Those of us who are not young, slim and beautiful will love the unconventional heroine, Penelope Toomey. She claims the right for middle-aged women to be sexy and adventurous.
In the opening set of stories, author Christine Collette weaves spells that take an ordinary, unsuspecting woman on missions more important (to ordinary women) than a Bond movie.
Penelope Toomey – Pigs for short – is a heroine with a difference, tubby, debt-ridden and often calamitous. Her adventures range from Paris to Amsterdam, directed by an enigmatic spymaster with whom she falls in love.
The theme of romance, with a spice of danger and mystery, also lights the stories that follow in this collection. They are balanced with pieces set in the author’s village in rural France which will appeal to Francophiles everywhere. The collection is completed by an exposé of the character of Louise Maigret, from the Simenon stories, and a follow-up to Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Victorian sensation novel.
In the round, the collection challenges conventional ideas of women, their lives and loves, their sexuality and their capacity for adventure
About the Author
Born and raised in London, Christine Collette now lives in rural South West France, in a stone cottage restored by her husband. Before settling in France ten years ago she had lived in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Lancashire, where she taught history and women’s studies at Edge Hill University.
A life-long trades unionist, she studied at Ruskin College and then Corpus Christi and St. Hugh’s Colleges at Oxford. She has published extensively in the fields of Labour History and Women’s Studies. Since her husband’s death in 2008 she has concentrated on writing fiction, and also teaches English as a volunteer at her local Université de Temps Libre.