Merle (Jacques Forêt Mystery #2) by @AngelaWrenAuthr is a Mystery Festival pick #cosycrime #giveaway
Title: Merle (Jacques Forêt Mystery #2)
Author: Angela Wren
Genre: Cosy Crime
Jacques Forêt, a former gendarme turned investigator, delves into the murky world of commercial sabotage – a place where people lie and misrepresent, and where information is traded and used as a threat.
The Vaux organisation is losing contracts and money, and Jacques is asked to undertake an internal investigation. As he works through the complexity of all the evidence, he finds more than he bargained for, and his own life is threatened.
When a body of a woman is found, it appears to be suicide. But as the investigation takes another turn, Jacques suspects there is more to it.
Who is behind it all…and why? Will Jacques find the answer before another person ends up dead?
toussaint – all saints’ day, sunday, november 1st, 10.00am
At his desk in Mende, Pelletier was reading the initial report of the previous day’s death whilst he waited for Jacques Forêt to arrive. The building was unusually silent and he was still smarting from the verbal drubbing his wife had given him for having to be at work. Very much aware that he was foregoing a chance to see how much his recently born granddaughter had changed and grown, he sighed and slumped down in his chair. Missing much of this precious time with his own children when they were young because of his work was something he now bitterly regretted.
He pushed his mind back to the scene of the crime when he heard the door of the outer office open and then click shut again. Jacques, his long navy winter coat buttoned against the day’s chill wind, strode into Pelletier’s room.
“I’ve brought coffee,” he said placing two insulated silver containers on the desk. Discarding his coat on the back of a nearby chair, he sat down and smiled. “What does the pathologist’s report say?”
“It’s only a preliminary one at the moment, so it is hurried, and it doesn’t tell me anything I don’t know already.” Pelletier pushed the thin file across the desk to his visitor.
“And you’re sure you want me to look at this?”
“Yes. I know you’re no longer on the force, Jacques, but yesterday you arrived at the scene just as I was leaving. You had a reason for being there, and I want to hear more about that. Also, I value your opinion as an ex-policeman.” Pelletier removed his rimless spectacles and began to polish the lenses with his handkerchief.
Jacques glanced through the meagre number of pages searching for the single relevant line he required.
Death by exsanguination from a knife wound to the left wrist.
“And the estimated time of death is recorded as sometime after noon on Friday…” Jacques said out loud as he looked up from the file. “Well, that fits.”
“With what?” Pelletier replaced his spectacles.
“I now work for Alain Vaux of Vaux Investigations. One of our staff has not been into the office since last Thursday, and there has been no explanation from her either. She was due in the office yesterday as well but did not turn up, nor did she make contact to let us know why she was absent.” Jacques quickly flicked through the other pages and then placed the folder on the desk.
“Ah. But that does not explain why you were in that building in Merle as I was about to leave it.”
Jacques bristled. “In part, it does. Her manager, Madeleine Cloutier, has a regular meeting on a Friday afternoon in Rodez and, if she comes into the office first, always leaves at about eleven, eleven-thirty at the latest. On Friday, she asked me to check on Aimée, her absentee team member, if she didn’t come in after lunch. At around three-thirty I called her office number and it was switched to voicemail, and when I called Aimée’s mobile immediately afterwards, it was switched off. When she didn’t come in for work yesterday, I called her again, at different times and got the same result. I decided to visit to see if she was OK.”
Pelletier narrowed his eyes and paused in thought. “But we have no positive identification for the body as yet.” He picked up his coffee and watched Jacques closely. “We know that that particular apartment on the first floor is rented by Aimée Moreau, but we are still trying to identify and locate her next of kin.” Pelletier consulted his notebook. “According to the Concierge, she rarely ever spoke, and he last saw her about three weeks ago, and even then, he could not be absolutely sure that it was her as she was walking away from him.”
“I can make an identification if you wish,” said Jacques. “I’ve been working with Aimée for a few weeks now, and I’m sure that we will have details of the next of kin on file at the office.” He relaxed back in his chair and rested his left ankle on his right knee.
“Ah. That would be very useful, Jacques, and I would be glad of your assistance, but I have to understand in detail why you thought it necessary to visit the apartment of a colleague. I am sure that your presence in the building, where an unexplained death has occurred, can be accounted for satisfactorily and that I will be able to eliminate you from the enquiry. However, just now I need to focus on you.”
Jacques remained composed. “I understand that, Bruno, and had the situation been reversed I would be saying exactly the same thing to you.”
Pelletier clipped the base of his cup on the edge of the desk and some drops of coffee splattered pale brown spots across the open notebook in front of him as he set it down. “So, tell me about your connection with the owner of the apartment.” Retrieving his hanky, he hesitated and then repocketed it and shook the open notebook over the floor and let the drops of liquid slither off the pages.
“It’s purely a professional one…
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
In the words of one reviewer on Goodreads, Merle is 'Another great read set against the glorious backdrop of the French countryside.' He goes on to say that 'Our hero may no longer be a policeman but that doesn't stop him getting involved in a murder case' even when the danger intensifies and 'things start to get personal.' The reviewer adds that the scenario and characters kept him 'riveted' to the book until the story reached its finale.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 42 books featured in the Mystery and Suspense Bookish Event: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db775071 Open Internationally. Runs August 11 – 17, 2020. Winner will be drawn on August 24, 2020.
Angela Wren is an actor and director at a small theatre a few miles from where she lives in the county of Yorkshire in the UK. She worked as a project and business change manager – very pressured and very demanding – but she managed to escape, and now she writes books.
She has always loved stories and story-telling, so it seemed a natural progression, to her, to try her hand at writing, starting with short stories. Her first published story was in an anthology, which was put together by the magazine ‘Ireland’s Own’ in 2011. She also works with 8 other northern writers to create the series of Miss Moonshine anthologies. Most recently, Angela contributed a story set in the 19th century to the DARK LONDON collection.
Angela particularly enjoys the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. Her short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery, and historical. She also writes comic flash-fiction and has drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio.
Her full-length novels are set in France, where she likes to spend as much time as possible each year.
Social Media Links:
Amazon : AngelaWren
Website : www.angelawren.co.uk
Blog : www.jamesetmoi.blogspot.com
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Contact an author : Angela Wren
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