The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe
An Anne Marie Laveaud Mystery by Timothy Williams
Review: Anne Marie Laveaud, the le juge d'instruction (investigating government attorney) on the island of Guadeloupe, is looking into the suicide of a prominent businessman, but the purported motive seems insufficient for a man to take his life. She suspects there must be another reason, but before she can make any headway in the case, she's reassigned to the high profile murder of a tourist, whose body was found on a beach, in The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe, the second mystery in this series by Timothy Williams.
The unidentified woman was found nude. She had not been sexually assaulted and was apparently in good health. The coroner is completely puzzled by what may have caused her death. With lab facilities on the island limited, all samples must be sent to Paris for analysis. While waiting for the results, Anne Marie traces the dead woman's movements to a beachside bar, where the owner says she left with an older man, but no one seems to know who he is or where he can be found now. And while she appeared to be a white woman, apparently she was of mixed race. Can this be an important element in her case? With pressure from above to solve the woman's murder quickly, before it can impact the tourism industry so important to the island, Anne Marie can only work with what people are telling her, and she suspects some of them are withholding key facts.
The two primary storylines of The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe, the mysteries surrounding the murder of the young woman and the suicide of the businessman, are actually quite interesting from a conceptual perspective, but they are wrapped in a really quite tedious investigation on the part of Anne Marie Laveaud. It's not so much that she herself that is at fault, though to be sure she's not the most likeable of characters, but more so the way the story unfolds. Short chapters are not unusual in crime novels, but here chapters seem to end for no reason, sometimes in the middle of conversations. This gives the book a very choppy feel, with disconnects that have no reason to be. And Anne Marie is wont to drift off into tangential thoughts that really have no bearing whatsoever on her investigations. Her personal life seems to be a mess, again not unusual for characters in police procedurals (of which this could reasonably be categorized), and is really not all that interesting anyway, but her intelligence and persistent nature are what will likely keep readers moving forward, if only to see how the cases are resolved.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Soho Crime (Hardcover), April 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616951566; ISBN-10: 1616951567
Location(s) referenced in The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe: Guadeloupe
— ♦ —
The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe by Timothy Williams — An Anne Marie Laveaud Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: January 2015
List Price: $26.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites