Book Review & Giveaway – THE GIRL IN THE EMPTY DRESS by Lise McClendon

The Girl in the Empty Dress by Lise McClendonThe Girl in the Empty Dress Synopsis:

The long-awaited sequel to Lise McClendon’s bestselling women’s suspense novel, Blackbird Fly.

The Girl in the Empty Dress finds Merle Bennett back in France with her sisters on a walking tour of the Dordogne. When a member of the group — the only non-sister, a law colleague — finds an injured dog by the side of the road and determines to make the dog her own, the delightful, wine-swilling band of happy walkers finds their idyllic summer vacation taking a dark and dangerous turn. Truffles, romance, and intrigue in the heart of France. (Thalia Press)


The Girl in the Empty Dress is a delightful cosy mystery that also reads as a love letter to the French countryside. I could almost smell the flowers and taste all that wonderful cheese and wine.

This is Lise McClendon’s second novel featuring the Bennett sisters – the first Blackbird Fly. I really liked the concept of more mature women getting together for a holiday, affirming their sisterly affections, while negotiating the inevitable dramas life throws at them. Our narrator, middle sister ‘tent pole’ Merle, the resourceful and reliable one, is the sister we learn most about. She is a wholly likeable character, with loyal and colourful friends, enemies and an enigmatic (and smouldering) love interest in France from her previous visit there.

The prose is light and features accessible language and contemporary form, with McClendon’s incorporation of texts and blog articles written by another of the sisters working particularly well. I do however think this novel would have benefited from a stronger title and a couple of plot elements felt a little loose/incidental. I had also expected to feel better acquainted with the remaining sisters by novel’s end, but perhaps that will come in future titles in the series.


Lise McClendon’s The Girl in the Empty Dress is an entertaining and escapist romp across the French countryside, with lots of sleuthing (and sometimes danger), but always enough time for food, wine and holiday indulgence.

I look forward to learning what trouble Merle and her sisters get themselves into next. Will be sure to have cheese and wine by my side next time though – this novel made me hungry!

BOOK RATING: The Story 3 / 5 ; The Writing 3 / 5

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BOOK DETAILS: The Girl in the Empty Dress by Lise McClendon ( Book Depository | Kobobooks | Amazon )

Genre: Crime-Detective, Action-Adventure, Romance, Mystery, Chick Lit


lise-mcclendonAuthor Information: Lise McClendon is the author of ten novels written as Lise McClendon and thrillers as Rory Tate. Her suspense novel Blackbird Fly was released in 2009 and was an Amazon bestseller. She lives in Montana when not walking the back-roads of France. Visit Lise McClendon’s website.

Other reviews of The Girl in the Empty Dress : I Am, Indeed ; Book Nerd ; Valli’s Book Den ; French Village Diaries ; Words and Peace

* My receiving an ecopy of this title from the author via France Book Tours for review purposes in no way hindered the expression of my honest opinions in the above.


This giveaway is open internationally. There are 2 ebooks by Lise McClendon to win, Blackbird Fly and The Girl in the Empty Dress