ooh la la, a french mystery. this was a fun read, lots of meals and wine choices described, which I love. The incident (murder ? suicide ?)takes place in an old chateau outside of aix-en-provence. the protagonist is a local judge, his role is different from an american judge, he has much more of an active role in investigating cases. This is the first novel by the author, an american ex-pat living in france. I'd like to see more books in the series. The author definitely created some good characters and hinted at their back stories. I do have a hard time believing that there's a seedier side to the beautiful places in France, but i supppose i just want to believe in an ideal. the mafia from Corsica (another place I love) and the russian mafia (no love lost) play a role in the plot. prostitution, gambling, it's all there.