30 October 2015.
Marine's father is a lover of Cézanne and knows a great deal about the artist and his work and, while Verlaque deals with present day problems, Marine and her family investigate the historical mystery and attempt to discover the identity of the subject and her relationship with Cézanne. Intermingled with the contemporary investigation are several short historical chapters telling the story of Cézanne's relationship with Manon, a young woman of poor family who works in a local pâtisserie, but who loves nature and understands Cézanne's art.
The Mystery of the Lost Cézanne is the fifth book in the series featuring Verlaque and Bonnet. It is a gently paced book with long descriptions of a luxurious, hedonistic lifestyle but the central mystery is intriguing enough to keep the reader engaged. The past and present are skilfully interwoven, and the chapters about Manon and Cézanne are particularly charming, giving the reader an insight into their relationship that the fictional investigators cannot fully achieve. The changing face of Aix-en-Provence and the places that still survive, including the pâtisserie, provide a delicately described link between the past and present and bring to life a place with a warm, rich character of its own.
Reviewer: Carol Westron