This is a romance. Not in the Fabio-on-the-cover sense, but in how the author sensually describes the food, geography, and botany of the Dordogne, a southern region of France. She loves the food. She loves the plants. She loves the people. Never mind the murder mystery!
In fact, there is a mystery. Almost twenty years ago, Mara’s sister disappeared while camping in the Dordogne region. Mara has moved from Quebec and intermittently pursues the trail. When she discovers a camera she is sure belonged to her sister, she develops the pictures. The smudged and faded photos show wild orchids. Could an orchid expert trace her sister’s path? Enter Julian, a reluctant participant in the search. Julian, too, is an ex-pat and has found his way from Great Britain to settle in the little town of Grissac. He is a landscaper and amateur orchidologist. (You can paste a little picture of Fabio here.)
This is a good book to give an armchair traveler. It’s not a toothless bit of fluff, but it also doesn’t bite hard – it’s a nice middle-of-the-road journey to Dordogne.