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December 20 , 2009

The Prisoner of the Riviera


In postwar France, a gambler finds that surviving his vacation may be a long shot.

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Lady Sleuths have long been a mainstay of the mystery field. Agatha Christie's Miss Marple is, surely, the very model of the detective in a cozy mystery. But before – and after! – Miss Marple there were such sleuths as Loveday Brooke and Amelia Butterworth (both of whose complete adventures are in this ebook MEGAPACK™). And the lady sleuth is…

Peace has come to England and the blackout is over, but the gloom has yet to lift from London. One night, leaving a gambling club where he has run up a considerable tab, the young painter Francis Bacon, accompanied by his lover, sees a man gunned down in the street. They do what they can to stanch the flow of blood, but the Frenchman dies in the hospital. Soon afterward, Bacon receives a strange offer from the club owner: He will erase Bacon's debts if the painter delivers a package to the dead man's widow, Madame Renard, on the Riviera. What gambler could resist a trip to Monte Carlo?

After handing over the parcel, Bacon learns that Madame Renard is dead – and the striking young woman who accepted the delivery is an imposter. The Riviera may be lovely, but in 1945, its sun-drenched beaches can be just as dark as the back alleys of London.

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