M.L. Longworth is an American author that has written for publications like The Washington Post and The Independent. When Longworth isn’t writing fiction and nonfiction, she is teaching at a Paris University.
M.L. Longworth was born in Toronto, Canada in 1963. Her resume includes a stint at the York University in Toronto where she studied art history. That was in the 1980s. Besides her education, Longworth counts her marriage to her husband as one of her greatest achievements.
The pair tied the knot in 1989. And they immediately bought a van and began to tour the United States. The couple initially made a home in San Juan. But a natural disaster drove them to move on.
Longworth’s life changed when circumstances convinced her to move to France with her husband and daughter. In the many years that followed, Longworth began to experiment with writing, first with nonfiction and then fiction.
The author is best known for her mysteries which feature an Aixois judge and his law professor girlfriend.
M.L. Longworth’s literary career can be traced back to 1996. The family was planning to go on a short vacation to France. Longworth’s husband had a computer. Back then, the internet was a novelty and the author wasn’t sure what to expect from it.
But, shortly before the family departed for the holiday when she tried to search for job vacancies in France, she was surprised to find an employment opportunity in a town called Gemenos that perfectly fit her husband.
The author’s husband phoned the company in question and actually secured an interview. By 1997, the family was packed and ready to move to Marseilles. Things went well for them in France at the start. But as the months went by and as the family began to transition from tourists to French residents, complications manifested.
For all the time she had spent in France, Longworth’s French did not improve, which made her interactions with the locals rather difficult. And because they were living in a city at the time, M.L. Longworth also found that she needed a car for everything, and one was not always available for her.
The family eventually made the decision to move to the countryside, a change that kept them from succumbing to the complexities of France and eventually returning to the United States.
Longworth was initially unconcerned with issues of employment. She had a daughter to care for and that consumed a lot of her time. More importantly, the author did not have working papers, which became an issue when her daughter started school.
Longworth suddenly had plenty of time on her hands. So she started writing primarily as a means of keeping busy. The author initially produced essays about France’s art and architecture. And she actually sold some of them.
Longworth’s first professional sale came courtesy of The Washington Post. It was a special moment that Longworth never forgot because it showed her the possibilities that writing and publishing held.
The journey to Longworth becoming a writer was slow. Even after selling her first essay, the author decided to take her time. She experimented with a few more essay and she continued to sell them even as the idea of a mystery set in Aix took shape in her mind.
She wrote it by longhand and kept it in her desk, going back to it whenever her essays failed to hold her attention. Longworth eventually acquired formal employment. Sometimes it took so long for magazines and newspapers to get back to her about the essays she submitted that she grew bored.
She started teaching at a bilingual Aix school. That opened the door for her to teach at New York University’s Paris campus. She abandoned the mystery in her desk for a little while. When she finally returned to it, Longworth had to make numerous alterations before her manuscript was ready for submissions to literary agents.
Longworth elicited interest from a New York agent and that paved the way for the publishing success that eventually came to her.
The author has admitted that, besides her love of the mystery genre, she was driven to write fiction because the nonfiction arena was discouraging. Not only were the replies to her essay submissions from newspapers and magazines slow but most of them were negative.
Longworth noticed that her essays featured a lot of descriptive passages about locations, food, and wine in Europe, elements that did not really interest American publications but which would be at home in a novel.
The dialogue was the biggest challenge Longworth faced during the transition from nonfiction to fiction. It took effort and numerous rewrites to make her conversations sound natural.
+Death at the Chateau Bremont
Aix-en-Provence is a historical town with a mystery. A local nobleman by the names of Etienne de Bremont is dead. And Antoine Verlaque, the Aix Chief Magistrate doesn’t believe his fall from the family chateau was an accident.
Learning that the deceased was a close friend of Marine Bonnet works in Antoine’s favor because the two have been in an on-again-off-again relationship for a while. Even with Marine’s help, finding Etienne’s killer won’t be easy because the town is full of people who could benefit from the nobleman’s death.
Antoine and Marine’s efforts are further complicated by a second death. But now they know they are dealing with murder, and no one will stop them from following a trail of breadcrumbs to the doorstep of the town killer.
+Murder in the Rue Dumas
The director of the Theology department at the University of Aix is dead, and Judge Verlaque knows that there are only a few reasons that could have sealed his fate. Professor Moutte was about to announce the recipient of a lucrative fellowship.
Moutte also had the position of director up for grabs. And that would have guaranteed its recipient an apartment in a 17th Century Mansion. If Verlaque wants to find Moutte’s killer—and he is certain it was murder—he must scrutinize the students and teachers who eagerly sought the fellowship and position of director.
But that is a long list and every suspect Verlaque looks at has what it takes to commit murder. Fortunately for the Judge, he has Marine and her plucky mother to help him make sense of things.
Books in order of publication:
Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery Books
|Death At the Chateau Bremont||(2011)|
|Murder in the Rue Dumas||(2012)|
|Death in the Vines||(2013)|
|Murder on the Ile Sordou||(2014)|
|The Mystery of the Lost Cezanne||(2015)|
|The Curse of La Fontaine||(2017)|
|The Secrets of the Bastide Blanche||(2018)|
|A Noel Killing||(2019)|