cover image Peaches for Father Francis

Peaches for Father Francis

Joanne Harris. Viking, $26.95 (459p) ISBN 978-0-670-02636-4

Harris returns to the setting and heroine that will be familiar to readers of her bestselling Chocolat series. Vianne Rocher is summoned back to the village of Lansquenet by a friend who is seeking to smooth tensions between the Christian community and new Muslim immigrants, bringing Vianne face to face with nemesis Fr. Francis Reynaud, the target of much of the immigrants' resentment. As Vianne spends time in the village, she becomes fascinated by In%C3%A8s Bencharki, who, beneath her veil, is a flashpoint for discord between the communities. The more that Vianne investigates, the more puzzling seem the events happening in the village. And when people start dying, tensions soar, meaning it will take a miracle, or perhaps just an enchanted chocolatier, to save the town (again). Readers familiar with the Rochers will welcome the newest installment of their story, particularly as it addresses contemporary problems in a familiar setting. While new readers may be surprised by incongruous glimpses of magic, they will appreciate this sensitively told tale. Agent: Peter Robinson, RCW Literary. (Oct.)