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October 25 , 2008

While the Music Lasts


Luc Malarmé was one of France’s most popular rock stars when he was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend, beloved film star Miri Monette. After nine years in prison, he has just been released and come to live at his country retreat near Saint-Brin — Inspector Aliette Nouvelle’s home and base of operations. All Malarmé wants is to tend his vineyard and play music. But the citizens of Saint-Brin have neither forgotten nor forgiven his crime against Miri, or, it turns out, some ugly prior local history involving Luc. They let a fallen star know he’s no longer welcome in town. Aliette is appalled at her fellow townspeople. Hasn’t Malarmé paid his debt to society?

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Walls of a Mind

In this fifth installment of the Aliette Nouvelle mysteries, Aliette is now, officially, Chief Inspector Nouvelle. After a difficult breakup with former boss and boyfriend Claude Neon, the inspector is transferred from an urban beat in Alsace to the south of France. She is given command of a small brigade at St-Brin, a sleepy town in a valley…

Someone obviously doesn’t think so. The violence begins with the poisoning of the musician’s dog, and quickly escalates. Malarmé is badly beaten. Then his vineyard is torched and there is an attempt on his life. The shooter misses and the wrong man dies. Or did the shooter miss? Aliette loves Malarmé’s music. But even she knows the man is trouble.

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