Thursday 12 October 2023

๐Ÿ“– Publication Day Book Review ~ The Man Who Didn't Burn by Ian Moore


12 October 2023

Juge Lomard Mystery #1

My thanks to the publisher and Laura Sherlock PR for my copy of this book


When an English expat is brutally murdered, his charred corpse left on a Loire Valley hillside, the police turn to juge d’instruction Matthieu Lombard to find the perpetrator.

Instead, Lombard discovers a wealth of secrets, grudges and feuds in the idyllic town of Saint-Genรจse-sur-Loire. He begins to suspect that the remaining members of the Comitรฉ des Fรชtes know more about the death than they are letting on.

But rather than towards an arrest, each clue he uncovers seems to point in one, unexpected Joan of Arc. Is the answer to the murder hiding in the barroom gossip of the Lion d’Or? Or in another century altogether?

The thrilling new crime series from The Times -bestselling author of Death and Croissants.

๐Ÿ“– My Review..

Having a crime story set abroad has been interesting as the criminal investigation system is quite different to the UK so although it took me a little while to understand the investigative hierarchy it did give me the opportunity to witness how things are done in France. The story starts with a distressing opening first chapter which sets the scene for an investigation which is about to test those involved to their absolute limits.

Juge Matthieu Lombard is on compassionate leave when he is asked to return to work in order to take the lead in a perplexing murder investigation which sees him back working with Commissaire Guy Aubrey who, as head of the Brigade Anti-Criminalitรฉ (BAC), is the first officer at the scene of this brutal murder. That these two men have a shared, and rather complicated, history is obvious which adds an extra layer to the story dynamic. Lombard is an interesting protagonist, definitely a flawed character, with secrets and shadows in his past, he is looked upon with some suspicion by his superiors and known as someone who does things his own way. However, Lombard, with his French/English nationality, is the best choice to investigate why an English ex-pat has been so brutally murdered in the sleepy French town of Saint-Genรจse-sur-Loire.

I have enjoyed the slower pace of this investigation and the way the author brings everything to life in a detailed way without ever over-complicating the police procedural parts of the story. The sleepy quiet of the little French town, and the way everyone seems to know each other’s business, is done really well and there’s a distinct French feel to the story, which I enjoyed observing. The intricacies of the investigation seem to be centred around the Joan of Arc legend and this brings an interesting twist to what is, after all, a complex murder mystery.

The Man Who Didn’t Burn is the first in a proposed new crime series and this first book certainly sets the standard high and gets the series off to a good start. I look forward to meeting with Juge Matthieu Lombard again soon.

About the Author

Ian Moore is a leading stand-up comedian and writer, He lives in rural France and commutes back tot he UK every week. In his spare time he makes mean chutneys and jams. He is the author of the best selling Follet Valley series of mysteries,  as well as two memoirs on life in France contrasting with life on the road in the UK, ร€ la Mod:My so called Tranquil Family Life in Rural France and C'est Modifique: Adventures of an English Grump in Rural France.

Twitter @IanMooreAuthor



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