A Bouquet of Rue
A Maggie MacGowen Mystery #12
Perseverance Press, April 2019
If you’ve never been to France, Hornsby’s A Bouquet of Rue will prove a good substitute to getting a passport. Maggie MacGowen, a documentary filmmaker, has joined her fiancé, Jean-Paul Bernard, to prepare for their wedding, as well as make films for a French TV company. Maggie has contacts and family in France, so she is not without means, and Jean-Paul is an important person as well. Within a few days of Maggie’s arrival, however, it seems a teenage girl has gone missing, and a Muslim refugee is being not only bullied at school without the girl, Ophelia’s, support, but is being blamed for her disappearance. Maggie and Jean-Paul become involved because their semi-permanent house guest, Dr. Ari Massarani, also a Muslim refugee, teaches Nabi and comes to his defense.
I found most of the book dealt with French customs, their food, their drink, their lifestyles⏤not so very different from their American counterparts. Perhaps they are even more concerned with money⏤or the lack thereof. And both their family and their national attitudes are maybe more closed than Americans often are. The food and drink parts are a little overwhelming to one for whom food is fuel.
Was there a murder? Yes. Did I care? Not so much. More interesting was the spotlight shown on racial profiling and school bullying, apparently a world-wide problem with no resolution in sight. But I would say this book takes a good hard look at it. Read, think, and learn.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, July 2019.
Author of Five Days, Five Dead, Hereafter and Hometown Homicide.