I am slowly, oh so slowly, approaching the end of my second (and last) ex-pats saga in SW France. “Paradise and Miss Jane Pollitt” is a very loose follow-on to “Pigs”: I think it is quite good (but I would, I suppose) but whether the publishers will share my enthusiasm is a matter for conjecture. Hopefully they will get it in a week or so, so we will see. Those of you who have read “Pigs” will recall the ghastly Norman Titley and the village gossip Chantale Danne: well, factor in the local Brits' annual pantomime (directed by “Binkie” Van Steen (real name Vanstone) and his French friend Po-Po, a disputed will, a poaching postman and – but I am telling you too much! Let's see if it's published, shall we?

Meanwhile, there is always my five crime fictions and the Isle of Wight story for your consideration….

A French reader reviews (4*) :4.0 étoiles sur 5
Excellentes descriptions des ambiances, des personnages hauts en couleur !
C'est une histoire délirante et "gargantuesque". Et si le ton est à la satire , on ressent toute la tendresse de l'auteur pour cette région, ses habitants et ses "ex-pats"
On passe un excellent moment
Pas tres difficile à lire en anglais pour un niveau moyen .

Sorry it's in French, but see below if you need:

4.0 stars out of 5

Excellent descriptions of moods, colorful characters!
It's a crazy story and "gargantuan." And if the tone is to satire, we feel all the author's affection for this region, its people and its "ex-pats"
We spend a great time
Not very difficult to read in English to a medium level.

I thank all those who bought my books this past week and I sincerely hope you enjoy what you read. If so, and if you have a moment, a review on Amazon perhaps? Encouragement and support makes a great deal of difference to unknown writers and has been known to lift us from the depths of depression to the highest levels of euphoria! Which at my age may be very dangerous, but I'll take the risk!

"There was never any doubt and it was never disputed that Solange Guilbeault's truffle pig had gained entry to the Barclay-Jones' garden. Nor that it had found its way into the house and caused what the Barclay-Jones described as “extensive and costly damage”. That the beast had eaten their kitten (“Minou”), though, was by no means certain and something upon which the St. Laurent jury was still out.

Solange was well known in the district. In her late thirties, she was grossly overweight, of manly appearance and had the strength of a black Camargue bull. Her lank, dark hair always seemed to be damp (opinion favoured sweat over showering) and her muscular arms and meaty fists had split no end of lips and flattened as many noses in any number of local bars. Always seen in blue bib-and-brace overalls over a blue or green vest (she had only one of each), green rubber boots and in winter a heavy ex-army great-coat, she lived alone in a tiny, isolated cottage on the road between St. Laurent and Frayssinet. Her pig, “Mauricette”, had a crude and rickety form of sty in a shed in the small back garden, but rumour had it that when the nights were bitter and the damp and mists crept up from the River Lot, she joined Solange inside: after all, she was her owner's mainstay, her sole source of income, and such assets should be cosseted.

That Solange was popular in the area was evidenced by her several children (the precise number had been the subject of argument for years) who were variously lodged with her mother in Villeneuve-sur-Lot and an aunt in Prayssac. Full of the rough, black Cahors wine and a few measures of eau-de-vie, depending on her mood Solange would either fight or fornicate. It was widely accepted that she enjoyed and excelled at both pursuits and that her involvement in either had never been known to be accompanied by any form of sentiment: Solange did not fall in love – nor did she ever bear any grudge towards anyone she had felt cause to assault, be it under the influence of drink or otherwise.

She roamed the countryside on foot, inevitably with Mauricette plodding in her wake, led by a length of rope attached to a brass ring in her ever-dripping nose. From autumn onward, if asked by landowners she would spend hours in woodlands encouraging the pig, which was able to scent a truffle as far as three feet below the ground. Obliging farmers and the owners of woods and copses were rewarded with what Solange showed them as being half of her harvest. Those disinclined to allow her on their land (she would go anyway) – or those she did not bother to ask – were not that fortunate."