Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Book Review - The Body by the Sea by Jean-Luc Bannalec


The Body by the Sea by Jean-Luc Bannalec is the eight book in the Brittany murder mystery series. There is a small commune town on the sea named Concarneau whose nickname is Ville Bleue, or Blue Town. The town has three harbors and visitors come from all over to view the scenery and explore the neighboring businesses. In the past, the harbors also served as a barrier for the village and its inhabitants from attacks from outsiders.

Commissaire Georges Dupin calls this town home because of the scenic and easy going vibes. The town also has his favorite restaurant, the Amiral. The restaurant is loved by many, and well known because a famous author wrote a book based on the town while eating at the restaurant. The restaurant will become an integral part of the story.

The police station that Dupin works at is currently undergoing construction. It is also Pentecost, a prominent holiday in Europe, and many of his colleagues are gone for the long weekend. He’s drawn the short straw to be on call, and Dupin is looking forward to his vacation before his in-laws come to visit.

Things go awry when the body of Doctor Chaboseau is discovered. Chaboseau fell from his window to his death but was it an accident, or was he pushed? Dupin is called to the scene to help investigate the death but his job is made more difficult because the team is short staffed. He tries to reach out to them to no avail. He has to rely on his new associates for help with the investigation. Will Dupin and his colleagues find the murderer before they strike again?

The book is a cozy murder mystery. The novel  is an easy read and can be read as a standalone. I liked that the book included ample descriptions of the food and scenery. It made me feel that I was right there with Dupin while he was trying to solve the mystery. However, at times there were phrases that weren’t translated well and it was confusing to understand what it was referring to. I wish that the author included a translation or an explanation behind the phrases.

The ending did come as a bit of a surprise and I didn’t expect the motive behind the murders. The book introduced a ton of characters and it was hard keeping track of them and their purpose in the story. The novel does move very slowly but has some humor sprinkled throughout the book. If you enjoy cozy murder mysteries that have detailed descriptions, then you would definitely enjoy this book.

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