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Cara Black writes compellingly about le ventre parisien via her Franco-American detective, Aimee LeDuc.  Murder in the Bastille is the latest in this series that is set in various quartiers of Paris (Belleville, Sentier, le Marais). 

Another thriller released this spring comes from Peter Steiner, best known as a cartoonist for the New Yorker. His debut novel, A French Country Murder, is reportedly suspenseful, full of conspiracies, and psychological intrigue…and it’s set in a small French village. I'm looking forward to curling up with this one!

Sebastien Japrisot's  A Very Long Engagement, an award-winner in France and one of Amazon's top picks for the 1990s,  is a wonderfully evocative story set in France just after World War I.

The Pleasing Hour, Lily King's first novel, is the story of a young au pair in Paris who faces more than just the experiences of living in another country with another family.

Sebastian Faulks has written a trilogy of sorts, starting with Birdsong, set in WWI Europe, then following up with  Charlotte Gray and  The Girl at the Lion d'Or, both set in France during the WWII years.

Gustav Sabon's  The Fly-Truffler: A Novel , brought to our attention by Dan Sullivan, was well reviewed in the NY Times last spring...have not yet read it, it's on the list, but the concept as well as the setting is very inviting.

Hella Haas' In a Dark Wood Wandering comes highly recommended by a friend. Set in France (and Europe) during the years leading up to the Hundred Years War, this novel does a wonderful job with history and atmosphere. Very compelling.

Diane Johnson first wrote Le Divorce and then Le Mariage. Both are good reads, with casts of interesting characters and  insights into how and why French women are the way they are.

Chocolat: A Novel by Joanne Harris, set in a small village in France, features a woman and her young daughter coming into town to set up a chocolaterie, with all sorts of delicious repercussions. It's been made into a movie, which has the same feeling of a confection. Another Harris novel is Five Quarters of the Orange, this one set in a village on the banks of the Loire.


F. Scott Fitzgerald  Tender Is the Night...the Côte d'Azur during the Golden Age.

Edith Wharton  The Reef...also set in southern France...not her finest, but...

Poet W. S. Merwyn's fabulous trilogy of short novels/long stories in The Lost Upland, set in the southwestern highlands of France, contains beautiful writing and evocative scenes.

What's to say about Peter Mayle and his fiction:  Anything ConsideredHotel Pastis, A Dog's LifeChasing Cezanne? These novels are light, slight, entertaining and chock full of French joie de vivre à la Mayle.

 

  
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