Monday 20 August 2018

Death In Provence by Serena Kent @SerenaKentBooks #BlogTour @orionbooks @AlainnaGeorgiou #DeathInProvence #MyLifeInBooks

When Penelope Kite swaps her humdrum life in Surrey for a picturesque farmhouse in the south of France, she imagines a simple life of long lunches and chilled rosé . . . What she doesn't imagine is the dead body floating in her swimming pool.
Convinced that the victim suffered more than a drunken accident, Penelope plunges headlong into local intrigue and long-simmering resentments to uncover the truth.
But with a meddling estate agent, an unfriendly Chief of Police, a suspiciously charming Mayor, and the endless temptation of that second pain au chocolat, life in the delightful village of St Merlot is certainly never simple. . .
Curl up and escape to the sunshine of Provence with this deliciously entertaining mystery!

Death In Provence by Serena Kent is published by Orion on 23 August 2018 in paperback. My thanks to the publisher who invited me to take part in the Blog Tour.  I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today. Serena Kent is the pen name for Deborah Lawrenson who is one half of the husband and wife author team RD Lawes and they are talking about the books that are special to them in My Life In Books, they've chosen four books each.

My Life In Books - Serena Kent


The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
I first read this when I was thirteen and was mesmerised by the prose and the atmosphere of hopeless nostalgia. Perhaps Gatsby’s yearning for what he never quite had was easy to identify with; it certainly spoke to me at the time. The way Fitzgerald used words was equally romantic: the lush evocations of dust and stars, and the diamante glints of failure. It was a siren call to all kinds of possibilities, in books and in life.

Mary Swann by Carol Shields
Carol Shields was such an intelligent and engaging writer, often of quiet subject matter. I like all her novels but Mary Swann is my favourite, the story of a Canadian housewife who wrote poetry but is murdered by her husband before she is ever published. I’ve always enjoyed detective stories, and this combines a literary quest with the impulse to unravel the secrets of her writing life. Perfect!

Prospero’s Cell by Lawrence Durrell
For many years I thought Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals was the funniest and most endearing book I’d ever read. How I laughed with him at pompous older brother Larry and his literary pretentions. Out of curiosity, I picked up Prospero’s Cell, which recounts the same Corfu idyll from a very different perspective. Lawrence’s prose is lyrical and utterly entrancing. Alongside Gerald’s versions, it opens the door to all kinds of intriguing literary questions about biography and autobiography.

Imogen by Jilly Cooper
I love reading for pure pleasure and over the years Jilly Cooper’s novels have provided much glorious escapism. This was the first one I read - on a lounger in the garden, just before I went to university, in a break from the reading list of Sartre and Balzac - and I still remember my surprise and delight at the sheer fun and sparkiness of this tale of an innocent Yorkshire lass transformed by a trip to the South of France with a racy crowd of socialites. Jilly Cooper’s great gift is in writing sympathetic characters with bags of charm and mischievousness.


Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier
An electrifying rite of passage novel from a French author who would undoubtedly have been better known, were it not for his tragic death in World War 1. A boy narrates the story of his hero, Augustin Meaulnes, whose searches for lost moments change his and his friends’ lives. There is a dreamy quality to the writing and its subject, the transition from youth to maturity and it made an indelible impression upon me when I first read it, aged about 15. I have not returned to it, preferring to retain the memory unsullied by the cynicism of age. I suspect now that I would find it less entrancing.

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
As a teenager I loved the melancholy of Russian novels, and this succinct work typifies that very Slavic trait. It has wonderful characters, particularly the cynical Bazarov, whom would be unlikeable save for the brilliance with which Turgenev insinuates him into our hearts. It is tragic and immensely fulfilling at the same time. It explores the gradual shifting of view between generations and meanders occasionally into the philosophical, which I always like in a book.

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
Everyone has read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe but my favourite of the Narnia books will always be The Silver Chair. It has the terrific character of Puddleglum, the most mournful children’s character since Eeyore, and the adventures of Jill and Eustace in the Northern wilds of Narnia are exciting and at some points really quite frightening. It also has a moment, the entry into Narnia, which has stuck with me all my life since I first read it.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
I have always loved reading mythology, and it was only a short step from Andrew Lang’s compendia of Greek and Norse tales to Tolkien’s epic. Suffice to say it blew my mind on first reading, and was then reopened around twenty times in quite close order over the next few years. I became quite geeky in my knowledge of the world of Middle Earth, and the extraordinary breadth of his vision, historic, linguistic and geographical. It never fails to stir me with its nobility and power. A modern day Iliad.

Serena Kent - August 2018 

Serena Kent is the pen name for Deborah Lawrenson who is one half of the husband and wife author team RD Lawes. 
Deborah has previously published eight novels including The Art of Falling, The Lantern, The Sea Garden and 300 Days of Sun.

For more information, visit :
Author page on Facebook

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