Review and giveaway: The Frenchman

Lise McClendon

on Tour

September 8-21



The Frenchman


Release date:
September 8, 2017
at Thalia Press

278 pages




   rating system    rating system     rating system     rating system

Three years ago (already!), I presented to you Merle and her sisters in The Girl in the Empty Dress. So I’m thrilled to invite you back in Dordogne today and in the Sancerre (good wine!) region, especially as The Frenchman is a really neat mix with a historical novel nestled in a mystery!
I have to say I enjoyed it doubly, as I’m currently translating the first novel in the series into French!

This is quite a turning point in Merle’s life:

  • her son is preparing to go to college;

  • she feels the need for a prolonged break from her lawyer’s job, BUT her boss offers her to take over the business, with a nice salary;

  • she misses Pascal, the French boyfriend she met in France

  • she feels the need to start writing a novel

So she decides to go spend time in Dordogne, where she inherited a house when her husband passed away.
She sees France as a place of healing.
However, not all is rosy there: first she discovers her house has been vandalized. Then she realizes her friend Pascal is doing dangerous undercover work to better identify wine frauds.

I really enjoyed this episode in Merle’s life, as she learns to heal in a less than ideal place, in the midst of danger and uncertainty. Will she accept the challenges? How will she orient her life?
There were very accurate evocations of life in small French villages, with colorful neighbors. Cops are not described too positively, reflecting well the general opinion of French people towards them, at least before the latest waves of terrorism – I think the view is slightly changing now.

And as a wonderful extra dimension, chapters alternate between Merle’s life and her pages of her historical novel as she writes it along. There are lots of connections between her life and her novel set in 1793 France, a castle and goats, for instance.
As a French reader, I was annoyed by several mistakes when French words and expressions were used. But alas, this is all too common.

VERDICT: Wonderful mix of mystery and historical fiction in a picturesque French setting, with its charms and dangers.



In this 5th installment of the Bennett Sisters Mysteries (beginning with Blackbird Fly), attorney Merle Bennett goes to France for an extended stay to drink in the essence of ‘la France Profonde’ and write her own novel.
But the countryside is not as tranquil as she hoped. A missing Frenchman, a sinister one, an elderly one, a thieving one, and a vandalizing one: all conspire to turn Merle’s sojourn of reflection into a nightmare of worry. Where is Pascal, her French boyfriend? Who is the man with the terrible scar? Why is someone spray-painting her little stone house in the Dordogne? And will her novel about the French Revolution – snippets of which are included – give her a soupçon of delight or a frisson of danger?
Works fine as a stand-alone


Frenchman - Lise McClendon

Lise McClendon
is the author of fifteen novels of mystery, suspense,
and general mayhem plus short stories.
Her bestselling Bennett Sisters mystery series
began with ‘Blackbird Fly.’
She also writes thrillers as Rory Tate,
the latest of which is ‘PLAN X.’
Her short story is included in this fall’s noir anthology, ‘The Obama Inheritance.’
She lives in Montana.
Visit her website
Subscribe to her mailing list
Follow her on Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Buy the book: on Amazon



Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
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[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
7 winners



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11 thoughts on “Review and giveaway: The Frenchman

  1. Pingback: France Book Tours stops for September 11-15 | France Book Tours

  2. Pingback: Lise McClendon on Tour: The Frenchman | France Book Tours

  3. Thank you for your review. Loving what I read here I’m excited to find another new Author and a story set in France. I have a loot of catching up to do in this series but I can see it’s worth it. Thank you.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com


  4. Pingback: The Frenchman: tour quotations | France Book Tours

  5. Pingback: Sunday Sentence: The Frenchman | Words And Peace

  6. Pingback: 2017: September wrap-up | Words And Peace

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