Today I’m delighted to welcome authro Jill Culiner to Jen Med’s to help me spread a little more book love. We’ll take a look at all of Jill’s bookish choices, just as soon as we’ve learnt a little more about Jill herself.
Born in New York, raised in Toronto, Jill Culiner has lived in several cars, one closet, a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave dwelling, in a haunted house on the English moors, in the Sahara desert, on a Greek island, in several French villages and has worked as a go-go girl, belly dancer, fortune teller, translator, newspaper deliverer, radio broadcaster, contemporary artist, photographer, actress and writer.
Sad Summer in Biarritz is her second mystery, following Death by Slanderous Tongue. Her other books are: Finding Home In the Footsteps of the Jewish Fusgeyers, winner of the Tannenbaum Award for Canadian Jewish History; Félix et moi: à la recherche du patrimoine; a photography book, Sans s’abolir pourtant. As J. Arlene Culiner, she has written several romances (.www.j-arleneculiner.com)
You can follow Jill on social media and her website:
Death by Slanderous Tongue
Welcome to Épineux-le-Rainsouin, a typical French village of yellow cement houses with PVC windows and roll-down PVC shutters. Here, village gossips observe all from behind their factory-made, crocheted curtains; intensive chicken farms produce record numbers of broilers; and culture is defined by television game shows.
When Didier, village employee, suddenly disappears, tongues wag: everyone knows he’s a lady’s man, too handsome, too charming for his own good. And after his body is discovered in his bath, more than one cuckolded husband sighs with relief. Equally relieved, are all the wives who knew Didier as a lover — and blackmailer.
But blackmail continues, and as village secrets are exposed, it seems unlikely that Didier’s death was accidental. Before Épineux-le-Rainsouin can again settle down to its usual torpor, corruption, illegal building schemes and farming abuses, a murderer must be found.
Sad Summer In Biarritz
I have now started my new life with its positive dynamic; by recording all details, I’ll see a pattern emerge. One day — perhaps in the very near future — I’ll peruse these notes with pleasure. One day. When I’m secure in love, in my own home, in happiness.
The narrator, a Canadian woman, hopes to change her life by moving to Biarritz. Having escaped a devastating relationship with the mentally unstable Dominique, she is determined to make new friends and find the perfect mate. But in this summer resort frequented by couples and families, available singles are lonely people, too often embittered by romantic failure. And if the young artist Vinnie has promised entry into local society, he remains an illusive figure.
When Vinnie’s body surfaces at the Pointe des Fous new rumours circulate. Had he really been a fortune hunter, a seducer and blackmailer, or just a gentle, over-sensitive man, a loser in love and friendship? The police have concluded his death was accidental, but doesn’t everything point to murder? Or is the narrator over-reacting? Perhaps loneliness and isolation have made her suspicious, for love is as unattainable as ever, and threatening letters from Dominique are arriving with increasing frequency.
Sad Summer in Biarritz, is a mystery, a story of the desperately lonely search for love, and a satirical portrait of French nouveau riche society in the 1980s.