THE RED ROCKING BIRD by Ann Marlowe

THE RED ROCKING BIRD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A mildly diverting romantic suspense novel, set in a Provencal village, in which an energetic young American journalist, determined to claim her grandmother's legacy, uncovers a snake-in-the-violets within the local perfume industry, outwits and outruns some sinister types, and picks up an admirer or two. Addie Forrester has come to the village of Saint-Martin-sur-Loup, after a three-year absence, to find that she apparently does not indeed own, with her brother Jay, a diplomat in Central America, the house left to them by Grandmother--a house on land belonging to their friends the Isnards, who've always owned and managed the Eagle's Nest, a popular inn. But now it appears that a wily Corsican, Scotto, holds title to the Eagle's Nest, and also Grandmother's house, which he plans to demolish. (There's already a huge hole in the roof.) But Addie perseveres, along the way meeting: a tall Welshman, who lives hermit-fashion on a remote hill; an attractive French-tourism specialist; an American sculptor with a hip following; friendly Connie Ortiz, of the American Consulate; nervously hostile Regine, at the desk of the Eagle's Nest; various locals in the perfumery biz; and a convivial detective. While Addie does some preliminary legal snooping, there's a nasty violent confrontation heating up between the normally amicable perfume producers and the suppliers. After a violet grower's truck blows up, there's no doubt that it's time to sniff out something more dangerous underlying a mere labor dispute. Along the way there are mysterious noises in the night, house-ransacking and secret messages, and at the close, a hairbreadth escape for Addle, along with a madwoman who's certain Addle is an angel taking her to heaven. Sure-footed suspense with a breezy and attractive heroine.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1985
Publisher: St. Martin's