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The Murdered House: A Mystery
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The Murdered House: A Mystery (Séraphin Monge #1)

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  18 reviews
From one of Frances's leading crime writers, whose The Messengers of Death was nameda Publishers Weekly BestMystery of 2008, comes this exceptional classic mystery which was once singled out as being France’s Best Novel of the Year

At the turn of the century, in a remote inn in Upper Provence, a family is violently massacred. The sole survivor of the tragedy is a three-week
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published 1984)
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Joanna
What a waste of my time. I carried this book around so long it became a weight. However, a greater weight is laid upon the unsuspecting reader who perseveres to the end. A final, epilogue sort of chapter is tacked on at the book's end. It explains nothing. In fact, it so veers off course that you feel as though you've been pushed off a cliff. Had I known my perseverance would be so assaulted, I never would have bothered picking up this thing.

It's off kilter, written in the style of Jean de Flore
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Nicole
This is probably really lame, but I couldn't get used to the names so I stopped reading it. I didn't get past the first chapter.
Urenna Sander
Pierre Magnan’s novel, “The Murdered House,” is set in Provence, at the turn of the nineteenth century, in 1896.
At three-weeks old, Seraphin Monge, is the sole survivor of the cold-blooded massacre of his family. His parents, grandfather, and two brothers were murdered in their home on the eve of Saint Michael’s Day, September 28.
In 1920, two years after World War I, Seraphin returned home. He discovered that during his infancy, his family’s land was sold, but the house remained. He also discove
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Karen
There is a lot that I liked about this book. Not your traditional "crime story" it's probably best to flag it as a mystery. The mystery builds right from the start with the brutal massacre of an entire family - except for one. When that one orphan, now a man home from the war, returns to his family home, his agony and pain, left alone in the world, is beautifully illustrated in his manual, slow, stone by stone destruction of the house in which is family died; as is his planning of vengeance on t ...more
Garrett
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doug Beatty
This was a very strange novel, the story of Seraphim Monge, who as a baby was left in a crib while his family was massacred around him. 25 years later (now it is 1919) he is finally told the story of how he was found and is given the key to his family home, a home that was never sold because of the massacre. Three men were caught and hung for the murders, but it is later revealed that they might not actually be guilty. Seraphim sets upon destroying the house, and while doing so, uncovers the ide ...more
Ulysses
As the Dos Equis Guy might say, “I don’t often read mysteries, but when I do, I prefer Pierre Magnan.” This is almost entirely thanks to the locale in which Magnan’s novels are set, early-to-mid-20th-century Provence, which he renders as a 50-50 combination of a picturesque rural storybook come to life, and a forgotten backwater populated since time immemorial by eccentric, inscrutable farmers and villagers who regularly do away with each other in the night, via a limitless variety of ingenious ...more
Jaret
This book was really weird and sometimes hard to follow. I'm not sure if this was due to being translated from French or the fact that the author was trying to write a more psychological thriller. The story focused on the psychological makeup of Seraphin Monge--his need for revenge, his sexual obsession with his dead mother, his lack of connection with other humans, etc. This plotline had its ups and downs because it dragged at some points. This would have been fine (and earned 3 stars) except f ...more
Leni
This is my first visit to the world of Pierre Magnan, and I am not sure I will search him out but I will read another if it drops in my lap. There are plenty of wonderful descriptions of the story so I will just add my two cents. The language is lovely. It is flowing, evocative and you can fee the heaviness of time as reflected by the writing. The hero (?) seems to be a symbol more than a real person and none of the characters are particularly flushed out which adds to the allegorical sense, but ...more
Kathy
The language is odd (though grammatical) at first, and I don't know if it's the translation, or if the original language is as odd. This isn't a mystery where you have a body, and the detective finds the culprit. Instead, there's a family massacre w/ an 18-day-old survivor, and 25 years later the survivor comes back, is haunted and so he dismantles the house. He discovers who he thinks are the 3 murderers, but before he can take his revenge, someone very cleverly starts murdering them 1st.
Therese
I love gothic. I love secrets buried in the walls. I love mysteries at the bottom of old wells. I especially love when everything comes together and makes sense in the end. THAT was the one thing The Murdered House lacked. I mean, it made enough sense...but...it had that uniquely little French twist of "What the hell just happened?" The literary equivalent of a mime chasing a red balloon across the last frame of a film and you're supposed to infer deep meaning from it.
James
High gothic, verging on the camp, tale of murder and revenge in the Provence. A young man returns to his ancestral village to take revenge on those who killed his family 24 years earlier. Some of the authors flights are giggle worthy especially as the author seems to be completly serious, but once you strip that away there is a nugget of a good story with some great twists.
Alan Pottinger
Lots of people seemed rather unimpressed by this book but I loved it, the truth only finely being prised out at the very end - ok the last chapter was a little strange but the air of mystery was kept woven into the whole of the book. I shall certainly be reading more by him.
Chris
Supposedly won a Best Novel of the Year award in France. I guess you have to be French to appreciate it or maybe it is an awkward translation. In any case, while there was plenty of ambiance and plot potential, I didn't like the main character and quit halfway through.
Nicolás Castañeda
Interesting plot but I couldn't enjoy the reading because of the author's prose. There is unlikely attachment between the characters and finally, arguments are ephemeral and the author leaves too many aspects to chance.
Andrea Wren-hardin
How did this book win the novel of the year award in France? Maybe I'll blame the translation. I wish I could still read in French, then I could compare.
Tracy
It was slow to start. And I didn't understand the ending. I will be thinking of that for awhile, which might have been the author's intent.
Stephanie
I was given this book by Lee who said she wanted me to read it and tell her what I thought of the ending so I will give it a try.
Kate Baxter
Kate Baxter marked it as to-read
Nov 21, 2014
Katharine
Katharine marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2014
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Lynn Mccarthy
Lynn Mccarthy marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2014
Helen Jackson
Helen Jackson marked it as to-read
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Onedia
Onedia marked it as to-read
Nov 11, 2014
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Sarah
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Pierre Magnan was a bestselling French author of detective novels steeped in the sights and sounds of his beloved Provence; to readers, his sleuth, Commissaire Laviolette, was as indelibly linked to the land of lavender as Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse was to the colleges of Oxford.

Magnan’s autumnal years were prolific; he wrote more than 30 books and saw his novels adapted for French television
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More about Pierre Magnan...
Death in the Truffle Wood The Messengers of Death Beyond The Grave Innocence The Essence Of Provence: The Story Of L'Occitane

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