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Black Water Lilies

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  9,431 ratings  ·  1,473 reviews
From the bestselling author of AFTER THE CRASH ('a novel so extraordinary it reminded me of reading Stieg Larsson for the first time' Sunday Times), a thrilling intrigue about a missing masterpiece. 'A work of genius ... jaw-dropping' Daily Express.

Ends with one of the most reverberating shocks in modern crime fiction' Sunday Times

This is the story of thirteen days that be
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 9th 2017 by W&N (first published January 2011)
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This is an outstanding read, set in Giverny, the beloved home of Claude Monet, a place now preserved in memory of the impressionist artist and his obsession with water lilies that inspired his innovative paintings. We linger in the place for thirteen days in May 2010, which begins with the murder of Jerome Morval, a rich opthalmologist with a love of Monet and art, and numerous extramarital entanglements. Connected with the murder is the art prodigy, Fanette Morelle, almost eleven years old and ...more
“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”

----Claude Monet

Michel Bussi, a French award-winning author, has penned a gut-wrenching and extremely intriguing crime thriller, Nympheas Noirs that has been translated into English by Shaun Whiteside and the English title is called, Black Water Lilies. The mystery revolves around a rich doctor's murder that occurred near Monet's famous garden in Giverny, that lea
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I tried to start reading this book about 3 times and always gave up because the beginning is a bit confusing. But on a Saturday afternoon, I began to read this story seriously and I couldn't get stopped, and went until Sunday at 2:40 a.m.; that is, I read 346 pages in one sitting. The author writes very well and has full control of the art of writing, and the ending was very surprising to me. Of course, it helped the facts that I love Impressionism and I have read some basic books on this subjec ...more
Karen Whittard
Thank you to Netgalley, Orion Publishing group and Michel Bussi for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance reader copy of this book.

You can find my review on both Goodreads and Amazon. On and on Amazon under k.e.whittard from publication date.

Oh dear I think I might be rather lonely with this review. But when I am offered to read a book for an honest review. That is what I always give.

When I saw this as an early re
Literary Han
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really did enjoy this book! It was beautifully written and really grabbed me and didn't let go. I never read crime fiction but this was a fantastic example of the genre!
The ending was bloody brilliant!
I highly recommend!
Buddy Read with Murugesh.

This book is originally written in French and I read the translated english version of this.
"The third, the youngest, was called Fanette Morelle; the second was called Stephanie Dupain; the first, the oldest, that was me."

The story follows 3 women, at different stages of life,all with the desire to escape the small town of Giverny and inadvertently trying to escape their dull lives.

There is a murder committed and the plans and lives of these three women may be impac
Zuky the BookBum
Fuck you, people on Goodreads who don't hide their spoilers.

DNF @ 30%

I wasn't really getting on with this novel. I found the dialogue really weird and unnatural (maybe it was lost in translation?) and I didn't like any of the characters, especially not Laurenc Serenac or Stephanie Dupain but if you're going to review this with spoilers, TAG THEM AS SPOILERS YOU LITTLE SHITS.

There is a chance that I would have kept going with this but now I know what happens, what's the point? If I was enjoying t
May 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh my, sorry that this turned out to be a 2.5 star at the most. And that it could not be rounded up because of its length and repeating intermittent over the top 3 or 5 page death struggles or other "event" scenarios that played out so theatrically. At points this reminded me of one of those ancient pirate (Errol Flynn- if any of you even know who he was) black and white films where the sword play and stabbings finale lasted 20 minutes and used 3 levels of the ship's structure. And within all th ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I needed to step away for a day to collect my thoughts and impressions. After I finished reading this book, I felt a lingering sense of sadness and suffocating malaise; in fact, I couldn't seem to shake it.

This amazing novel was written in French by Michel Bussi and translated into English by Shaun Whiteside. The setting is Giverny, France, home of the impressionists and describes the life and works of Claude Monet in great detail. The setting is enchantingly idyllic and takes place over thirtee
The French, they are romantics at heart.

Classic mysteries are at their core a romantic imagining, where in the neat(er) world of fiction the cases get tied up nicely with a ribbon at the end. And in a way, this is one such book.

It's tempting to start second-guessing from the beginning - which by the way opened in a fairytale-style recital by a wizened voice - but it'd be more fun to simply go with the flow till the dramatic reveal.

For past that point, the puzzle pieces would fall in and you c
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, mystery
A mystery novel set in Giverny, the French village where Claude Monet spent 30 years painting the waterlilies in his famous garden. The book starts off with the murder of Dr. Morval, a successful ophthalmologist whose passions included womanizing and paintings. An old postcard found in his pocket seems to indicate that a child who will soon celebrate his or her 11th birthday, is in danger. Laurenc Serenac, the new police inspector, is convinced that the murderer is Jacques Dupain, husband of the ...more
Nancy Oakes
While the book is not perfect, I do have to say that I've read a lot of crime novels in my time and the ending of this one makes up for all of the problems I had with some of the writing and plot issues in this novel. The truth is that midway through this book something came up in the reading that made me think about tossing it across the room, but then I decided to give it a chance because I was at the point of being so heavily invested. Luckily the story redeemed itself and turned out to be on ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully written but slightly slow mystery set in Giverny, the home of Monet.

I really liked how the story was stepped with the artist influences, but as I’m not too familiar with he’s work some of the elements were slightly lost on me.

It’s a slow read and I can imagine some readers might check out midway.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed this cleverly constructed and depicted crime mystery; the second Michel Bussi I have read. The death of Jerome Morval brings the former home of Claude Monet the artist, his love of water lilies and the love of those who live in or work in the village all crashing together.

That murder starts the story told over 13 days involving others but principally a young girl, a school-teacher and an elderly women.

As the police arrive to investigate, what becomes clear is the murder is myst
Claire Wilson
While I liked reading this novel, I think the prolonged ending ruined my overall pleasure. It was also a little confusing when the twist was revealed. However, I never saw it coming. A good police procedural regarding murder in the hometown of Claude Monet. 3 stars
Renita D'Silva
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this amazing book! Wow! Beautiful writing and a twist I didn't see coming! Amazing! ...more
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was not aware when ordering this that it was a murder mystery. I tend to stay away from that oeuvre. I am not sure, but I think there is a difference in writing style/sophistication between say a typical murder mystery and other works of fiction. I was not comfortable with the writing style. And perhaps in large part because of that, BUT because I was bound and determined to get through the book AND it was >400 pages long AND throughout I was saying “I do not like this writing style,” I could ...more
Man, I should have guessed.

Such a cop out. SUCH A COP OUT. But I am getting ahead of myself.

A murder happens in the picturesque French village of Giverny- the home of Claude Monet and his famous water lilies. Jerome Morval was stabbed, then his face smashed in by a rock and then his head dunked in a brook. He was a successful cataract surgeon, a rampant womanizer and an art collector who dreamt of owning an undiscovered Water Lilies by Monet.

There are three women here. A painting prodigy of 11
Andy Weston
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, translated, france
This is a stylish literary crime mystery that has its ups and downs. Rest assured that neither a love nor knowledge of art is necessary to enjoy the book, though an appreciation of Impressionism helps. One of the novel's strengths is it's setting, in Giverny, on the banks of the Seine and 'the Garden of Paris', the home of the painter Claude Monet. French village life across the twentieth century is brought t like by Bussi, and is a perfect backdrop for the story.

The story is of three women, an
Arybo ✨

Three women lived in a village. The first was mean, the second a liar, and the third an egotist. Their village bore the pretty name of a garden. Giverny.

All three were quite different. But they had something in common, a secret. All three dreamed of leaving. Yes, of leaving Giverny, the famous village that compels swarms of people to travel across the entire world just to stroll in its gardens for a few hours. Because of the Impressionists. The first woman, the oldest, owned a pretty paintin
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: am-i-thrilled
I was looking forward to reading Black Water Lilies because it was set against the background of Impressionist Claude Monet and his art.

I love art and using it as a plot device made it a more interesting format than a typical police procedural, which is what I thought I was getting.

That's not what I got. I would have preferred a standard police procedural.

Black Water Lilies wasn't terrible, it just wasn't very good and it could have been.

Or, it could have been better with better editin
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An off chance decision to read a French crime novel written by the most popular crime writer in the country, and its really been disappointing! I don’t remember the last time I gave a book two stars, but there was nothing redeeming about this one.
I finished it anyway, only to see where the story was going, and only to find that the eventual “twist” was almost annoying, instead of what may have been a charmingly wow moment for many - going by the ratings.

Three things that I think completely fail
The original idea of this book looked quite original in the beginning of the book.

But then the main plot starts to diffuse between the romantic involvement of the main characters making a kind of mess of the whole thing.

Quite a pity.
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Murder mystery set in GIVERNY

Catch our review on You Tube:

You couldn’t possibly set a novel in Giverny without copious references to Claude Monet, his life and work. and ponder his influence on the village. Delightfully evocative and colourful, Giverny is a character in itself, with all the milling tourists and local characters.

The village ophthalmologist, Jérôme Morval, is found dead with his head face down in the local river. Inspector Laurenç Sérénac arrives on th
Denice Sannkey
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's the only book that's made me cry...well done, Michel Bussi on such a fine book. ...more
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful read overall and I’d highly recommend. On the surface a detective story, but was constructed on a unique idea—accentuating the passage of time, like the concept of impressionism.
At the onset, we were told that it was May 2020.there were three women, at different age (over 80, 36 and near 11) , with different personality and the dream of their lives, all wanted to escape Giverny, the home of coveted Monet’s gardens. During a 13-day mysterious period, only 1 could manage to escape. On t
Reading this one I've told myself a lot that this would have done a better novel then a comic. Then I went to review it and realize it's actually an adaptation from a novel... Lucky me, a novel I know want to read! But for this adaptation... well obviously a story that was interesting, but too slow in a comic book format for me. The characters are a bit clichés but nonetheless interesting and I think that an actual novel would bring depth to the them. An overall okay comic, but i think the origi ...more
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit: I had not understood! ANd that's all the point in writing a mystery!!!
Well done Bussi!
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michel Bussi is a renowned crime fiction writer and winner of many awards in his native France, BLACK WATER LILIES being the second of his books translated into English. It would appear from both of them (the first was AFTER THE CRASH) he is particularly good at unusual, absolutely enthralling scenarios.

Start reading BLACK WATER LILIES and you could be forgiven for double-checking the classification of this book. It doesn't read at all like a crime novel, but then it's not immediately clear whe
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh, here we go again...
So much anticipation, so little admiration...

I really liked the beginning. It was all layered in mystery, all understated, untold, just hinted...
But then... it just kind of mixed up and messy, so that I had to go back a few pages to check, whether I got this right, and what would this mean...

I don't know how to even rate this book. By all means, it is an unusual one. Or, perhaps, rather confusing... a bit too much confusion for my liking. I am not sure whether it is the c
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Michel Bussi est un auteur et politologue français, professeur de géographie à l'université de Rouen. Il est spécialiste de géographie électorale.

Michel Bussi is one of France's most celebrated crime authors. The winner of more than 15 major literary awards, he is a professor of geography at the University of Rouen and a political commentator. After the Crash, his first book to appear in English,

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