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Book Review of The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning
Have you ever been to Paris? Sadly, I have not been there. I would love to travel there, though! I’m pretty much the least fashion-savvy person I know, but maybe the Paris fashionistas would teach me a few things. I’ve heard they have good food in Paris, too! If you’ve been there, is it as romantic as the movies and books make it seem? In The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning, we travel back to 1938 Paris. There are rumors of war, and Charlie James, a new-to-the-scene reporter from Australia, watches the story of the year unfold before her very eyes.
Intrepid reporter Charlotte “Charlie” James arrives in Paris in 1938 eager to make a fresh start, but little does she know the trouble that awaits her…
Charlie James is chasing her first big scoop as correspondent for British-based newspaper The Times, and she needs to prove to her boss that she can do this job as well, if not better, than her male counterparts. The best way to forge the necessary contacts quickly is to make well-connected British expats, Lord and Lady Ashworth, her business. Lady Eleanor knows everyone in Parisian high society, and at her sumptuously extravagant annual party, a Circus Ball, Charlie will meet them all.
On the summer solstice eve, the Circus Ball is in full swing, with the Parisian elites entranced by burlesque dancers, tightrope walkers, a jazz band . . . and a horrific murder. A wealthy but unscrupulous investor is dead, and the list of suspects is a veritable who’s who of le haut monde. As Charlie tries to determine who the murderer is, she finds herself drawn into the magical parties, couture houses, and bohemian wine bars of the City of Lights. Soon secrets start to unravel, including some Charlie has a personal stake in keeping hidden.
My Book Review:
In 1938 Paris, the fashion scene is in full swing, along with fancy dinner parties thrown by elite members of society. Yes, I’m such a fashion outcast that I had to look up most of the fashion words in the dictionary. Haha! My regular fashion words such as tshirt and jeans didn’t quite make the Paris fashion scene if you can believe it!
I wish I could attend their fancy parties, though! Ms. Manning’s descriptions of the circus masquerade party thrown by the Ashworths make you feel as if you are right there. The details she carefully crafts about the sights, sounds, and smells put you right in the middle of the action. The trainer leading the tiger around like a puppy, the India maharajas arriving on elephants, the white doves, and the black swans. The jugglers, the acrobats, and the fairy lights.
Guests with masks and designer dresses wander the grounds and hobnob with the important people. Those important people make up many characters in this book. These characters make the book. They’re well written, unique, diverse, and so fun! I love Violet’s fashion and Lady Ashworth’s extravagance. Charlie is down-to-earth, yet elegant and sophisticated. She’s relatable and comes across as authentic. The relationships between the characters are also well written and help bring the story to life.
There are many twists and turns in The Paris Mystery that it definitely kept me guessing! It’s well written, entertaining, and so fun. I enjoyed my time in 1938 Paris, for sure! I may not fit in wearing my tshirt and jeans, but a girl can dream! This book has a little bit of everything with some romance, mystery, murder, high fashion, fancy masquerade parties, deception, loyalty, and betrayal.
Content Rating: PG-13+
- Profanity: None
- Intimacy: Moderate (There are a couple of scenes, including a “self-pleasure” scene, and some innuendos. They aren’t too detailed or explicit.)
- Violence: Moderate (There is a murder with a bloody weapon, and another character dies a very unsettling death.)
Age Recommendation: Adult
My Rating: 4/5
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.