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(Jacques Forêt #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre.

But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won't give up and,
Kindle Edition, 183 pages
Published December 6th 2015 by Crooked Cat
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Jacques Forêt has been "exiled" from his job as a police investigator in Paris to a small town in the country. There, he takes care of boundary disputes between neighbors, poaching and stolen bicycles, and feels completely useless.

We don't learn much about the incident that made him leave the city, but there's no need to. Forêt desperately wishes to leave the past where it was, and that's the way it should be.

But even if not much ever happens in Messandrierre, something seems to be wrong as
Roland Clarke
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed every page of this mystery, so read the novel twice. The pace suited the setting that felt as real as the memorable characters. Messandrierre may not exist – or maybe it does. The Cevennes is my favourite region in France, and Angela Wren captures the nuances perfectly. The location came alive so much that I was convinced that I had been there.

The people felt real, from the principals of Jacques and Beth to all the secondary characters that made up the vibrant picture of a French
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: france, romance
Strange things happen in small French villages, but the village of Messandrierre seems to have more than just secrets that are waiting to be uncovered. I was gripped from the first mysterious chapter and then we met Jacques Forêt, Gendarme, originally from Paris, with a past and currently not really sure where he belongs. I liked him straight away. He was just the person to unravel the seemingly unrelated events that have been reported in the area and keep an eye on the odd goings on of some of ...more
Kathy Sharp
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Engaging characters and a slow-burning mystery add up to a thoroughly entertaining read. Looking forward to reading more in this series.
Patricia Walker
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a gripping murder mystery that cannot be put down once you start reading it until you turn the last page.

Boasting a cast list of characters that is like being among your own friends and neighbours they are so real, incredibly detailed surroundings that could almost be your own home town (the story is set in France) it is described so realistically and the plot ties you to the pages and keeps them turning. Throughout all the story builds to a brilliant finale that is completely unseen
Susan Roebuck
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Set in Messandrierre, France the story follows Gendarme Jaques Foret's mission to discover the whereabouts of missing tourists. Foret is an enjoyable, attractive character, with all the features that's expected of a French policeman: humour, determination, quirks. He even has a side-kick who I loved: Junior Gendarme Pierre (5 years old) who skids to a halt and gives the perfect salute whenever he meets Foret. The British characters don't come over quite so well, but the atmospheric location ...more
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
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A wonderful preamble to a hearty series.

The plot moves at a rapid fire pace. I was surprised the culprits were revealed so early on yet it didn't diminish the storyline at all. At first I thought the premature unveiling was a red herring, I quickly learned this was not the case. The story progresses subtely demonstrating the menacing intentions of predators. I also enjoyed the gentle romantic undertones between Jacques and Beth in
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had a bit of a thing for French mystery novels (having indulged myself in the books put out by publisher Le French Book, for one), and this is another excellent French mystery, albeit less gory than Frederique Molay's novels, for which I was thankful. It's not every day that I want to read about violent, awful, vivid killings.

Forêt is an interesting fellow; he's a former Paris cop now in a small town, and he seems to be still adjusting. He's an occasional babysitter for a five-year-old boy
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
Who did what and when? There’s plenty for Jacques Foret to find out in this story that’s a nice cosy / police mystery. There are various interlinked threads in the story and sufficient clues to make it reasonably easy to work out who has done what and why - the dates on the timeline good indicators for this, though the insertions of these are slightly confusing at first.
I’d like to think that a policeman’s job in rural France wouldn’t normally be so interspersed with disappearances which turn
Elizabeth Lloyd
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jacques Forêt, an intelligent, considerate policeman, is vegetating in the small French village of Messandrierre, after leaving the challenging environment of Paris so he is concerned when his unpleasant commander, Fournier, tells him to ignore the unexplained disappearance of three young adults, last seen nearby. He is determined to continue his investigations, especially when he discovers that there have been more disappearances.

Meanwhile, Beth, a young British widow, has returned to the
Stephanie Cage
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Messandrierre is an absorbing, thoughtful read, combining a delightful rural French feel reminiscent of Joanne Harris's Chocolat with a compelling suspense storyline.

Jacques Foret is a worthy hero, determined to serve and protect at all costs, despite the challenges he faces adjusting to village life after a shooting in the line of duty drove him away from Paris. He is called upon to investigate the disappearance of a tourist, but when he begins to suspect links to something bigger, he finds
Viki Meadows
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been broadening my reading lately to include some crime and I bought this because I liked the cover and the title was intriguing. I really enjoyed it. You get your money’s worth in terms of length and content. I found the book easy to read and I liked the descriptions of France. Not too long but enough to really create the atmosphere- it had faint echoes of Mary Stewart in this respect. I liked the main character Jacques. He was quietly sexy and there were hints of a developing relationship ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
I received an early copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
This is a very atmospheric and very "French" kind of mystery novel. A detective called Jacques Foret is investigating the disappearance of a person connected to a woman he used to be close to, Beth. Is she in some way involved in his disappearance? When more people disappear, it is clear that the picture is much more complicated than at first thought.
This novel is enjoyable, but the writing is a little disjointed, and I
Rachel Stansel
Dec 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Messandrierre is a curl up with a cup of tea and a warm fire kind of mystery. The story is enveloping and has enough twists and turns to keep me turning the pages. Lots of characters, and I had trouble keeping the minors straight at first. There were references to past events vague enough to make me think I missed something. I actually double checked that this wasn't book 2. Overall though a good mystery with a strong French feel both in location and feeling.

This is the first of a series with
Susan Lodge
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the way the author effortlessly transported me to the French village where the story unfolds. Jaques is a fabulous hero - an enduring mixture of strength, gentleness and intelligence. I especially loved his funny and poignant interactions with five year old Junior Gendarme Mancelle.
The plot is woven around a series of missing persons that Jacque investigates whilst evaluating, his future in the police force, and his feelings for the lovely Beth who he is in danger of losing.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was the setting that drew me to this one and I was not disappointed. Angela Wren conveys a strong sense of both place and community. While this could accurately be described as a police procedural, it depends heavily on the cooperation and contributions of a community. While It has a bit of a Three Pines feel about it, there is a greater sense of rural farming life.

Jacques Foret is a rounded, engaging character with whom we empathise and Beth is a convincing mixture of confidence and naivety.
Lexie Conyngham
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rather charming, small-town France mystery, slow-moving but not cosy. Missing tourists, odd locals up to various intrigues, a distressed Englishwoman who might or might not have been deceived by her late husband, and a put-upon local policeman with a past … what else does one need? The investigation speeds up, but not unrealistically, and ends pretty well, for me. I think I’ll probably continue with the series of three books.
mrs jean attwood
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyable story

Intriguing story. Keeps you guessing all the way through. It also has a real charm about it, wonderfully atmospheric. Please keep on with this series. Am now going to read the next one.
Zoe Radley
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Pretty good read, the mystery was good, the descriptions were also good, the characters were great too but occasionally this slipped and it felt very drippy and unrealistic. But otherwise a solid novel.
Allan Hudson
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful tale, a cozy mystery with some romance tossed in as well. I thoroughly enjoyed Angela's writing style. Foret is a likable character and he's tenacious seeking for clues and answers.
Will T
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
A captivating novel with engaging characters which draws you into an enthralling mystery with an authentic French setting. Highly recommended.
Lucy Pollard-Gott
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: france
Sherlock Holmes once remarked to Dr. Watson, as they were taking a train out of London to work on a case at a country house:

“Do you know, Watson,” said he, “that it is one of the curses of a mind with a turn like mine that I must look at everything with reference to my own special subject. You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation and of the impunity with which crime may be
Elaine Tomasso
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Firstly I would like to thank Netgalley and Crooked Cat Publishing for allowing me a review copy of Messandrierre which follows Gendarme Jacques Foret's investigation into the disappearance of Rob Myers, an English student passing through the small village of Messandrierre. The plot thickens when Jacques' former girlfriend, Beth, admits to being the last person to see him and the case is linked to other disappearances in the area.
Messandrierre is a cozy read with an obvious villain so it
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Jacques Forêt, a Gendarme, in the rural French village of Messandrierre, realises that young adults have been disappearing from the area.
Will he find the perpetrator(s) before another disappearance.
Although an enjoyable read, I found that the writing was a little disjointed in places and I did determine the guilty person(s). But I will probable look out for the second in the series
A NetGalley free book.
Rhonda Lomazow
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jacque Foret must discover the cause of missing bodies in this small town.He has recently left his position in Paris due to unusual circumstances &know is determined to solve this mystery.No matter what obstacles are thrown at him by his seniors in the department he is determined to prevail. A Mystery with charm highly. recommend.
VERDICT: Life in a French village may not be what you think! Short crime mystery with well evoked setting and characters, and great suspense. Armand Gamache could easily be Jacques Forêt’s mentor!

read my full review with map and pictures:
Dec 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary galley proof in exchange for a review.

I always love a good mystery, and this book satisfied. An exotic location (south of France), a number of missing travellers, secrets, and a love interest - this story has all the elements. It was an easy to read page turner. I will read more by this author.
Katharine Johnson
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this detective story set in the beautifully-described French countryside. The plot was interesting and the characters engaging. I hope it's the first in a series as I'd like to read more.
rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2019
Ted Barrett
rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2018
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I’m an actor and director at a small theatre a few miles from where I live in the county of Yorkshire in the UK. I did work as a project and business change manager – very pressured and very demanding – but I managed to escape and now I write books.

I’ve always loved stories and story telling so it seemed a natural progression, to me, to try my hand at writing and I started with short stories. My