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The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral

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A breezy, charming, and perfectly escapist mystery set in the heart of sun- and wine-soaked Aix-en-Provence--where murder investigations are always put on hold for lunch and the only thing more sweeping than the story is the Mediterranean coastline. Something strange has happened at the unassuming Mus�e de Quentin-Savary in Aix-en-Provence. When the director, Monsieur Achil A breezy, charming, and perfectly escapist mystery set in the heart of sun- and wine-soaked Aix-en-Provence--where murder investigations are always put on hold for lunch and the only thing more sweeping than the story is the Mediterranean coastline. Something strange has happened at the unassuming Mus�e de Quentin-Savary in Aix-en-Provence. When the director, Monsieur Achille Formentin, walks in one beautiful April morning, he is shocked to find the whole museum emptied of its contents--only a bench, the reception desk, and a lowly fern remain. Distressed, he calls the local police, and Aix's examining magistrate Antoine Verlaque sets out to discover the thief's identity. But it's the most baffling case Verlaque has ever encountered. Why would someone want to steal porcelain dessert plates, some old documents, and a few small paintings? Could this have something to do with the mysterious robbery of Madame de Montbarbon's apartment a few weeks earlier? And how can Verlaque possibly concentrate on the theft when he and his wife, Marine Bonnet, are going to have a baby?


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A breezy, charming, and perfectly escapist mystery set in the heart of sun- and wine-soaked Aix-en-Provence--where murder investigations are always put on hold for lunch and the only thing more sweeping than the story is the Mediterranean coastline. Something strange has happened at the unassuming Mus�e de Quentin-Savary in Aix-en-Provence. When the director, Monsieur Achil A breezy, charming, and perfectly escapist mystery set in the heart of sun- and wine-soaked Aix-en-Provence--where murder investigations are always put on hold for lunch and the only thing more sweeping than the story is the Mediterranean coastline. Something strange has happened at the unassuming Mus�e de Quentin-Savary in Aix-en-Provence. When the director, Monsieur Achille Formentin, walks in one beautiful April morning, he is shocked to find the whole museum emptied of its contents--only a bench, the reception desk, and a lowly fern remain. Distressed, he calls the local police, and Aix's examining magistrate Antoine Verlaque sets out to discover the thief's identity. But it's the most baffling case Verlaque has ever encountered. Why would someone want to steal porcelain dessert plates, some old documents, and a few small paintings? Could this have something to do with the mysterious robbery of Madame de Montbarbon's apartment a few weeks earlier? And how can Verlaque possibly concentrate on the theft when he and his wife, Marine Bonnet, are going to have a baby?

30 review for The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    The series continues to evolve and maintain threads of friendship with co-workers and displays of such with shared dinners, never without wine or morning coffees, never without croissants or more. The Magistrate Verlaque must manage a complicated investigation whilst keeping tabs on his happily pregnant wife Marine. It is a tangled web involving the robbery of all contents of a small, somewhat ignored museum in Aix. There will be loss of life, and it takes a team to solve including Marine. I enjo The series continues to evolve and maintain threads of friendship with co-workers and displays of such with shared dinners, never without wine or morning coffees, never without croissants or more. The Magistrate Verlaque must manage a complicated investigation whilst keeping tabs on his happily pregnant wife Marine. It is a tangled web involving the robbery of all contents of a small, somewhat ignored museum in Aix. There will be loss of life, and it takes a team to solve including Marine. I enjoy the settings in this series and the friendships.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Silk

    I adore M.L. Longworth's books. I was describing them to a friend and I said it is like taking a nice long soak in a bubble bath with your favorite glass of wine. The mystery definitely takes a backseat for me. I love the descriptions of the setting (Provence), the food and the wine! If you are looking to take a little "trip" to Aix I would recommend. Start with the first one! I adore M.L. Longworth's books. I was describing them to a friend and I said it is like taking a nice long soak in a bubble bath with your favorite glass of wine. The mystery definitely takes a backseat for me. I love the descriptions of the setting (Provence), the food and the wine! If you are looking to take a little "trip" to Aix I would recommend. Start with the first one!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    While M.L. Longworth’s The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral is the ninth Provencal mystery, I had no problem starting with this one. You can certainly pick up the series here. It’s an unusual book, set in Aix-en-Provence and other towns in the area, a police procedural, but one with a delightful focus on food. And, the artwork led me down multiple rabbit holes as I searched for artists and their works. Who would expect the contests of an entire museum to disappear? The Musee Quentin-Savary is While M.L. Longworth’s The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral is the ninth Provencal mystery, I had no problem starting with this one. You can certainly pick up the series here. It’s an unusual book, set in Aix-en-Provence and other towns in the area, a police procedural, but one with a delightful focus on food. And, the artwork led me down multiple rabbit holes as I searched for artists and their works. Who would expect the contests of an entire museum to disappear? The Musee Quentin-Savary is a small museum with a small collection of porcelain and a recent acquisition, a painting by Felix Zeim. But, there’s nothing remarkable, which is why museum director Achille Formentin is stunned to enter it on a Tuesday after a long weekend, and find the entire museum empty. Antoine Verlaque, chief magistrate for the region, finds this mystery a welcome distraction for his worry about his wife Marine Bonnet’s pregnancy and his worry about the baby. He and Commissioner Bruno Paulik investigate, and direct the case. But, neither man misses the opportunity for a good meal or a good bottle of wine. Longworth creates a beautiful ambiance for The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral. The reader can immerse themself in a world of museums, artwork, delicious food. Oh, did I mention it’s also a mystery and police procedural? At times, the story is so charming with people enjoying themselves that it’s hard to remember that there’s a missing museum and a subsequent murder. Welcome to Antoine Verlaque’s world.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Scilla

    This book takes place in Aix in Southern France. There is a lot of color in the book about what they are eating, the beautiful scenery, and the life in Southern France. The Musee Quentin-Savary is a small museum which was endowed by a local family. The first chapter describes a Friday school visit to the museum, where the director, Formentin describes the few paintings, and a lot of pottery, and some lovely Sevre porcelain. One of the students is Lea Paulik, whose father is the Commissioner of P This book takes place in Aix in Southern France. There is a lot of color in the book about what they are eating, the beautiful scenery, and the life in Southern France. The Musee Quentin-Savary is a small museum which was endowed by a local family. The first chapter describes a Friday school visit to the museum, where the director, Formentin describes the few paintings, and a lot of pottery, and some lovely Sevre porcelain. One of the students is Lea Paulik, whose father is the Commissioner of Police. On Monday morning Formentin goes to work and finds the museum is empty! Solving the museum robbery, which could be connected with a robbery of Sevre porcelain from a local wealthy woman a few weeks ago, is in the hands of Antoine Verlaque and Lea's father Bruno Paulik. They and their wives, Marine Bonnet and Helene Paulik are also very good friends who have lovely dinner parties. The last live member of the family starting the museum, Gilbert QuentinSavary lives in an apartment two stories above the museum and is on the board. He does not seem very interested in the museum. There is an apartment between Gilbert and the museum which is rented by a business man who is currently out of the country. One neighbor had seen a white van behind the museum during the weekend, but there were no more details. Another museum director, Lopez, had been trying to get Formentin to join the two museums, but negotiations seem to have ended with the two directors on bad terms. The big questions are why did the robbers empty the museum rather than just taking the most valuable items? Can Verlaque and Paulik find the culprit or culprits and the items from the museum before they are all sold? This is a well told story with very likeable characters and in a wonderful setting.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Oh to be in Provence. This is a genial mystery with a fun plot revolving around the odd emptying of a. frankly not very interesting museum- but don't worry , there's a more villainous activity ahead. Judge Antoine Verlaque and his wife Marie find themselves mystified but well satisfied by their meals (oh the meals) and the scenery. Oh, and there's a baby on the way. I've not read this series (my loss) so it was a delightful standalone for me. There's humor to go along with the investigation and Oh to be in Provence. This is a genial mystery with a fun plot revolving around the odd emptying of a. frankly not very interesting museum- but don't worry , there's a more villainous activity ahead. Judge Antoine Verlaque and his wife Marie find themselves mystified but well satisfied by their meals (oh the meals) and the scenery. Oh, and there's a baby on the way. I've not read this series (my loss) so it was a delightful standalone for me. There's humor to go along with the investigation and the interaction between the characters is well played. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. For fans of cozy procedurals who like armchair travel.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Darius Ostrowski

    Our favorite investigators and gourmands from Aix-en-Provence, Magistrate Antoine Verlaque and Commissioner Bruno Paulik, are confronted by a robbery of a small, local museum. What was taken? Everything, the entire contents over a weekend. But the contents, though interesting, weren't really worth that much - so someone must have discovered something in the museum that no one knew the true value of.... but what? Our suspects include the museum director, his secretary who seems to be hiding a sec Our favorite investigators and gourmands from Aix-en-Provence, Magistrate Antoine Verlaque and Commissioner Bruno Paulik, are confronted by a robbery of a small, local museum. What was taken? Everything, the entire contents over a weekend. But the contents, though interesting, weren't really worth that much - so someone must have discovered something in the museum that no one knew the true value of.... but what? Our suspects include the museum director, his secretary who seems to be hiding a secret, a rival museum director who wanted to combine the two museums, the family heir who believes the museum should have been his private inheritance, a retired art thief, and the museum board of directors with their own individual issues. When a murder takes place in the empty museum, Verlaque and Paulik feel the pressure to figure out the robbery before more people get hurt. And we can't forget Verlaque's wife Marine Bonnet, whose pregnancy takes her out of the spotlight in this mystery but allows her to still play a role in the solution. A fun story with excellent food and drink descriptions, a worthy addition to the series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    This series is such a joy to read and always seems to embrace the spirit of the late Peter Mayle while boasting its own original spin on the Provençal mystery genre. I was nervous about where this series was going after the last book, which was a bit of a step down in quality from its brethren and introduced the absurd baby plot line into a series where that doesn’t belong. I still don’t think that was a wise direction to go in for Longworth, but so far she’s succeeded in mostly burying it satisf This series is such a joy to read and always seems to embrace the spirit of the late Peter Mayle while boasting its own original spin on the Provençal mystery genre. I was nervous about where this series was going after the last book, which was a bit of a step down in quality from its brethren and introduced the absurd baby plot line into a series where that doesn’t belong. I still don’t think that was a wise direction to go in for Longworth, but so far she’s succeeded in mostly burying it satisfactorily. This is a delightfully complex mystery, perfectly constructed and especially fun if you like decorative arts. The humor was—as always—subtle but excellent, evident in the centering of the plot around the age-old “I’ve walked by that place a hundred times but never gone in” joke on small, struggling cultural institutions. Longworth has written an excellent cast of characters, and I love the reappearance of so many bit players from previous novels in the series. I can’t wait to see what Verlaque, Bonnet, and the rest of the gang get upto next. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Reading this murder mystery places one in Aix-en-Provence, the soul-town of Provence. The novel, which is #9 in the Verlaque/Bonnet series, makes for easy, enjoyable reading. The plot involves the theft of the complete art and ceramic collection in a local museum, followed by a murder. The story surrounds Judge Antoine Verlaque and his pregnant wife Marine Bonnet, a recently retired Aix University law professor. The novel has easy reading paragraph structure, mixed with effective dialogue. Despi Reading this murder mystery places one in Aix-en-Provence, the soul-town of Provence. The novel, which is #9 in the Verlaque/Bonnet series, makes for easy, enjoyable reading. The plot involves the theft of the complete art and ceramic collection in a local museum, followed by a murder. The story surrounds Judge Antoine Verlaque and his pregnant wife Marine Bonnet, a recently retired Aix University law professor. The novel has easy reading paragraph structure, mixed with effective dialogue. Despite its rich excursions into Provençal culture and cuisine, the plot maintains sufficient page-turning intensity to highjack a reader's late evening hours. In these times of COVID travel restrictions, this book will pleasurably transport you to a warm and hospitable part of France. I highly recommend this novel for an enjoyable and relaxing read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    I really enjoy this series, and this 9th book is no exception. Judge Antoine Verlaque and Marine Bonnet are the main characters, Verlaque is an investigator in the Aix police force , and Bonnet is on leave from her teaching position while she writes a book and expects their baby. The setting is Aix-en-Provence, which includes descriptions of the wine and food that will make your mouth water. This mystery occurred when a small local museum’s holdings were stolen after a robbery of similar Sevres I really enjoy this series, and this 9th book is no exception. Judge Antoine Verlaque and Marine Bonnet are the main characters, Verlaque is an investigator in the Aix police force , and Bonnet is on leave from her teaching position while she writes a book and expects their baby. The setting is Aix-en-Provence, which includes descriptions of the wine and food that will make your mouth water. This mystery occurred when a small local museum’s holdings were stolen after a robbery of similar Sevres ceramics at an apartment. Verlaque and his commissioner, Paulik, investigate the many suspects, including the museum’s Board members. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. I recommend this series and this enticing mystery.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I saw some short reviews of this book and the premise is fun: after a long weekend a museum director enters his small French museum to find it emptied of everything but the front desk, a fern, and a bench. My favorite chapter was the first, when a junior high class visited the museum before it was robbed, with lively descriptions of the students and artwork. Alas, the students did not return in the book except for one in a very small role. This is the ninth in a series and perhaps starting with I saw some short reviews of this book and the premise is fun: after a long weekend a museum director enters his small French museum to find it emptied of everything but the front desk, a fern, and a bench. My favorite chapter was the first, when a junior high class visited the museum before it was robbed, with lively descriptions of the students and artwork. Alas, the students did not return in the book except for one in a very small role. This is the ninth in a series and perhaps starting with the first book would have worked better. Beautiful detailed descriptions of Aix-en-Provence, colors, food, but the characters didn't grab me and I couldn't seem to enjoy the trip to that part of France.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sharon W.

    Another Entertaining Adventure with Verlache & Bonnet I’ve loved this series and Longworth’s innate ability to weave a fascinating and complicated mystery for our heroes to solve. Numerous possibilities for villains abound as Antoine and Bruno explore the case of an entire museum cleaned out over a long weekend, with always important input from Marine. Who would guess the all important final clue would come from the French version of Antiques’ Roadshow! I’ll be looking forward to the next book, w Another Entertaining Adventure with Verlache & Bonnet I’ve loved this series and Longworth’s innate ability to weave a fascinating and complicated mystery for our heroes to solve. Numerous possibilities for villains abound as Antoine and Bruno explore the case of an entire museum cleaned out over a long weekend, with always important input from Marine. Who would guess the all important final clue would come from the French version of Antiques’ Roadshow! I’ll be looking forward to the next book, where, no doubt, we will meet the new baby and see how life will change for the judge and his intelligent and charming wife.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nancy H

    Another in the Antoine Verlaque series set in Aix-la-Provence, this story sees Verlaque and his wife Martine, along with his colleagues, trying to figure out what happened when a small museum in town is burgled, with every item being stolen. When a murder occurs that is seemingly related, things get even more complicated. There are several suspects and many twists and turns until they eventually figure out who the criminals are, what their motives were, and what actually happened. This is a deli Another in the Antoine Verlaque series set in Aix-la-Provence, this story sees Verlaque and his wife Martine, along with his colleagues, trying to figure out what happened when a small museum in town is burgled, with every item being stolen. When a murder occurs that is seemingly related, things get even more complicated. There are several suspects and many twists and turns until they eventually figure out who the criminals are, what their motives were, and what actually happened. This is a delightful series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    This slight mystery is more about wine, food and cigars than rare porcelain and murder. The writing style is odd, in that it took a fair amount of reading to understand that is a fairly modern story, with cell phones and internet. It felt more like a between-wars or even Proustian era story. I'm revolted by cigars and their smokers, wine means nothing to me, and fancy French cooking is wasted on my tastebuds. This slight mystery is more about wine, food and cigars than rare porcelain and murder. The writing style is odd, in that it took a fair amount of reading to understand that is a fairly modern story, with cell phones and internet. It felt more like a between-wars or even Proustian era story. I'm revolted by cigars and their smokers, wine means nothing to me, and fancy French cooking is wasted on my tastebuds.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    The plot of this ninth book in a series placed in Aix-en-Provence was a bit of a stretch...the contents of an entire museum stolen! However, familiar characters, descriptions of the city and countryside, food and wine, made the book a welcome respite on a very rainy weekend. I always appreciate the discussion of art and also learned of a new author to explore, David Lodge.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Another gem by M.L. Longworth. The Verlaque and Bonnet series continues to engross me. I have no idea why but it does. This latest instalment is the first of the series where I didn't know who did it by the time I was halfway through. That makes this one of my favorites. Another gem by M.L. Longworth. The Verlaque and Bonnet series continues to engross me. I have no idea why but it does. This latest instalment is the first of the series where I didn't know who did it by the time I was halfway through. That makes this one of my favorites.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bill Finley

    Thoroughly enjoyed this latest contribution to the Verlaque and Bonnet saga. The plot takes a few twists, the characters demand attention but the author's contrivance, selecting cigars, is annoying. I hope when the baby arrives he gives up this pretentious habit! Thoroughly enjoyed this latest contribution to the Verlaque and Bonnet saga. The plot takes a few twists, the characters demand attention but the author's contrivance, selecting cigars, is annoying. I hope when the baby arrives he gives up this pretentious habit!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dvora

    What they call a light, escapist read. For me it was a contrived, light, escapist read. Longworth made sure that each and every possible South of France box was ticked off before you reached the end. She left out only the bouillabaisse.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kent Larsson

    Another enjoyable installment I like this series. Primarily because of the setting and the relationships of the people. Not so much about the crime itself, although this one was curious.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

    It's good to see the author back on track. I was disappointed with the noel episode. This one is so much better. I think a major reason is that Verlaque and Marine are so happy about the coming baby, you can't but smile throughout the story. It's good to see the author back on track. I was disappointed with the noel episode. This one is so much better. I think a major reason is that Verlaque and Marine are so happy about the coming baby, you can't but smile throughout the story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Molly Panzer

    My first by this author. Old fashioned who done it set in France. Lots of fun.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    I love this series! Hope that someday I'll be able to visit Aix-en-Provence and see what the author has described so vividly. I love this series! Hope that someday I'll be able to visit Aix-en-Provence and see what the author has described so vividly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Always a pleasure to read this series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sharron

    Long on character development and local color and low on violence. A refreshing change from so much else being published these days.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    This was a strange one, but with the lovable characters and the city of Aix involved, who can resist?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Barbour

    I love this series set in Provence and I can’t wait for the next book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chad Waite

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Dowling

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matt Kamm

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fran

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Summers

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