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The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral: A Provençal Mystery    by M.L. Longworth order for
Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral
by M.L. Longworth
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2021 (2021)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral is another delightful entry in M. L. Longworth's Provençal mystery series starring examining magistrate Antoine Verlaque and his wife, Marine Bonnet, and set in Aix-en-Provence, France.

This time, the mystery centers on the low key Musée de Quentin-Savary. One April morning, its director, Monsieur Achille Formentin, finds the museum emptied of all its contents (porcelain dessert plates, old documents, small paintings) aside from a bench and reception desk. How were so many fragile items moved with no-one the wiser?

Some very valuable porcelain was also stolen in an earlier apartment robbery, soon after the death of the owner, Madame de Montbarbon. Are the thefts related? Verlaque finds it hard to focus on the investigation as his mind is very much on the baby that Marine is expecting soon. Then the robbery is followed by a murder.

Aiding in solving the mystery is observant France Dubois, whom readers met in A Noël Killing and who now works for Verlaque. Though he does solve this rather convoluted mystery, the series' appeal for me lies more in its characters, setting, and comestibles.

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