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Champagne: The Farewell    by Janet Hubbard order for
by Janet Hubbard
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

NYPD detective Max Maguire plans to attend her friend Chloe Marceau's wedding in the Valley of the Marne in Champagne, France. Not comfortable in dressy clothes, she finds more than one reason to kick off her heels and don her favorite cowboy boots.

Max is twenty-nine and coming off a relationship. She has a feeling that romance isn't meant to be a part of her life.

When she meets the slightly older Olivier her hopes rise for a bit. However, murder changes her romantic dreams. The plot of Champagne: The Farewell by Janet Hubbard is intriguing, producing suspense and deception as well as some breath-holding moments. Olivier is, in reality, a magistrate and he and Max end up attempting to solve the murder, working together.

But. The big but. I am sorry to say I had trouble with so many characters introduced at pretty much the same time. What confused me even more was the letter M used for so many names Max, Marc, Marie, Martin, Marceau, etc.. Probably due to my many years, I found it hard to keep the characters straight in my aging mind.

I think the sense of place is great. Almost like taking a trip to that region of France for the price of a book. If Poisoned Pen Press had not been the publisher, I might have put this novel down. But I persevered and I am glad I did. I wouldn't have minded having a glass or two of the champagne that flowed so freely. Good reading for a drowsy summer day.

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