• Death in Provence: A Novel

  • Penelope Kite, Book 1
  • By: Serena Kent
  • Narrated by: Antonia Beamish
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (76 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The first entry in a clever, lighthearted mystery series set in modern Provence - a delightful blend of Agatha Christie and Peter Mayle - featuring the irrepressible Penelope Kite, a young-at-heart divorcee with a knack for stumbling across dead bodies.

It’s love at first sight when Penelope Kite sees Le Chant d’Eau - The Song of Water - the stone farmhouse tucked high in the hills above the Luberon valley, complete with a garden, swimming pool, and sweeping mountain vistas. For years, Penelope put her unfaithful ex-husband and her ungrateful stepchildren first. Since taking early retirement from her job in forensics at the Home Office in England, she’s been an unpaid babysitter and chauffeur for her grandchildren. Now, she’s going to start living for herself. Though her dream house needs major renovations, Penelope impulsively buys the property and moves to St. Merlot. 

But Penelope’s daydreams of an adventurous life in Provence didn’t include finding a corpse floating face down in her swimming pool. The discovery of the dead man plunges her headlong into a Provençal stew of intrigue and lingering resentments simmering beneath the deceptively sunny village. Having worked in the forensics office, Penelope knows a thing or two about murder investigations. To find answers, she must carefully navigate between her seemingly ubiquitous, supercilious (and enviably chic) estate agent, the disdainful chief of police, and the devilishly handsome mayor - even as she finds herself tempted by all the delicacies the region has to offer. Thank goodness her old friend Frankie is just a flight away...and that Penelope is not quite as naïve as her new neighbors in St. Merlot believe. 

Set against the exquisite backdrop of Provence, steeped in history, atmosphere, and secrets, Death in Provence introduces an irresistible heroine and a delightful new mystery series.

©2019 Serena Kent (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Death in Provence: A Novel

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • AB
  • 04-13-19

Too Laconic

There’s some good stuff here, and the combo. Of cozy mystery and “Eat, Pray, Love” kind of rebirth/ female empowerment could have been great, but it’s too slow. It needed some more umph and less stalling and doubting my the heroine.

Narrator is excellent.

5 people found this helpful

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Looking forward to the next book

Can hardly wait for the next story of Penelope and her friends in Provence. This story was well written and great escape .

4 people found this helpful

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It's just OK

There were sections of this book that I enjoyed very much. Mostly those involving the protagonist's best friend. The story itself flows along smoothly enough and then it's like it hits a quagmire and the storyline veers off course and gets dull as ditchwater. Then it will pick up again. An odd, broken rhythm, which finally had me reaching for the Return button. I wouldn't really recommend it.

4 people found this helpful

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A wonderful story!

The narrator was fabulous and the story intriguing. What a beautiful setting for a mystery to unfold. Loved every minute of it!

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Brought back spirit and fun of Southern france.

This is a fun books, reflecting the South of France spirit . Croissants, wine, street fairs, lavender fields and inherited mysteries add to its charm. Very well narrated!

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Fun

Really enjoyed this book, it's characters and of course imagining myself in living in France

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Evokes beautiful memories of My provencal travel

This reads like a travel log of the trip I took to France two years ago so it brought back many good memories every time I heard each town mentioned.

The writing was well done with regard to the wording and painting a picture of the scene, but the story was very very weak in my opinion.It seemed very repetitive and there just didn’t feel like there was a lot of dynamic tension in the story. It read more like a Nancy Drew book to me.

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Life is too short!!

Ugh repetitive, annoying and just plain juvenile. Worse than a Nancy Drew novel I read when I was 9 yrs old!!