May 21, 2024

A Cyclist’s Guide to Crime & Croissants

By Ann Claire
Review by
A Cyclist’s Guide to Crime & Croissants is a fun, fast-paced cozy mystery set in the sun-soaked south of France.
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Ann Claire takes readers on a scenic cycling tour through the French countryside in A Cyclist’s Guide to Crime & Croissants.

In the wake of her best friend’s death, Sadie Greene’s grief nearly overwhelmed her. But when she got the chance to turn their shared dream of running a cycling business into a reality, she took it—even if it meant quitting her job in finance and moving halfway around the world to France.

As the new owner of Oui Cycle, Sadie hopes to honor Gemma’s memory and help others find their passion for cycling. But just as she begins to settle into life as an expat, someone vandalizes and threatens Oui Cycle. Then, during a cycling tour that includes her former boss from Chicago and his family, as well as a hard-to-impress travel writer, tragedy strikes. One of her cyclists dies, and the gendarmes believe it may have been murder. To save her fledgling business and the rest of her cyclists, Sadie must figure out who’s targeting her tour—before anyone else winds up dead.

Claire’s sun-soaked southern France setting is almost another character in A Cyclist’s Guide to Crime & Croissants, and readers will enjoy her in-depth descriptions of picturesque villages and droolworthy French cuisine. It’s enough to make anyone want to travel to Sadie’s new (tragically fictional) home of Sans-Souci-sur-Mer—despite the seemingly high risk of murder.

Sadie is a dynamic, multifaceted main character. Prior to Gemma’s death, she was content with her risk-averse, if boring, job. Losing Gemma—and Sadie’s guilt over not accompanying her on her ill-fated final bike ride—forces Sadie out of her comfort zone, all the way to France. When the book begins, Sadie is trying hard to become the best version of herself while also coming to terms with her grief. Claire punctuates the story with Sadie’s diary entries, which are addressed directly to Gemma. The intimate and raw messages give the mystery more emotional depth, and it’s all the stronger for it. There’s plenty of humor, too, especially from international cyclists Manfred, Philomena and Constance as they offer much-needed comic relief and support for Sadie. 

A Cyclist’s Guide to Crime & Croissants is a fun, fast-paced ride through France, and readers will be left eager for a return trip to Sans-Souci-sur-Mer.

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