If you've ever thought about purchasing a property in France, I'd highly recommned that this book be your initial purchase.  It's compact, it's easy to read, it's up to date, and what's more, it asks all the pertinent questions that are oft overlooked and nigh taken for granted.  Such seemingly sticky questions as: ''What is the role of the notaire in the contractual process?'' ''How much will the house really cost?''  ''Should I buy a house as an investment?''  And of course, the inevitable: ''How do I know if I've found what I'm looking for?''  

The latter may appear somewhat redundant in many peoples' eyes, but it's surprising just how many Brits buying in France (or anywhere for that matter) cease to ask what may initially appear glaringly obvious.  This substantiates why Sampson's companion could well prove something of an essential buy - even if only to ascertain just why and what it is about France, that has attracted droves of house buyers in the first place.

''So why do so many of us Brits gravitate towards a country that has inspired and continues to inspire quite ambivalent feelings?  France is a foreign country, but the Channel is narrow enough to swim.  The people are different, but we have loved them as familiar enemies for hundreds of years [...]. The culture is unfamiliar, but not as unfamiliar as it is in Greece or Bulgaria.  Administration and customer service are dreadful, but no worse than the equivalent in Italy [...].  The cost of living may be slightly higher, but the qulaity of life is better.  And, of course, it's eminently accessible by road, rail and air.  So why not buy property in France?''

And why not buy Essential Questions To Ask When Buying A House In France - for if you are thinking about about buying there, it may end up saving you money and putting your mind at ease!

David Marx
Essential Questions To Ask  When Buying A House In France
By Mark Sampson
Summersdale - £8.99