Blog Tour Book Review – Tales from the Pays d’Oc

Tales from the Pays d’Oc


The Blurb

Twenty-one tales of life, love and laughter in the land of sun and vines.

What is Matthieu doing up an olive tree? Why won’t Joséphine ever eat pizza again? Who went four by fourth? And who rescued two hapless Americans at Armageddon Falls?

Travel to the Languedoc, feel the scorch of the sun on your shoulders, smell the dust and the lavender and the ripening grapes and follow the adventures of the Saturday Club and the regulars at l’Estaminet.

In this collection of stories, Patricia Feinberg Stoner revisits the territory of her memoir, ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ with a whole host of new and familiar characters.

What I Thought

This book didn’t grab me and did take a little while to get into.  It is a book of short stories all set in the same small village in France. At first they appear unconnected apart from their location, but as you read on, the stories all start to connect up and some characters appear in a few of the stories.  I thought this was great and really enjoyed that element.

Some of the stories grabbed my attention better than others but if I am honest it wasn’t a book I wanted to reach for all the time, it just didn’t have me hooked like some do.  However, any fan of short stories will enjoy it as a charming, pleasant read.

Where To Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US

The Author – Patricia Feinberg Stoner


Patricia Feinberg Stoner is a former journalist, advertising copywriter and publicist. For four years she and her husband were accidental expatriates in the Languedoc, southern France. During that time she wrote a series of magazine articles which eventually became her first book about the Languedoc: ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc.’

Now back in the UK, she lives with her husband in the pretty West Sussex village of Rustington, where Michael Flanders encountered a gnu and the mobility scooter is king.

She spends much of her time writing short stories and comic verses. Her first book, ‘Paw Prints in the Butter’, is a collection of comic poems for cat lovers, and is sold in aid of a local animal charity. In 2017 she published her second book of comic verse: ‘The Little Book of Rude Limericks’.

In the autumn of 2018 Patricia returns to the locale of ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ with a new collection of stories: ‘Tales from the Pays d’Oc’.

Patricia welcomes visitors to her Facebook page (Paw Prints in the Butter) and to her blog 

Twitter @perdisma


Thankyou to Rachel’s Random Resources for including me on this book tour.  I was sent the book in return for my honest review.

BlogMas Day Seven – Book Review – The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers

So I thought I would share some of the festive books I have read and have been published lately which are wonderful for getting in the Christmas spirit.

The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers is a collection of eighteen festive short stories by a range of authors.  I haven’t read a short story book in a while but do really enjoy them from time to time.  The cover looked fun, if a little like a children’s book but it certainly isn’t one!  They were certainly some funny stories, some dark humour, some were lovely and some sad.  It was a real mixed bag and there were only a couple I didn’t finish that didn’t seem to suck me in like the others did.



Nine mall Santas must find the imposter among them. An elderly lady seeks peace from her murderously loud neighbors at Christmastime. A young woman receives a mysterious invitation to Christmas dinner with a stranger. Niccolò Machiavelli sets out to save an Italian city. Sherlock Holmes’s one-time nemesis Irene Adler finds herself in an unexpected tangle in Paris while on a routine espionage assignment. Jane Austen searches for the Dowager Duchess of Wilborough’s stolen diamonds. These and other adventures in this delectable volume will whisk readers away to Christmases around the globe, from a Korean War POW camp to a Copenhagen refugee squat, from a palatial hotel in 1920s Bombay to a crumbling mansion in Havana.

Includes Stories By (In Order of Appearance):
Helene Tursten, Mick Herron, Martin Limón, Timothy Hallinan, Teresa Dovalpage, Mette Ivie Harrison, Colin Cotterill, Ed Lin, Stuart Neville, Tod Goldberg, Henry Chang, James R. Benn, Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis, Sujata Massey, Gary Corby, Cara Black, Stephanie Barron and a Foreword and story by Peter Lovesey

Favourite Stories

Chalee’s Nativity

This story is set in Bangkok and is about two street children, Chalee and Apple.  It is a sweet story, if a little sad as it is never nice to think of children like this, especially at Christmas.  The bond between the two is ever present though and it just shows what joy can be bought through the simplest of things.

Cabaret Aux Assassins

This was probably my favourite of all the stories and I wish there was more!  The only problem with some short stories is that you wish they weren’t short at all, but full novels.  This book has mystery, spies, Paris and even Sherlock Holmes.  It was a fab read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Supper With Miss Shivers

A heartwarming ghost story emerges after a couple are invited to dinner by a stranger.  Although a strange situation, this is a lovely little Christmas story.

When The Time Comes

This is a good story, which shows that even the bad have some good in them.  I enjoyed this one and had my fingers crossed through it all for the central character, hoping she would get her Christmas wish of where she wanted to be.  And a baby is born which is always lovely!

I liked the fact that each story had an introduction to the author which also mentioned their other work.  It is a good place to start looking when you read a story by an author you enjoy and want to find more.

If you are a short story fan, or haven’t read one before but enjoy dark humour, mystery and Christmas then I suggest you give this one a go.  I really enjoyed it and I am sure you will too

Where To Buy