isn't as crazy as tourist season dies down. She is still trying to experience that dinner for two with the handsome mayor of her small town, but things keep arising that cancel their plans. 
When they finally have the date booked, they start the evening by attending a local gallery showing, where four artists are showing their work, all of them represented by the same agent. One of the artists is a British ex-pat, who Penelope fends off the advances of before she gets to the art of the local man that she is there to see. The ex-pat's art is kitschy and not to her taste at all. 
But before the couple move on to their planned dinner, one of the artists has a severe episode, needing CPR before being taken to the hospital. 
As Penelope observes the episode, she can't help but wonder what led to it. Was it a natural event of ill health, or was it brought on by someone wanting to hurt or kill the man? She must reach out again to her former boss for an opinion on the case.
During this time, Penelope's step-children and three young grandsons descend on her home, causing her to step up her timeline for renovations and reflect on the decision to move permanently to France. Her French has improved dramatically and she is feeling more and more like her true self. Her neighbours treat her well, even inviting her to be part of a wedding, and she finds a local group of musicians to play with. 
I liked how her life in France grew, with more friends and activities, and she became more settled. The way she handled the case and her interest in it caused some real issues with her friends and she had to reach out to them in new ways to show her motivations were good ones. I'm really enjoying this series and like Penelope who is finally living the way she truly wants to, not bending to the expectations of others.

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