Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Release Day Review: Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi

Title: Black Water Lilies 
Author: Michel Bussi 
Translator: Shaun Whiteside 
Publisher: Hachette Books 
Source: Publisher 
Published: February 7th, 2017 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 


Giverny, France. During the day, the town is the home of the famous artist Claude Monet and the gardens where he painted his waterlilies. But once the tourists have gone, there is a darker side to the peaceful French village.

This is the story of thirteen days that begin with one murder and end with another. Jérôme Morval, a man whose passion for art was matched only by his passion for women, has been found dead in the stream that runs through the gardens. In his pocket is a postcard of Monet's Water Lilies with the words: Eleven years old. Happy Birthday.

Entangled in the mystery are three women: a young painting prodigy, the seductive village schoolteacher, and an old widow who watches over the village from a mill by the stream. All three of them share a secret. But what do they know about the discovery of Jérôme Morval's corpse? And what is the connection to the mysterious, rumored painting of Black Water Lilies?


Michel Bussi's Nymphéas noirs was originally published in France in 2011 and went on to become a bestseller in the UK last year. It is translated by Shaun Whiteside and is now available for the first time in the US as Black Water Lilies. Michel Bussi is a renowned crime author in France; and after reading this novel, I can say he is most deserving of all accolades. Black Water Lilies is a complex and intricate crime novel depicting three women who live in the village of Giverny, the former home of Claude Monet and the famed gardens where he painted Water Lilies. Novice painters as well as veteran artists and many tourists arrive in droves to visit the famous village, but all is not as it seems in the quiet community. Three women know the village has a dark side.

“Three women lived in a village.  The first was mean, the second a liar, and the third an egotist.”

These three women are embroiled in a mystery that unfolds over thirteen days – “thirteen days that begin with one murder and end with another.” When Jérôme Morval, a well-known ophthalmologist and womanizer, is discovered dead in the stream that runs through the gardens, an investigation is launched. All three women share a secret, but does that secret tie in with the doctor’s death?

 "The third was the most intelligent, the second the most cunning, the first the most determined."

The setting is magnificent and had me looking up Giverny and Monet’s house online as well as pulling out old art books. Seeing the photos made me realize just how superb Mr. Bussi’s writing is because his descriptions are spot on. The detail he provided was meticulous and exactly how I envisioned the places I’d never seen and the paintings I’d forgotten that I loved. The characters are so mesmerizing that I couldn’t help but be transfixed by each of them and the plot that was being unveiled.

I don’t want to reveal another thing, no matter how trivial, about this book because believe me, you will want to discover what happens all on your own. I loved the amazing and shocking ending and everything about this story. I will definitely be reading more of this author’s work. I highly recommend Black Water Lilies for crime lovers, art lovers, and readers who are looking for a stunning, twist-filled novel. 

Huge thank-you to Hachette Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
© at A Belle's Tales



  1. I can tell just from reading the quotations that the author's writing style is lovely. This sounds like a terrific read, it isn't too dark is it?

    1. I don't think it's too dark, and I really believe you would love this book! <3

  2. This sounds perfect for you right now with all the twists and turns. I love how much you loved this one! Great review!

    1. It was an incredible read! I'm going to keep tempting you with this one until you read it ;) lol

  3. Anonymous2/20/2017

    You've convinced me, I'm off to buy this one!! Wonderful review!! -Jamie (:

    1. Yay! You're going to love it, Jamie! Thank you :)


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