Crime Novels Set in Aix-en-Provence
An Aixcentric follower yesterday prompted me to remind everyone of a series of crime novels set in Aix-en-Provence and beyond. She had spent time in town recently on holiday and loved reading fiction set in places newly familiar. For all those who aren’t in Provence right now but would like to immerse themselves in the unique ambiance of Aix, the ‘Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery’ series by M. L. Longworth provides the perfect escapism. There are nine with stories set in villages around the town, the coast too, and the streets and squares of Aix.
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Books by M.L Longsworth
Death At the Chateau Bremont (2011)
The first installment in the beloved, sumptuous mystery series set in Provence, featuring chief magistrate Antoine Verlaque and his old flame Marine Bonnet, who must team up to solve a pair of murders.
Murder in the Rue Dumas (2012)
When a shocking murder rocks the theology department at Aix-en-Provence’s university, chief magistrate Antoine Verlaque is on the case.
Death in the Vines (2013)
When theft escalates to murder at a French vineyard, a crime wave sweeps over the tranquil town of Aix-en-Provence
Murder on the Ile Sordou (2014)
In this decadent installment, Verlaque and Bonnet find themselves hunting a murderer on a remote island in the glittering Mediterranean Sea.
The Mystery of the Lost Cezanne (2015)
A beguiling mystery that finds Verlaque and Bonnet searching for a murderer—in a crime tied to Provence’s greatest artist.
The Curse of La Fontaine (2017)
In this captivating installment of M. L. Longworth’s acclaimed series, our newlywed investigators contend with their most sinister challenge yet: a centuries-old curse.
The Secrets of the Bastide Blanche (2018)
When a scandalous author moves to the outskirts of Aix-en-Provence, Verlaque and Bonnet are called in to investigate whether he’s haunted by more than just his past, in this delightful M. L. Longworth mystery.
A Noel Killing (2019)
Christmastime in the south of France is as beautiful as ever, but when a shady local business person drops dead in the middle of the festivities, Verlaque and Bonnet must solve the case while keeping the holiday spirit alive.
The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral (2021)
Something strange has happened at the unassuming Musée de Quentin-Savary in Aix-en-Provence. Breezy, charming, and perfectly escapist, The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral brings us back to 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.
Author M.L Longsworth’s Background
However, her fountain pen’s inky trail to crafting mysterious tales in France was far from a straight line. Longworth is a transplanted Anglophone Canadian with a background in art history, now living and writing in Provence. Not every couple would pack up their lives in Santa Cruz, California and embark on an uncertain adventure to the south of France.
In February 1997, the family moved into a rental, on Route de Cézanne just outside of Aix-en-Provence. They had also traded urban, coastal living in Santa Cruz, on Monterey Bay, for semi-rural isolation in the Provencal countryside. Mary Lou says she loved it “I couldn’t get over all the olive trees and vineyards, framed by that famous blue Provençal sky and red earth.”
In 1999, they discovered an apartment in an old building in Aix’s chic Quartier Mazarin. They immediately became fast friends with the family two floors below. In central Aix-en-Provence, Mary Lou could now do her market shopping on foot, and their daughter could walk to school. They chose the full immersion route for their daughter. Read more.
After more than two decades in Provence, M. L. Longsworth shared some of her favourite things about the region. Now, the family lives in the countryside outside of Aix-en-Provence, and they continue to explore the area, including the coastal city of Toulon.