27 March 2013

A Place In The Country by Elizabeth Adler, Book review

Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (June 19, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0312668365


Fifteen-year-old Issy, and a newly-single mother, Caroline Evans, are struggling to find their way alone, as well as together.  At thirty-eight, Caroline is coming to terms with this new life, even though she has little money and all the responsibility for the two of them. 

When she decides to leave their well-off lives in Singapore (and her cheating husband and his long-time mistress and powerhouse),  she ends up living in an English village pub, cooking dinners to earn enough to get by on; meeting unexpectedly quirky people, and making friends.  But Issy still adores her father and secretly blames her mother for their change in life.

When Caroline’s dream of restoring an old barn into a restaurant finally begins to come true, her chance at happiness hangs in the balance as whispers of murder and vengeance find their way to her.  When Issy, hovering in that limbo between girl and young woman, begins to make some dangerous choices, the stakes are raised even higher. 

A PLACE IN THE COUNTRY is filled with emotions that every woman will recognize as Caroline and Issy make their way in the world and do battle with those who would wish to see them lose their chances to gain their hearts’ desires.

My thoughts:

There was a definite interest on my part after reading MYSTICA's review (HERE) of 'A Place In The Country'!
This is a complex tale of love, both romantic and filial, covering two continents with multiple characters, each more intriguing than the other with at the centre of it all, women or in this case a young divorcee, her fifteen year old daughter and even a fun living grandmother.

Caroline Evans has recently ended her 16 years marriage, leaving her cheating husband in Singapore and taking along their fifteen year old daughter Issy, short for Isabel. A prenuptial agreement has left her with little to live on and she takes refuge with her parents for awhile in London. Cassandra and Henri however are moving to France and Caroline realizes it is time to start living again! First order of the day is finding a job as her ex is not regularly paying child support. Second, adjusting to single life and parenthood as Issy misses her dad and her friends. As a typical teenager, Issy's character is right on!

Call it fate or karma but while taking a weekend off to relax the pair ends up in a Cotswold's country lane in which Caroline stumbles on an old barn for sale, complete with a sign of 'Bar, Grill and Dancing'. Perhaps she could open her own restaurant? After all, once upon a time she graduated from culinary school...
Dismissing her mother's as a whim, Issy is rebelling of course wishing for both of them to return to their past life in their luxurious penthouse in Singapore.

We now come to two memorable characters in this plot: Jesus and Maggie, husband and wife team, owners of the local pub and would you believe, Mexicans? Tacos and Ploughman's platter on the same menu? 
On a typical English wet and dreary evening, they welcome a distressed Caroline and morose Issy in their Cotswold pub and into their lives with open arms. Their daughter Samm is an immediate hit with Issy and soon the two teenagers are inseparable. 
To repay Jesus and Maggie's kindness, Caroline works in the Pub's kitchen delighting the villagers with her tasteful cooking, including a chicken pot pie to die for and one villager in particular, who despite their difference of age, hopes to know her better ...

Just as Mystica hinted, this is not your typical English country tale for we discover mayhem is about to descend on the little Cotswold village in the form of a Far East murder and Caroline and her friends are soon playing sleuths 'Poirot' style.
The exquisite balance reflected in the multi faceted emotions of each individual in this tale gives an amazing twist to rights and wrongs in life. In 'A Place In the Country' Elizabeth Adler clearly excels in her ability to describe a romantic moment only to hit on reality right after. 

A heartfelt story for women of all age, reminding each one of us us living means after all taking the good and the bad together! Trust me, Caroline, Issy and Cassandra do it with flair!

My first read by Elizabeth Adler, and by no means, the last!

I give it 4 stars. 
My reason(s): Adult thematic contents including some expletives and an attempt to sexual crime leading me to recommend it for mature readers only.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Adler is a self-confessed romantic, a travel addict and a foodie, all of which she brings to the reader in her novels, along with a tough thrust of suspense and an unfolding mystery that keeps you on your toes. Elizabeth has lived in many countries and when she's not writing spends time discovering even more places to bring to you, with her husband, Richard - still in love after all these years - as are the characters featured in her past three novels, Mac Reilly the Malibu PI and Sunny Alvarez, his lover and side kick. You have to read about them to know them!
Elizabeth lives in California and has the ability to take you to all those romantic places she knows so well, Capri, Venice, Tuscany, St. Tropez, Monte Carlo, and of course, Malibu. You will feel you are there, with her, sitting on that Italian terrace, sipping that coffee, smelling the delicious food, savoring the heat and the sunshine and the mystery unfolding for you. 
Elizabeth is five-three and wishes she were taller, blind as a bat without her glasses that anyway she is too vain to wear, and at 128 lbs till thinking about that diet. She has one daughter, Anabelle who is married to rock musician Eric Avery and two kitties, the Siamese, Sweet Pea who rules the household, and an adorable black cat Sunny. 
Would you like to know more? Be sure to stop by her website (HERE
Note to Readers: As you will remember, unless stated otherwise reviews reflected only my opinions!


  1. It's got me interested I like murders set in the English countryside must say a lot happen it a wonder there are any people left, I noted the name and will keep a look out for it.

  2. I think it will provide a good afternoon's entertainment Merle! Elizabeth Adler obviously has a fertile imagination and I will be looking also for other titles.
    Happ Easter!


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