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A French Country Murder
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A French Country Murder (Louis Morgon #1)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  176 ratings  ·  39 reviews
When political intrigue drove Louis Morgon from a successful career at the State Department, he moved to a cottage in France, far from Washington and what he called “the sordid world.” He took up painting. He grew vegetables and flowers. He ate long, lovely meals on the terrace overlooking fields of sunflowers. He thought that he had found happiness.

Then one day Louis’s pa
ebook, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 283)
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Jeffrey Keeten
This is a book in search of an identity.

The cover art would indicate this is a cosy Peter Mayle type book. The reviews on the back of the book indicate that it is a political thriller. Further research reveals that in later printings they change the title from A French Country Murder to Le Crime. Ahhh well I would much rather read a book called Le Crime. The lurid blue cover gives the book more of a feel of a political noir book. The reason for the confusion by the publishers is frankly the boo
Dona Matthews
This is Peter Steiner's first novel, but I'm really hoping it is the first of many. His main character in this one --Louis Morgon, who I hope to see a lot more of in future--is a retired CIA man, now artist, living a happy peaceful life in a small village in rural France, when a case from the past arrives on his front door. Combining political intrigue, philosophical musings, and psychological insights, I found this book one of the most compelling and fascinating I've read for a long time. Cover ...more
Robert Miller
This book reminds me of a "Made for Television" movie which could air (without the commercials) for 60 minutes or so. Quickly, the main character, Louis Morgon loses his job in the CIA over trumped up smear tactics, leaves his wife and two children in the U.S., and moves to a small town in France. There he becomes enamored with a married neighbor (who is afflicted with a noticeable spinal condition-which the author describes on multiple occasions)and starts to enjoy the distinct French life. His ...more
I read this book AFTER i read it's sequel, which might or might not have been a good idea. This is a first novel by a painter/New Yorker cartoonist and it's not as good as its follow-up, L'Assassin. But it has some very good moments, and the characters are all interesting. Best of all is the descriptions, some of which catch your ear like a good painting catches your eye. Steiner writes like a painter, and that's a compliment.
Brenda Hawley
Also called "The Crime" this is the first novel about Louis Morgan and his self-imposed exile in a small French village after a career in the CIA. Someone is trying to implicate Louis in a political murder and the crime involves Louis' past as well as his future. A great series guaranteed to make you want to keep reading.
I loved this book! So well written it is a work of literature as well as a darn good yarn. Beautifully draw descriptions of character and countryside.
Inken Purvis
"If we were all without our unforgivable parts then love would mean nothing at all. Love happens despite the unforgivable."

Definitely different. It's hard to review without giving away the plot but this isn't your regular murder mystery; it's more a tale of character, loyalty, vengeance and love and what people are willing to do to protect their pride and power. It’s also about the mistakes people make in their lives, how they impact others, how the mistakes resonate sometimes for decades and ho
This work did not come off to me as a murder mystery at all, or a novel of any great political intrigue, but as a story of personal growth and redemption (or at least resolution). Two men, each in their own way, commit unforgivable acts and deal with them, again, each in their own way.

As to our hero, the protagonist Louis Morgon, hiding away in the French countryside from his various failures in the sordid world "He had become a stranger in his own life, unconnected to anyone or anything except
Less a mystery or crime novel but a study in character. Steiner has introduced an intriguing, complicated man who spends the first part of his life doing all that is expected and the second half what truly makes him happy. Unfortunately events form the first haunt and discolor the second. Skillfully Steiner weaves the past and the present in and beautifully describes the memories so that each is easy to understand why they continue to exist in Morgon's mind. The crime that opens the novel is rea ...more
Mary Pat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Le Crime impressed me as a book of starts and stops. The parts about the body dumped on Louis Morgon's doorstep, his investigation and resolution were pretty good. They moved along at a pretty good clip. The parts about Louis's past, how he got to St. Leon sur Deme and his life there and why someone would dump a body on his doorstep had some interest, but at times the whole story ground to a halt. Le Crime is a more cerebral detective story/thriller. I liked the supporting cast, especially his f ...more
A former CIA agent has been living in quiet retirement in a French village, eating breakfast on his terrace and painting the local scenery, when one morning he discovers a corpse on his porch. It is clear that the man was killed elsewhere and "dumped" at Louis Morgon's house on purpose. How did his old opponents find him and what does it mean? There are interesting characters here and beautiful descriptions of France. The story lagged at times, but the solution to the crime was satisfying. The d ...more
There's a quiet storm that runs through this book. Not exactly tension, but a sense that more is going on than what is being described. It held my interest, but was ultimately unsatisfying in some ways.

The descriptions of provincial France and the specific town that the story is set in are absolutely wonderful. The opening is fun, but never quite fulfills its potential.

I have a lot of respect for the attempt to try something new within the espionage genre, but the consciously soft ending was a b
The writing is excellent and the story is well told, except for the question, "Why should the reader care about Louis? There did not seem any joy in his life, he was always coasting without a goal or sense of purpose. Not uplifting.
The first Louis Morgon book (also titled Le Crime.) Abandoning his family and friends after an ignomious departure from government service, Louis treks through France before settling in a little town. A dead body shows up on his doorstep, leading back to his nemesis and the nemisis's wife's unfaithfulness. Along with his French policeman friend's help, he skillfully deflects the nemesis's attempt to kill him at Charles deGaulle airport.
This is a good well-written story about a former CIA operative who was forced out of his job and currently lives in a small town in France. He opens his front door one day to discover that a corpse had been propped up there. The local gendarme is his friend and is not too excited about this crime. Thus begins some fun & games. It's a short book, but worth reading.
Kenneth Fredette
It was a good story that unfolded quiet nicely. I was astonished that Peter Steiner could draw you into story so easily. It revolved around an old gruge that happened after Louis was divorced and cuckolded by his boss. Many years pass and the story continues when a body appears at Louis's door. You can imagine what happens.
Steiner's simple writing style here is reminiscent of Hemingway, but in the end there was a very disappointing resolution to the murder mystery, making the murder more of a plot device than a focal point. Plenty of style, but little substance to this one. The first in a series, but I don't know if I'll be along for more of the ride.
I've read this series of three Louis Morgon mysteries in reverse order but don't feel as though I've lost anything since each book is a vague,oneiric reiteration of the same story...but it's still an entertaining story and Morgon provides an idiosyncratic but humane Point-of-View that makes the dream very pleasant...
Good mystery/thriller. Oddly, it is very slow paced for an international spy thriller, but its still a satisfying read. The main character is a retired State/CIA bureaucrat who stumbles on a plot to ruin him when a dead body appears at his house in the French country side
Kept me turning pages. Charming French village life, Ex-Cia meets Murder Mystery. Since I enjoy all these genres - was a nice change of pace to put them all together. Stumbled upon this on library shelf, will look for others in this series.
Basia Barbara
A very muddled ending such as are usual in real life. I was not to sure of the motive of the perpetrator. Was it revenge, envy?
Liked the characters and the locale. This is the first book of the Louis Morgon series.
Mark Pool
I read the three Steiner books in reverse chronological order. If I had done it the other way around, I might not have progressed to book 2. Lots of boring stuff here.
Barry Hughes
The mystery piece is very straightforward. What makes the book unusual is that the hero is 60ish, and the attention to detail about the French countryside and lifestyle.
This is more a character study than a mystery. Steiner does a good job of describing the power that petty bureaucratic despots can exercise over their subordinates.
Margaret Dee
The author is a cartoonist and painter which brings a different feel to his books. Politics, Paris, painting and good writing.
Linda Howe Steiger
Take care. This is the same book as "Le Crime". No idea why hardback and paperback were given different titles.
Lynn Kearney
Ominous face on the cover of Steiner's book - not meant to be Morgon, I hope, because he's much gentler than that.
A cut above the average murder mystery. I am going to look out for other books by this author.
He is a cartoonist for the New Yorker.
I love the life the small French village
and its characters.
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PETER STEINER is the author of three previous books in this series, Le Crime, L'Assassin, and The Terrorist. A former New Yorker cartoonist, Steiner lives in Connecticut.
More about Peter Steiner...

Other Books in the Series

Louis Morgon (4 books)
  • L'Assassin: A Thriller
  • The Terrorist: A Thriller
  • The Resistance: A Thriller
L'Assassin: A Thriller The Terrorist: A Thriller The Resistance: A Thriller Le Crime L'Assassin: A Thriller (A Louis Morgon Thriller)

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