French Fried by Chris Dolley

This review was posted first on Book Lovers Inc: a cooperative blog with great reviews, interviews and lots of giveaways.

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French Fried is original for attempting to mesh comedy, travel memoir and mystery into one book.

It isn’t a book that I would normally pick up but when I read it described it as “A year in Provence with Miss Marple and Gerald Durrell”, I decided that I had to give it a try.

It is essentially a memoir about the author’s fun and (mis)adventures setting up home in France with his wife and their menagerie of animals. Dolley puts a lot of effort into describing every misadventure and happening during this harrowing but (I suspect) exhilarating time. They hire a horse box which loses its roof, move into a house with bizarre plumbing and no telephone lines, can’t speak French properly causing them problems where ever they go and buy a car that results in more trouble than its worth.

The main event of the story, however, comes closer toward the middle of the book. Dolley and his wife discover that all of their money has been stolen in a complex fraud that has been perpetrated against them. Using connections in England and France, Dolley attempts to discover who it is that has perpetrated this fraud against them.

Dolley has tried to write a very funny book. At times he succeeds, and at times I felt a bit like the humour was very forced. For me, the story didn’t really get interesting until the big fraud was revealed and Dolley and his wife (at times with his 80 year old mother in law in tow) used their sleuthing skills to solve the crime. I was fascinated to find out how he followed each little clue to the final answer, and it’s very scary to think that this happened in real life.

I enjoyed this book at times, but it wasn’t a year in Provence with Miss Marple and Gerald Durrell for me. It was an okay story of some unfortunate events that happened to a lovely couple, and I am glad that it worked out for the best in the end.


What kind of read is this?
Quick and easy, but at times a little uninteresting.

Do I recommend it?
Honestly, I can't.

Do I recommend that you buy it?

Star Rating

3 / 8

Couldn't get into it but I finished it because I felt like I should.

** This book was given to me for free by the author to review. I have given it an honest review.


  1. Hm, I'm on the fence with this one! I do love mysteries, but this sounds a little too light and delicate. Great review, though!

  2. Thanks Emidy, it is always tricky to review a book that didn't really grab your attention, especially when you are so greatful to the author for giving it to you for free.

    I have read some really good reviews of the book too, so I think with this one it probably comes down to personal taste in books and writing.

    Light is a good word to describe the writing and the story though!

  3. It is still a let down to know.But thanks for the honest review. Maybe I found his jokes very funny ;p


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