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Death and Fromage

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the author, Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My apologies for the delay in posting, time got away from me.

This is the second in a series, and the first book I have read by this author. This mystery centers on an Englishman of a certain age who is running a B&B in France, and the death first of a celebrated local cheesemaker, and next of a local chef. There are lots of complications, lots of "quirky" characters and all of it fell fairly flat for me. The main character is boring as all get out, the quirky bits are irritating rather than humorous and the aftermath of several murders in a small town rings anything but true. These events are met with an equanimity that is nothing short of miraculous, and how a resolution is arrived at is also more of a miracle than anything else, and neither funny nor engaging.

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Fasten your seatbelt, Richard. It’s going to be a bumpy ride

Richard is at a crossroads in book 2 of the Follet Valley Mystery series. His (ex) wife, daughter and son-in-law are back and have made plans that should have been run by him but weren’t. Clare wants to reunite and has solicited a teaching position back in the UK for him. His unemployed son-in-law is eyeing the B&B at his next business venture and daughter Alicia is along for the ride. And of course the mysterious Valerie is back and dragging him into not one, but three, or is it four, murders. Now it’s up to him to decide what he wants. Is this his last case? A highly enjoyable outing is awaiting you, hens included!

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This was a good follow up to Death and Croissants and I enjoyed being back in the Follet Valley with Richard and Valerie.

This book's central mystery involves celebrity chefs, cheese makers, food critics, family drama, and a new chicken. As in the first book, Richard is a sort of bumbling amateur detective (relatable) who happens to stumble into the case head on.

A lot of things were going on in this book. From the murders, Richard's family visiting, and his (maybe??) relationship with Valerie, I got confused quite a bit what was going on. And honestly, I'm not even sure I completely understand the murderer and their motive haha. If you don't really care about solving the mystery, the book is chaotic and fun. A perfect cozy read if you are looking to have a good time.

Pub Date: Out Now!

This eARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Death and Fromage is the second book in the Follet Valley Mystery series by Ian Moore. It is the first I’ve read but that didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the story and I did enjoy it a lot. Richard Ainsworth, English ex-pat, ex-professor and lover of all things cinema, and now owner of a b&b in fictional Follet Valley, France finds his happy quiet life disrupted by a scandal when a famous restauranteur is savaged by a food critic after *gasp* goat cheese is substituted in a signature dessert, followed by the suicide of the cheese supplier by throwing himself head first into his cheese vat. But Veronica, bounty hunter and friend who is staying at the b&b, is not convinced it’s suicide and she and Richard set out to investigate followed quickly by mayhem and hilarity.

This is one fun, fast, laugh-out-loud cozy with an interesting mystery, plenty of twists and turns, quirky characters, witty dialogue, and a chihuahua named Passepartout. When you’re in the mood for is an entertaining read, what more could you ask for?

Thanks to Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review

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I continue to enjoy this cozy mystery series! I really do love the humor and the characters. I like that we got to know the citizens of the town more. I like how over the top everyone is. It's all around a good time.

Thank you to the author, netgalley, and Poisoned Pen Press for the e-arc to review!

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Death and Fromage by Ian Moore is the second book of four, set in the imaginary Follet Valley in France.

I hadn't read the first book, but easily caught up as to who was who. Brit Richard Ainsworth runs a B and B in Follet Valley and likes his routines. He also likes his customers - especially Valérie. They have 'worked' together on a previous 'case'. And it looks like they've got another whodunit to look into.

It starts with a food critic and 'a bland imposter' - vegan goat cheese! The nerve. Then comes the death by suicide of the goat cheese supplier. And that sets the tone for the rest of the book. Moore skewers Michelin ratings, foodies, chefs and more in Death and Fromage - especially cheese.

Moore's dialogue is full of gems. Mostly from Richard. Veronica as well, but her's is a little sharper. The two of them make for wonderful amateur detectives. Veronica has an edge as she is also bounty hunter. Of course! The town is full with wonderfully quirky supporting characters. Again - lots of comedic situations and dialogue.

I adore cosy mysteries and this is a perfect choice. I'd be happy to read the other books in this series.

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Ian Moore’s culinary cozy mystery Death and Fromage brings readers back to the picturesque Vallée de Follet in France, where murder is on the menu.

British expat Richard Ainsworth enjoys a quiet life running a bed-and-breakfast in Vallée de Follet, Moore’s peaceful stand-in for the Loire Valley. A middle-aged film scholar, Richard prefers the slow pace of the French countryside and the company of his beloved hens. But his tranquil life is challenged when a culinary scandal explodes involving feuding Michelin-starred chefs, cheese sabotage, nasty reviews and a possible murder. Valérie d’Orçay, a beautiful and mysterious return guest at the B&B, decides to investigate and asks for Richard’s help, bringing perhaps too much excitement to the expat’s life. As the bodies pile up, Valérie and Richard uncover a decades-old betrayal that’s about much more than cheese.

In the second installment of his Follet Valley series, Moore captures the beauty and drama of life in a small town. Richard is an unconventional hero: He’s unassuming and quick to deploy self-deprecating humor. Valérie, his lodger and investigation partner, fits the sleuth bill much better. She’s beautiful, brave and an exceedingly competent bounty hunter. They’re an unlikely pair, but they work well together while unraveling the many mysteries that surround them.

Moore’s wry humor is a highpoint of Death and Fromage, as Richard’s self-deprecating British wit is often at odds with his French neighbors to great comedic effect. Secondary characters like the dogged commissaire Henri LaPierre and Richard’s estranged wife, Clare, provide both tension and laughs as they circle Richard and the investigation. Clare is a hilarious force of nature, often steamrolling Richard to get what she wants.

The series would benefit, however, from deepening the characters of Valérie and Richard. It would be nice to see Richard come into his own, rather than following the lead of others, and while Valérie is an entertaining femme fatale, she has potential to be so much more. Hopefully, both characters will grow in future installments of this charming series.

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Death and Fromage is the second book in Ian Moore's Follet Valley cozy series set in the Loire Valley. First published in 2022, this paperback edition was released 5th March 2024 by Sourcebooks on their Poisoned Pen Press imprint. It's 320 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links.

This is a very light humorous cozy featuring a pair of unlikely amateur sleuths: Richard, a hapless middle aged Englishman running a B&B in France and Valérie, a force of nature femme fatale and current patron of Richard's establishment whilst she's house hunting in the area.

The comparison between this and Osman's Thursday Murder Club books is not entirely apt and unfortunately this series suffers by comparison. There is a frenetic bantering quality to the humor here and there's more self-aware aspect; almost breaking the fourth wall in places. (Metalepsis for the English majors in the room). Despite that, it's entertaining and easy to read and the denouement and resolution are satisfying and well written. There are a number of genuinely funny bits and the author is quite adept at patter and dialogue and his comedic timing is excellent.

Four stars. There are three books in the series currently (with a 4th out in June 2024), along with a couple of shorter stories, and it would make an excellent choice for binge/buddy read.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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Dollycas's Thoughts

The French take their cheese very seriously and Richard Ainsworth takes his quiet life seriously too. When he becomes involved in a cheese scandal in the nearby town of Saint-Sauver and a local cheese supplier is murdered or was it suicide, he is not happy. Then his wife comes to town with some plans of her own. Richard just wants to relax and spend a little time with his chickens but the murders keep stacking up. Can he cheese out what the heck is going on and get back to his quiet life? or will the murders and mayhem continue?

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I really enjoyed the 1st book in this series, Death and Croissants. It was laugh-out-loud funny with crazy situations. But Death and Fromage missed the mark for me.

Femme fatale Valérie d'Orçay returns and pulls Richard into another strange case. Richard's wife, daughter, and son-in-law arrive for a visit in the middle of all the drama with some interesting plans to shake up Richard's life. Plus we are introduced to way too many people connected to the cheese world. Sadly, all the characters felt flat and like they were just going through the motions. No one stood out to get me engaged in the story. Genie and Martin, the unique couple that brought laughs in the last book when Richard met them added nothing to the story this time. Their proclivities are no longer surprising or humorous.

The mystery has multiple deaths in a small town but no one seems to be put out about them, it is all about the dreaded vegan cheese, male egos, other "investments", and someone who felt wronged. I feel this could have been an interesting mystery but the author kept trying to insert humor in the wrong places and he brought way too many characters into the story that weren't developed.

I do like the premise of Richard and his B&B in Val de Follet. I love that he loves old movies that he escapes to watch several times throughout the story and that he names his chickens after legendary ladies of Hollywood. He and Valerie working together has worked so it should be able to work again.

Death and Fromage was cheesy and not in a good way. I kept reading hoping that the qualities I enjoyed in the first book would appear, but sadly, they did not. In the last line of my review of Death and Croissants, I wrote "I don’t know how the author would top this story". He sure didn't do it in Death and Fromage. I know there are more books in this series so I hope this book was just a fluke.

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Thank you to Netgally, the publishers, and Ian Moore

When I requested this book I was unaware that it was apart of a series, one that requires you to read the previous books for this one to make sense. I am unable to read all the previous books along with this one before the publish date. Therefore, I will rate this a fair 3/5 stars and will adjust the rating and review when I am able to read all the books in the series along with this one.

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Bestselling author Ian Moore takes Richard Ainsworth, the middle-aged English hotelier of a Loire Valley Bed and Breakfast, his French bounty hunter friend, Valerie, her pampered pup Passepartout and we readers on a deliciously humorous romp of a mystery in Death and Fromage, the second in his Follet Valley Mystery series.

Poor Richard is estranged from his wife, bored with his life and known to drown his sorrows in a glass while watching classic cinema, that is until a Michelin star restauranteur is killed and Richard and Valerie set off to find the murderer of more than one goat cheese-infused slaying victim.

While it’s mentioned several times that our protagonist resembles Downton Abbey’s Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), the voice I heard throughout was that of another put-upon man named Richard, who lets others navigate his life while he bounces along for the ride, portrayed by the late Clive Smith, husband to Hyacinth Bucket (Dame Patricia Routledge), who pronounces their surname Bouquet, in the British television classic Keeping Up Appearances. Imagining that poor Richard with hen poop on his shoulder had finally come into his own made this novel all the more satisfying for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed Death and Fromage, its sometimes laugh-out-loud humor that keep up the pace around every plot twist and turn, along with an amusing group of supporting characters and highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys a funny, light, cozy mystery. I look forward to reading the other installments in the series. I received this advanced reader copy of Death and Fromage from Poisoned Pen Press, courtesy of NetGalley.

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Ian Moore delivers another fun and cheeky mystery with “Death and Fromage.”

Brit Richard Ainsworth is still running a bed and breakfast in the French Loire Valley. The mysterious Valerie d’Orcay is still checking in as a guest when not away on her secret missions. But when a local Michelin Star chef seems to be sabotaged, a goat cheese farmer is murdered, and other murder and mayhem occur, Richard and Valerie once again combine forces to unravel the clues, all while fending off Richard’s soon-to-be ex-wife.

What follows once again is a quirky, zany adventure filled with hilarious moments and characters that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. Moore creates delightful characters who aren’t always what they seem, including the curmudgeonly housekeeper Madame Tablier, an adorable chihuahua named Passepartout and hens named after Golden Age Hollywood actresses.

Fans of series like Richard Osman’s “The Thursday Murder Club” and Robert Thorogood’s “The Marlow Murder Club,” as well as authors like Agatha Christie, will enjoy “Death and Fromage.”

Five stars out of five.

Poisoned Pen Press provided this complimentary copy through NetGalley for my honest, unbiased review.

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This is a very enjoyable and entertaining read. At times it descends into farce, and is extremely funny. I absolutely love the French setting. It would make a perfect holiday read for anyone off to France. I’m looking forward to more in this series.

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This is the second book in the series and it's a lot like the first one. There's a lot of craziness involved, and the story is often a bit farcical. Richard and Valerie return and small-town France is anything but boring. There's a pretentious chef's meal to endure, the murder of a cheesemaker, and a visit from Richard's wife, Claire, all happening in short order.

We get to understand Richard a bit more in this outing, especially as Claire brings back memories of the earlier days of their relationship. Valerie, on the other hand, is still elusive, only sharing a few morsels to get to know her better. The cast is fairly big in this story, with at least half a dozen new names introduced and just a few returning from the previous book. I do like the way Richard's love of film is used heavily in the story, sometimes moving the plot along quite nicely. I guess it goes to show that it takes all types to make the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this as much as the last book. I will rate this 3.,5 stars. I would like to thank Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for giving me an arc. I have provided this review under no obligation. .

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2.5/5

Ok…I still don’t know how to feel about this series.

This is definitely better than the first, and I appreciate the characters, but the mystery still feels both overly convoluted and unsatisfying.

Maybe these characters would work better in novella form? I’m not sure.

Thank you to Negally and Poisoned Pen Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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I'm a bit disappointed in this second installment in the series. I struggled a bit to follow all the lines of the mystery, it seemed to go here and there too much . There were lots of characters and several with similar-ish French last names starting with G. It was hard to keep track of them all, especially when extra-martial affairs and their culinary related jobs were added to the mix. I didn't suspect the culprit of the murders though, so that's always a good thing. Once again, I enjoyed the antics Valerie and Richard found themselves in. That's definitely the shining star of the story. I just felt dissatisfied at the end of the story and left without the urge to continue reading the series.

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press and Netgalley for my e-arc. Death and Fromage released March 5th!

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I love that this wonderful book pokes fun at itself at the same time that it makes you want to move to this little country town in France. Even if a lot of people get murdered there. I enjoyed this second installment of the Follet Valley mystery series. It was a light, quick read that kept me guessing. I love Richard and Valerie, and really hope we get more of them. But the tiny chihuahua does sometimes steal the show.

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After reading the first book in this series, I could not wait for another entry. The wait it was well worth it. Richard is such a likable protagonist, and I love that he’s found confidence in himself and solving mysteries while enjoying being an innkeeper. Keep the books coming, Ian Moore!

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It is a well known fact that the French enjoy their food, it is almost a religion and sacred duty. This novel is the second in this series about Richard Ainsworth, an Englishman through and through, who owns and runs a Bed and Breakfast establishment in the Follet Valley in the Loire.
He loves the peace and quiet, the slower pace of life and his hens, all named after film stars of the Golden era. However, Richard has the unfortunate habit of becoming embroiled in finding dead bodies and then having to solve the murders.
This time, these murders, yes plural, all involve cheese, the great fromage beloved of the French nation. The suspects are a cheesecake, a goat, a Fromagerie and a missing recipe.
The characters are quirky, yet border on being too stereotypical. I appreciated the opportunity to use my schoolgirl French, and I didn’t do too badly! I didn’t find the mystery aspect as satisfying as the previous book, and I would have loved more emphasis upon the food! Some events seemed too laboured and also smacked of desperation in bringing in American heavies, they were really too extreme and out of place in my view.
An amusing read, light hearted, but no real flesh upon the bones. Three stars given.
My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers Poisoned Pen Press for my advanced digital copy, freely given in exchange for my honest review. I will post to Goodreads and Amazon UK upon publication.

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This is a quirky and entertaining cozy that is the second in a series featuring Richard, an Englishman who runs a B&B in a small French town and - wait for it- solves murders! This time out it's the local cheese monger and fans of the genre know there was more to him than kindness. Moore plays off the cultural differences (sometimes too broadly) and winds in delightful food. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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