Monday, February 15, 2016

The Red Brick Cellars: A Tolosa Mystery by R. W. Wallace : Book Review

Title: The Red Brick Cellars: A Tolosa Mystery
Author: R.W. Wallace
Publisher: Self Published
Published Date: December 13th 2015
Genre: Mystery
Page Count: 222
Format: Kindle

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★.5

Goodreads Summary: 
A murdered mayor. A second body reduced to skeleton and dust. The public display so horrific that the police are baffled.
Everyone assumes uninterested heir Louis Saint-Blancat will finally settle down and focus on the politics of Toulouse, France. Louis becomes the center of attention in the press while his mother and sister pressure him to follow the family’s political tradition when all he wants is to track down his father’s killer, then return to his globe-trotting lifestyle.
Determined to ferret out the story behind the perplexing assassination that took place at the very center of Toulouse to advance her career, struggling English journalist Catherine Marty finds an unlikely ally in Louis.
Will the two sleuths discover what is lurking beneath the apparent congeniality of la Ville Rose?


 My Review:
"He would be back in the spotlight. He would be "the mayor's son," expected to mirror his father's opinions and back up whatever policies had recently been passed. He'd no longer be an engineer flitting from one contract and city to the next without a worry in the world; he'd be heir to the Saint-Blancat legacy. He'd be dragged back into politics."

Louis Saint-Blancat was headed back to Tolosa where his family was from and still lived. Where they were very politically (his father was mayor and his mother was very involved as well.) involved and would expect him to be as well. He was going back because his father had died suddenly.  Once back we jump right into his father’s wake where we meet Catherine who is a “guest” come to pay her respects and eat the free food that was advertised.  
Catherine is a reporter and even though she has been ordered by her boss not to write a story on the mayors death she still felt compelled to go and see if she could come up with anything good. She does learn something interesting and writes a story about it that gets published even though her boss told her once again not to write else about it. As the story progress Catherine realizes that she is going to need help and so does Louis (who is trying to get away from politics and convince his sister he wants nothing to do with the party or to become the new mayor.). Together they work together not only to find out why his father died, but who killed a homeless man and kidnapped a prostitute who had information on his father's death. When they both realize that the police are to busy dealing with the mayor's apparent corruption instead of finding out his cause of death. They are on their own and need evidence before they can even present their suspicions to the police. 

The first thirty percent of the story is a little slow, with us just learning about the Saint-Blancat family and Tolosa and how the city has affected their family. This story switches back and forth between Louis and Catherine’s POV as well as later on one chapter with Catherine’s ex-husband. Mostly this happens every few chapters and if it does happen in a chapter you are able to tell who it is talking by the way certain words are written.  I did at times get a little confused with so many French words but after a while I started to recognize some of them and caught on when they were going to be said in English telling us what they were.  I really enjoyed this story and liked how the mystery itself progressed, and even though the first thirty percent was slow the last thirty percent made up for it with how fast paced it was and how I couldn’t read it fast enough in order to find out if Louis and Catherine would be okay and if the police would finally start doing their job.  I really loved how much we learned about the city of Tolosa itself and how we learned some French history as well throughout the story. It was told to us in such a way that it was never too much information nor was it boring. It always had something to do with the case and how it was all connected. I hope in Wallace’s future books she continues to do this and teach us about French History.

All in all this was very interesting and I didn't even know things could be preserved in such a way either.  

Thank you R.W. Wallace for contacting me and sending me a copy of this book to review in exchange for my honest opinion. 

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