9 Fantastic Book Series For Readers Who Love Italy And France

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post with a new list of books for intrepid travelers. Over the past couple of years I’ve been reading a few new series (new to me anyway) and more books in existing series, all with a travel oriented theme.

I love reading books set in Italy (obviously!) and in France where I have also spent an enormous amount of time over the years. I was explaining to a friend recently that for the most part I tend to read two types of books. When my brain has down time I like to read complex, fast paced thrillers (like Mark Dawson’s John Milton series and L.T Ryan’s Jack Noble series. I also enjoy Patricia Cornwall’s and Kathy Reichs’ books, and anything that moves quickly and requires more thinking to follow what’s going on.

But when I am super busy, which this year has been most of the time, I use books to quiet my mind and relax, so look for a different type of book. Mostly books set in Italy and France and other euro-locales. I am a voracious reader and blow through books quickly, so love reading on a Kindle (I have the Kindle Paperwhite). You can borrow library books on Kindle, you can access prime reading (free books from the Amazon library), and with no manufacture and shipping costs you can access books very inexpensively too. Often authors with big series will make the first in series free, and from there the books run anywhere from 99cents on promotion to an average price of $4.99. Heads up: as an author I can tell you I make the same amount of money if someone buys my books in paperback or as a kindle eBook, so don’t be thinking an author loses out if you buy eBooks!

Anyway, in no specific order the following are book series I’ve been reading over the past couple of years. They make great holiday/anytime reading for you too, and also make fantastic end of year gift ideas. Enjoy!

RELATED POST: 21 Books To Inspire Your Wanderlust

The Department Q Series

The Department Q series is a police series with a twist, set in Denmark. A course of unfortunate events leads the police department to create a one man cold case squad in order to get this trouble maker (Carl Mørck, our protagonist) out of their hair. They then give him a quirky Syrian immigrant and a schizophrenic girl as assistants, and somehow the three of them build their department into a brilliant case solving unit.

The main characters are diverse and quite nutty, but incredibly compelling. These books are so clever and so well written, with intriguing subplots. I’m about to start book 7 on 9 and am dreading finishing the series. Book one is The Keeper of Lost Causes, pictured above. See the series here on Amazon. It is also available as a library book on Kindle.

Philip Gwynne Jones Venice Series

The Philip Gwynne Jones Venice Murder Series is a murder mystery series with a twist. Nathan Sutherland is a slightly bumbling British fellow living with his temperamental attack cat in an upstairs apartment on the Street of Assassins in Venice. He works as a translator of boring DIY manuals, and is the British Honorary Consul of Venice, an unpaid and only marginally interesting position that at least gets him into some interesting cocktail parties. Throughout the series he stumbles into one murder mystery after another, somehow managing to solve them in the end. These books are hard to put down and have the added advantage of being set in the most unique city on earth, Venice

The first book in the 7 book series is The Venetian Game . Check out the series here on Amazon. Also available as a library book on Kindle.

RELATED POST: 15 Fabulous Books Set In Italy

The Murder In Tuscany Series

T.A Williams’ Murder In Tuscany series falls into the cozy mystery category. These are fun, breezy murder mysteries that are easy to read and superbly enjoyable. In book one, Murder in Tuscany, we meet Dan Armstrong, a recently retired British detective who has come to Tuscany on a creative writing retreat for Brits. A murder transpires and as an English speaking ex-cop he is able to help the local homicide detective. The two form a friendship and Dan decides to stay in Tuscany, setting up the rest of the series.

If you enjoy books set in and around gorgeous Tuscany you’ll love this fun series. At the time of writing this post there are 6 books in series with book number 7 on pre-order. Check them out here on Amazon.

The Tuscan Vineyard Series

34 year old Chicago ad exec Olivia Glass finds her life crumbling around her so takes her best friend up on the idea of spending the summer in Tuscany. While there she gets a job in a local winery, buys a round down farmhouse, and finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery.

The Tuscan Vineyard Series makes for fun, breezy reading with the backdrop of beautiful Tuscany adding to the splendor. These books are enjoyable reading for anyone who has ever fallen in love with Tuscany, dreamt about moving there or has wished they could fix up a rundown stone house in the Tuscan hills. The first book in the series, Aged For Murder, is free on Kindle, or 7.99 in paperback. Check it out here on Amazon. Author Fiona Grace has several other series including one set in Sicily which I have downloaded but not yet read.

Camilla Trinchieri Tuscan Mysteries

I recently started reading Camilla Trinchieri’s Tuscan Mysteries series and have been throughly enjoying them. Her protagonist is an ex NYPD homocide cop who relocates to Chianti to be with her family after his Italian wife dies. Of course he stumbles upon a murder, and then ends up helping the local carabinieri to solve it.

I am midway through this series and am thoroughly enjoying it. The first in series is Murder in Chianti, and is available on Kindle for 2.99. The series does seem to be available to borrow from the library on Kindle too. See the Tuscan Mysteries series here on Amazon.

RELATED POST: 14 More Books For Travel Lovers, Set In Italy

Bruno, Chief of Police

Zipping over to my other great European love – France, we now get to meet Bruno, Chief of Police. This 16 book series is a glorious romp through southern France where our hero, Bruno, a small town policeman, solves murders while juggling village life, cooking French food and enjoying local wines. Bruno lives in a remodeled shepherd’s cottage in the hills, grows his own vegetables, and lives a simple but pleasurable life. This is a lovely balance to the complexity of the murders he solves. This is a fabulous series and I am hoping author Martin Walker will keep Bruno’s adventures going for many more books!

See bruno Chief of Police here on Amazon.

The MAGGIE NEWBERRY Mysteries

I couldn’t really get into the first book in this series, but you need to read it in order for the rest of the series to make sense. And once it gets going it is fabulous!

Maggie Newberry is an Atlanta based ad exec (I think she was in advertising?) who comes to the South of France to bring her murdered sister’s body home. While there she discovers her sister had a child the family knew nothing about. With the help of a local conman she works to track down the missing child and figure out a more complex and dark mystery along the way.

The first book in series, Murder in the South of France, combines murder, mystery, and romance, setting up the entire series to follow. This is a tremendous series, 24 books deep at the time of writing this post, with more books on the way. Check them out here on Amazon.

RELATED POST: 10 Fabulous Books Set In Venice

The Stranded In Provence Series

Before I discovered the Maggie Newberry books I read Susan Kiernan Lewis’s Stranded in Provence series, and then her American in Paris books. All three series are highly addictive!

All three protagonists in these separate series hail from Atlanta and wind up living in France. This time the initially ditzy Jules Hooker has booked a trip to Provence with her boyfriend, thinking he will propose to her. When he backs out at the last minute she decides to come alone anyway. She then discovers she has booked herself into a remote Provençal village, far from the glamor she had envisaged. She is about to give up and head back to Atlanta when a dirty bomb is dropped in the Mediterranean, knocking out all electrics and communications for the foreseeable future. Now she is trapped in a village where she knows no one, in a country where she doesn’t speak the language, where cars and phones and microwaves no longer work. To top it off she finds a dead body and has to solve the murder in order to save herself.

Parlez Vous Murder is the first book in this series. From the beginning the premise is quite clever, and sets up endless complications for Jules as the series progresses. These books are lots of fun and are wonderful for anyone who loves the South of France

See the Stranded in Provence series here on Amazon.

The American In Paris/Claire Baskerville Series

This series is also by Susan Kierman Lewis with another clever premise. Claire Baskerville is a 60 something American woman with a genetic brain anomaly that makes it impossible for her to remember faces. She travels to Paris with her husband, who is then brutally murdered. Alone in the City of Light Claire now has to not only figure her way around the city, but also figure out who killed her husband. Making matters worse, the local police are hopeless. Claire then discovers her husband had a whole secret life, a financial crisis is looming, and she is going to have to hide out in Paris for the foreseeable future.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable series especially if you enjoy Paris. It’s fun to have a protagonist in her 60s too! The first book in this series, Dejà Dead is free on Kindle or $10.99 in paperback. Check the series out here on Amazon. There are 12 books in the series, with book 13 on pre-order for 2024.

How To Move To Italy: What You Need To Know To Live The Dream Life

Noto sunset view

Are you planning a move to Italy? Maybe you’ve been to Italy and are dying to live there, be it part time or full time. Or maybe you are dreaming of retiring to Italy? Perhaps you just got home from a trip to Italy and desperately want to infuse your home life with some Italian magic? Whatever it is you are looking for or hoping to do I have all the help you need!

Some European countries, such as Holland and Portugal make it super easy to obtain long term visas. Italy on the other hand, is a complicated country to move to. The visa process is not only complicated, it is also confusing. Italy doesn’t offer many visa options for long stays or to move there. If you’ve ever looked into the Italy visa process, you’ll know it is completely overwhelming. On top of that each consulate has different rules and requirements for your visa application. The New York consulate requires different things from the Miami consulate, which is different again from the San Francisco consulate – and on it goes.

How To Move To Italy

The amount of paperwork required is staggering too. This is not a complaint – it’s just the reality. If you want to move to this amazing country you need to amass an enormous amount of paperwork, and if you arrive to your meeting at the consulate missing even one piece, your visa will be automatically denied. Consequently most of us mere mortals need help navigating these potentially treacherous waters. I’ve been working with a company that does just that – helps people like you and me move step by step through the process.

Smart Move Italy is doing a FREE 3 day bootcamp on September 12th, 13th and 14th (details here) Each day has a one hour live class, which you can watch as a replay is you can’t do it live. Each day covers a different aspect of what you need to know to successfully move to Italy.

What You’ll Learn

Some of what is covered includes:
Cost of living: 
How you can afford the lifestyle in Italy. 

Timing is everything: Why now is a great time to move to Italy 

Tips to success: The #1 reason people struggle to make the move & how to avoid it 

Save money: How your residence location can save you thousands in taxes 

Preparing is key: Top things to prepare for when buying or renting property 

Benefits: How living in the EU can have huge benefits to your lifestyle 
Visa’s & more: 
What are the pathways to legally move to Italy 

Avoiding pitfalls: The top three problems most people face when preparing to move

Save time: How you can make the move and spend less time, money and live stress free 

Smart Move Italy only offers this free Italy Bootcamp once each year. So far more than 15,000 people have attended and been helped to make the move of a lifetime. They also have programs to help you with your visa application, they can help you secure accommodation, help you wade through the paperwork needed once you’ve moved to Italy, and even have expat groups for you to join. You are immediately included into groups of other folks just like you who are in various stages of the process.

Maybe you just want more information about maybe moving to Italy some day. Or maybe you want to find out about living between Italy and your home country. Perhaps you love Italy and just want to know how to spend more time there. If you love Italy this free bootcamp is for you! You can REGISTER HERE.

If you can’t make the live event you can still watch the replays, so long as you have registered.

Bonus!

Samantha Wilson, CEO of Smart Move Italy has kindly agreed to do a special live Q & A session for members of my newsletter and followers of my blog. On Saturday September 16th at 7pm Italy time/ 10am Pacific Standard Time/1pm Eastern Standard Time, Samantha and I will be doing a live Q & A from Italy. Samantha will be coming to you from Florence and I will be patching in from Rome. You can ask us questions about the Italian lifestyle, how to get a deeper travel experience in Italy, how to spend more time in Italy and how to move there. You can ask specific questions about visas, getting your Permesso di Soggiorno, anything about the moving process, whether it’s a full time move or a part time move.

Sign up for our free Q & A session here

You don’t have to have done the bootcamp to join the Q & A, but I definitely recommend signing up for both, as once you’ve been to the Q & A session you will definitely want to go back and watch the replays of the bootcamp classes!

Save Big on Travel Essentials: Amazon Prime Day Deals for Travelers

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

The Amazon Prime Day Sale for 2023 is on July 11th and 12th. If you’re not familiar with Amazon Prime Day sales this is a 2 day window when Amazon offers massive discounts on millions of products in every category you can think of. If you don’t belong to Amazon Prime you can get a free 30 day trial here.

It is a fantastic opportunity to stock up on items you already use and love, and to pick up some wishlist items at brilliant discounts. You can buy things out of season, such as clothing, rainy day gear, winter coats etc, as well as current season items. If you are a traveler, whether one with an upcoming trip in the next few months or one with plans for next year or beyond, this is a great time to purchase items for your travels. It’s also a good opportunity to pick up some Christmas shopping well ahead of time, at a great price!

If you belong to my newsletter you will recognize many of the following products as my favorite travel items that I talk about all the time. Others are new things currently waiting in my shopping cart for July 11th!

Gadgets and Devices

apple air tags

Absolute MVP for anyone who uses Apple devices! I swear by my Apple AirTags. They have brought me so much peace of mind on international flights, from being able to see my suitcase made it onto the flight to being able to find it once we land. On my most recent flight my suitcase was put on the wrong luggage carousel, but thanks to the AirTag I found it within a couple of minutes. Buy a 4-pack or buy individually. See prices here.

portable travel fan

Travel device MVP #2. This small, portable hand-held fan is the top of every traveler’s most valued player list and was a lifesaver this summer in Italy on boiling hot days. With its USB charging port there are no batteries needed, and the charge lasts a surprisingly long time. See Prime day pricing here.

best travel steamer for international travel

MVP travel device #3. If you belong to my newsletter you’ll already know I bought this Conair Travel Steamer before heading to Italy in February. It is easily one of my best travel buys ever. During my May and June Glam Italia Tours I used it most days and it was a game changer! Several of my tour travelers had purchased it too and loved theirs as well. This steamer is small enough and lightweight enough to pack easily, but powerful enough to steam multiple clothing items per water change. I won’t travel without it! See Prime Day pricing here.

kindle paperwhite

For avid readers (like me) Kindles make fantastic travel companions! You can store more than 5000 books on a Kindle, so you always have endless books to read, without the bulk and weight filling up your suitcase. I do all my reading on my Kindle and would be lost without it. Buying books on a Kindle is very inexpensive – anywhere from 99cents to $9.99. You can also subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and get as many books as you want for free with your monthly subscription.

If you prefer to consume audio books, you can check out Audible pricing and a free 30 day Audible trial here.

I’ve had my Kindle Paperwhite for a few years now and swear by it. I bought it during a Prime Day sale, so got great pricing. See this year’s Prime day pricing here.

Multiple generations of Apple AirPods are expected to be available in the Prime day sale. See pricing here.

Even though I have all Apple products I wound up buying Beats Studio Buds on a previous Prime day sale. I wasn’t sure I’d like wireless headphones and was worried I would lose them. The Beats Studio Buds have been great and of course, cost much less than the Apple ones.

I’ve been using a hairdryer brush similar to this one (but in full size) for a couple of years now and always wish I had it with me when I travel. I just discovered this travel sized Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium version and have it in my cart ready for Prime Day. The Nano Titanium technology gives you a smooth blowout instead of the frizzy mess many travel dryers leave you with. I’m excited to try it! See Prime day Pricing here. My regular travel hairdryer is by the same company and is fantastic. You can see it here. I’ve been using it for years and it’s still going strong. It may be tiny but it is professional strength and dries my masses of hair quickly and smoothly.

I also have this travel sized flat iron in my Amazon cart. I bring a regular size curling iron when I travel but don’t want to take up the space or weight of a second full sized hair tool. I will be using this travel sized flat iron to tame smaller sections (like under my pony tail) that a curling iron is too big for. Check Prime Day pricing here.

iPad Amazon Prime Day deals

iPads are handy to have when traveling. Check the Apple iPad 9th Generation with bionic chip for Prime Day sales discounts. See price here.

See more travel essential gadgets on my Amazon shop page here.

Apparel

I have multiple MVP travel clothing items on my Amazon page (Amazon.com/shop/CorinnaTravels) Check out my travel clothing page here.

The best selling anti-theft crossbody travel handbag is on sale at 41% off! Now is the time to grab the Travelon AntiTheft Crossbody bag. The body of the bag is slash proof, the shoulder strap has a cable running through it making it also slash proof, there are clips to stop the zippers being secretly opened, it has RFID blockers and several other safety functions, as well as a water bottle holder on the side. Check it out here.

The big one I’m looking for discounts on is Merino items by Icebreaker. I always check on Amazon sales days to see what prices they have on base layers and merino camis. Already on sale on Amazon are the Icebreaker Merino Crush pants, which are joggers made from merino. You can wear these in below freezing temps all the way to 75 degrees, and they are super comfy as well as holding their shape really well, so they are great to wear on long haul flights, or to take on any winter trips.

Merino is fantastic for travel. It is super thin and fine but keeps you incredibly warm. It also wicks away moisture and is smell resistant, as well as being temperature regulating. Also, merino packs down really small, making it the ideal fabric to travel with.

This May was the wettest May in Italy in 70 years. My travel umbrella saved me. This year I traveled with the Repel Umbrella in black. If you are going to be stuck with wind and rain while traveling you definitely want a sturdy umbrella that can take a beating in rotten weather and still hold up well. The Repel Travel Umbrella sells around 7000 units per month and has more than 30,000 5-star reviews. It’s well worth it. Check Prime Day pricing here.

Beauty

The Perricone No Makeup Bronzer is my all time favorite bronzer. It comes in a sheer liquid that can be applied with your fingers or a synthetic brush to the areas you want to look a little tanned, such as cheekbones, nose, chin, forehead – the areas the sun would naturally hit.

You can wear it alone or under foundation/BB cream. It looks really natural and blends into the skin, unlike most powdered bronzers or cream bronzers. You can also mix it into your foundation if needed.

It is a fantastic travel product, lasts all day and doesn’t get gooey in humidity. I consider it an MVP makeup product for travel, or for any time you want to wear bronzer. Check out Prime Day sale pricing here.

The internet’s favorite hydrating serum, CosRx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is one of the most effective serums in the world. (Amazon sells over 100,000 units of it per month.)

South Korea is the world leader in skin care research and development, and although this product has been around for a few years it is still one of the best hydrating serums on the market. Don’t be put off by snail mucin – it is one of the highest performing skin care ingredients in the world.

I go through about 3 bottles of this per year (it’s super concentrated), so have 3 in my Amazon cart right now. Check out the Prime Day pricing here. Fantastic for all skin types.

If travel wears your skin out (as it does mine) this TruSkin Vitamin C Serum is a great product to bring with you. Vitamin C is a daytime product, protecting your skin against environmental damage and pollutants. It absorbs into the skin beautifully, protects it and makes it look gorgeous. (You apply your daytime moisturizer and facial SPF overtop) This one has 140,000 ratings on Amazon and sells around 30,000 units per month, so clearly it’s not just me who loves it! Check out the Prime Day Pricing here.

I swear by Korean sheet masks and always travel with them. This one by CosRx is one of amazon’s biggest sellers and I love it, but I do buy others too depending on what I’m looking for. I normally want one with snail mucin for the supersonic hydration and revitalization it provides, but sometimes I’ll go for a collagen mask or a brightening mask. The key is after a long flight washing your face then kicking back for 20 minutes with one of these on. Your skin will plump up and look vibrant and healthy and you will feel like a million dollars! They also come in handy after a long day when your skin looks tired out, or after a day at the beach/ on the water / in the wind etc when your skin needs some extra nourishment and love. These individually packed masks are a travelers dream. See Prime Day Pricing here

Definitely not for travel but worth checking Prime Day pricing on, I am a huge fan of LED Masks for the face. There are tons of different ones around but in a nutshell you adjust the color for the skin concern you have. Most have a setting for curing acne, as well as settings (colors) for anti-aging, smoothing out the complexion, removing age spots and a variety of other skin concerns. I use the red setting which is all about building collagen and removing fine lines and wrinkles. Use it every night for a week (it takes 20-30 minutes) and you will see a huge difference in your skin. Check Prime Day Pricing here.

Other Items To Watch

I love my Nespresso machine and use it daily (just not for travel unless it’s a road trip). Right now Amazon has Prime Day Deals on Nespresso machines including this one which has 35% off the machine and milk brother bundle. See pricing here.

These best selling Bamboo Sheets are 39% off at the moment for a 6 piece set. With 186,546 4.5 and 5-star ratings these are one of Amazons most popular sheet sets. Silky soft, eco friendly, wrinkle free, and cooling in hot weather, it’s no wonder they are so crazy popular. Check Prime Day Pricing here.

I just ordered the new Amazon Firestick 4K on Prime Day Sale at got it for $22 instead of the normal $49.99. If you are a Firestick user this is a fantastic deal. Check Prime Day Pricing here.