'Death on the Riviera' sees Detective Inspector Meredith and acting sergeant, Strang, dispatched from the gloom of London in February, to the glamour of the Riviera to work with the French police in tracking down a counterfeiter. All agree it's nice work if you can get it. Meredith and Strang have a perfectly nice time working out how the racket is being run and rounding up the perpetrators, and in the process keep running into the occupants of the Villa Paloma.
The Villa is the property of Nesta Hedderwick, a wealthy widow who likes to surround herself with handsome young men. Unfortunately for Nesta the sort of young men who are happy to live off of wealthy widows are perhaps not the sort you should have in the house and it's soon clear that at least two of them are a fairly bad lot.
The actual murder comes late in the book, is ingenious - I thought the murderer should have got away with it - and easily might not have happened at all (which is a nice touch). Beyond that there's not much I can say without giving far to much plot away - which would be a shame.
The charm of the book is in its setting, Bude takes a real joy in mentioning the food, the wine, the sun, the sea - the whole package, and all he needs to do to underline the contrast between the south of France and the UK is mention that it's February a couple of times, it's more than enough. The plot might not bare to much prodding, but it's entertaining - which is what matters to me in a book like this when I'm more interested in how, than who, dunnit
Altogether I really enjoyed this one, it's another worthy addition to the British Library crime classics series, and just the thing to escape into when outside looks like this...