A Rather Lovely Inheritance by C.A. Belmond
Penny Nichols is an American historical researcher with relatives in England. She is working in France on a movie when her mother calls to tell her that great-aunt Penelope has died and there is to be a reading of the will that she would like Penny to attend as her parent's representative. When Penny gets to London she is reacquainted with her cousin Jeremy who is the lawyer taking care of the family’s business matters.
It wouldn't be an estate settlement if someone didn't want more than they were entitled to and sure enough, there’s a cousin who wants (and indeed needs) what somebody else is getting and has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to get it. Adding to the drama is the sudden and surprising discovery that not everyone who thinks they are family members actually are and the whole situation is even more complicated because there are two wills, one in England and one in France. What will Penny inherit? Will it put her in danger? Is there anyone at all she can trust?
This is the first of a four book series. This one turned out to be a mystery so I’m figuring the other three will probably be too. I don’t usually choose mysteries but the titles appealed to me and the reviews I read sounded like they would be just my thing. They aren’t exactly what I expected but the characters are likable and the story had some of the elements I love: villas in France and Italy, expensive things and men with British accents. I know, I know, it's a book and you can't hear them, but in my head those men sound lovely.
There is a little more swearing than I thought was necessary. Actually this story could have been told nicely, and I think better, without any swearing at all because it didn't suit the characters or the setting and felt quite out of place. I did like the book though and I bought all four together so I’m moving on to the second one now. I think it’ll be fun to read the whole series together. They aren't great literature, but they are - or at least this one is - nice light reading. We’ll see what the others bring.