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Review: Murder on the Cote d’Azur (The Maggie Newberry Mystery Series) by Susan Kiernan-Lewis is a charming cozy mystery, delivering a funny, attractive heroine and a healthy dose of romance. Set in France and America, the book is the first in the series and is an enjoyable summer read. There are occasional, minor issues with scene changes that may seem abrupt to some readers, but this does not provide a major distraction from the story.

The characters are well drawn and intriguing. Kiernan-Lewis had me rooting for Maggie from the first page and hoping that she would solve the mystery. The plot had enough twists to keep me turning pages without giving me storylash. (You know, that pain you get in your brain when you fall into a plot hole?) Some cozy mysteries tend to make logic faux pas in an effort to avoid telegraphing the perpetrator too early, but Kiernan-Lewis avoids this pitfall, neatly dropping clues without bludgeoning her reader with an early reveal.

Two additional elements which spice up this tasty literary treat are the French cuisine and Maggie’s Very French Love Interest. I’ve never seen food used to deepen characterization in quite this way, but for Kiernan-Lewis, it works. I would have liked to get to know Laurent a bit better, but hey, hopefully he will show up in future installments.  I certainly hope so for Maggie’s sake.

This summer, get a little taste of France with a side dish of murder. I certainly enjoyed mine.

Author Bio: Best-selling author Susan Kiernan-Lewis is an Air Force Brat who has traveled the world and racked up over 40 addresses in her life (and she’s not finished yet.) Her fascination with world travel explains why nearly all her books are set outside of the US. Her apocalyptic women’s suspense, FREE FALLING, is based in Ireland and was a semi-finalist for Best Indie Book of 2012. Her Maggie Newberry Mysteries (which take place in France) have won multiple awards. She has recently moved to Florida from Atlanta. Susan writes in several genres including mystery, romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Professionally, Susan is an advertising copywriter and video editor. Contact her at sanmarcopress@icloud.com and follow her at her website: susankiernanlewis.com.

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