It is a pleasure to welcome the talented author Anglea Wren to my blog today. I always enjoy reading her crime mysteries set in France and look forward to reading more about her main character Jacques Forêt and the area where he lives and works. Thank you for joining me today, Angela.
Hi Val and thanks for inviting me onto your blog today and I hope you don't mind that I've brought my sidekick, Jacques Forêt, with me. OK Jacques, would you like to introduce yourself?
JF Of course, well I'm an ex-detective from Paris, which is where I grew up. I joined the rural gendarmerie following an injury whilst on duty and that decision took me to the Cévennes, where I now live and work. I left the gendarmerie and to work for a private company in Mende in 2009. My job was to establish an investigations branch within the corporation, but, having done so I then pursauded the board to let me run that arm of the corporation as an independent business. And that's what I do now. I own and manage JF Investigations.
AW You’ve lived here in Messandrierre for a number of years now, Jacques. Don’t you miss Paris at all?
JF Of course! Paris will always be home to me. But the Cévennes has its own attractions. The scenery is rugged; there are vast tracts of forest and in between lots of charming villages. And we have some significant mountain peaks here, Mont Lozère is about 1700m above sea level, Mont Aigoual is just a little less than 1600m and the Corniche des Cévennes, a series of smaller peaks, rises to just under 1000m. The Cévennes is on the southern aspect of the Massif Central and covers parts of the departement of Gard, Lozère, Hérault and Ardèche. A tributary of the river Gard rises here just north of St-André-de-Valborgne.
AW Lots of mountains and river valleys then. So what’s the weather like all year round?
JF From May to October it’s usually very warm and we have plenty of sun. But with the mountains, the weather can change very quickly. Autumn and winter can come early and up on the peaks there can be icy winds that sweep down into the valleys. So from October 1st to May 1st you can expect snow. During this time the temperature falls sharply and we often get snow in the village.
AW Does that mean you ski Jacques?
JF Err…no. I’ve never learned how to ski. This countryside is good for walking and, on a cold bright winter’s day, with snow on the ground, the scenery is beautiful. You should come back and see for yourself!
AW And that wink was out of order, Jacques! Now, you were telling me about walking here. Are the paths clearly defined and how difficult are they?
JF The ones through the forest surrounding the village are well sign-posted and they are reasonably easy for most people. But proper walking boots are essential as the terrain can be very rough. There are other longer routes with difficult climbs and I would only recommend those for people who are used to walking in mountainous areas.
AW And what about the hunting, shooting and fishing here?
JF Ahh, you hunt? That surprises me!
AW No I don’t, but hunting, shooting and fishing are sports that all have a significant following in the UK.
JF And here in France too, especially this area. From August most of the tourists who visit come here for the hunting. We have deer, stag and boar to hunt. In September and October you can buy ready-prepared Sanglier-au-Armagnac in the local supermarkets. You should try this. And of course there is fishing in the many rivers and lakes in the area. But anyone who comes to hunt here must have the correct permits.
AW Of course. As an ex-policeman, Jacques, I wouldn’t expect you to say anything else!
On a quiet forest walk, Investigator Jacques Forêt encounters a sinister scene. Convinced there is evidence of malicious intent, he treats his discovery as a crime scene.
But intent for what? Without a body, how can he be sure that a crime has been - or is about to be - committed? Without a body, how can Jacques be sure that it’s murder, and not suicide? Without a body, how can the perpetrator be found?
A baffling case that tests Jacques to his limits.
Angela Wren is an actor and director at a small theatre a few miles from where she lives in the county of Yorkshire in the UK. She worked as a project and business change manager – very pressured and very demanding – but she managed to escape, and now she writes books.
She has always loved stories and story-telling, so it seemed a natural progression, to her, to try her hand at writing, starting with short stories. Her first published story was in an anthology, which was put together by the magazine ‘Ireland’s Own’ in 2011. She also works with 8 other northern writers to create the series of Miss Moonshine anthologies. Most recently, Angela has collaborated with 8 Canadian writers to create the anthology Autumn Paths.
Angela particularly enjoys the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. Her short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery, and historical. She also writes comic flash-fiction and has drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio.
Her full-length novels are set in France, where she likes to spend as much time as possible each year.
Amazon : AngelaWren
Website : www.angelawren.co.uk
Blog : www.jamesetmoi.blogspot.com
Facebook : FacebookAngela Wren
Twitter : TwitterAngelaWren
Instagram : InstaAngelaWren
Bookbub : BookBubAngelaWren
Goodreads : GoodreadsAngela Wren
Contact an author : Angela Wren