Book review and giveaway: Death in Pont-Aven – I love France #103


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Death in Pont-Aven

Death in Pont-Aven
In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ARC for free in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post
as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.
Death in Pont-Aven
Jean-Luc Bannalec

Translated by Sorcha McDonagh
US Publication Date: August 1, 2014
at Hesperus Press

Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-1843914990

mystery/crime fiction/whodunit

Source: Received
from the publisher


Buy this book on: Hesperus Press or on any seller found on this page

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

      books-on-france-14 New author challenge

Paris in July 2014 my-kind-of-mystery-2014


new eiffel 4

I am really grateful to Hesperus Press for contacting me and offering me the first volume in the series Commissaire Lupin: Death in Pont-Aven, a mystery taking place in France, but originally written in German!

Commissaire Georges Lupin, a character à la Maigret, is enjoying a quiet time at a local café in Concarneau, Brittany, when he hears about the murder of an old hotel owner in Pont-Aven: Pierre-Louis Pennec, 91. Why on earth would one want to kill an old man?
We follow Lupin day after day, as he tries to figure what happens and why, follows false leads, and discovers another murder… Coincidence? Connection?


The plot is interesting and the way Lupin goes from lead to lead is suspenseful enough, with some good twist at the end.

But what makes this mystery doubly interesting is the place it is set in. If you are into painting, you know right away about Pont-Aven. If this does not ring a bell, suffice it to say it is well-known for being the small city in Brittany where many French and American artists joined Gauguin at the end of the 19th century. They are called as The Pont-Aven School. Gauguin has in fact a famous painting entitled Watermill in Pont-Aven.

Painting, art, and this glorious past are very much connected to the plot, of course I’m not going to give any spoiler here, but that is very well done.

Also, Lupin is more of the introvert commissaire type, and it is really neat to follow him as he goes and sits near the river or the sea to think about the murder and its possible motives. That’s really where he gets his inspiration. This allows the author some beautiful descriptions of the landscape and ambiance of the area.

I really enjoyed this novel with all its layers, and am looking forward to another adventure for Commissaire Lupin.

VERDICT: If you enjoy mysteries set in France, with beautiful landscapes and references to the glorious past of French painters, this smart whodunit is just for you.



A baffling murder in an idyllic French seaside village, a tangle of family secrets and a puzzling mystery await Commissaire Dupin in this captivating whodunit thriller.

Commissaire Georges Dupin, a cantankerous, Parisian-born caffeine junkie is dragged from his morning croissants and coffee to the scene of a curious murder. The local village of Pont-Aven – a sleepy community by the sea where everyone knows one other and nothing much seems to happen – is in shock. The manager at the Central Hotel has come downstairs that morning to find ninety-one-year-old owner Pierre-Louis Pennec dead on the restaurant floor.

Dupin and his team identify five principal suspects, including a rising political star, a longtime friend of the victim and a wealthy art historian. Further incidents – first a break-in, then another death – only compound the mystery. As Commissaire Dupin delves further and further into the lives of the victim and the suspects, he uncovers a web of secrecy and silence that belies the village’s idyllic image.

[provided by the publisher]



BannalecJean-Luc Bannalec is the pen name for Jörg Bong, born in Bonn, Germany in 1966.
He is a famous editor and publisher, and this book,  published n 2012,
was a bestseller in his country.
It was adapted to a TV series. It was translated and
published in French in April 2014.



Just a reminder:

If you link your own post on France,

please if possible

include the title of the book or topic in your link:

name of your blog (name of the book title or topic):

example : me @ myblog (Camus)


sorry: no giveaway today, realized too late I had put it in the title, and don’t want to mess all my links now, but it will come soon!!


25 thoughts on “Book review and giveaway: Death in Pont-Aven – I love France #103

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  8. Pont-Aven reminded me of a song we learned in French class, “Sur le Pont D’Avignon”. Now I can’t stop singing this song in my head! Memories! Our class went for spring break to Trois Pistoles and our teachers bought all the rounds in the local bar. We students had a whole repetoire of songs , that we sang.
    This is an author, who I have to investigate. I love the Maigret books by Simenon and the TV series, that was done on his books over 15 years ago.


  9. Great review – I have not heard of this series before but I’ll definitely be adding it to my list. I don’t know a lot about art but I do like that time period when the artists from all over the world gathered in France to share their talents and techniques


  10. The comparison to Maigret is the most enticing. Then, selecting the name Dupin, Poe’s detective, sets up some pretty definite expectations for the type of impeccable sleuthing to be done. Looking forward to reading it.


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