Tag Archives: mystery

An Intense and Atmospheric Mystery from Lucy Foley: The Paris Apartment

17 May

Having vacationed in Paris, I was fascinated by all the cultural opportunities this spectacular city has to offer, including museums, art galleries, fine French dining, the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles, the Arc de Triomphe, etc. It truly is the “City of Lights”and one can get caught up in all the glorious and historical sights. Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment, however, exposes the dark and sinister underbelly of Paris in a creepy and clever whodunit told in alternating points of view. The characters are all dark and edgy and everyone knows something they’re not telling. Even the eerie Paris apartment building where the mystery unfolds is its own wonderfully drawn character, a swanky but unsettling old building with walls, hidden stairways, and secret passageways that seem to know something we don’t. I was completely drawn into this intense and suspenseful murder mystery from the very beginning as Foley’s descriptive narrative and intriguing plot developments lured me in.

The story opens with Jess, a broke and alone young woman, who contacts her half-brother Ben, a journalist in Paris, about crashing with him for a while in order to get a fresh start. She’s just left her bartending job in London under less than ideal circumstances and needs to escape and lay low for a while. Although Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked him, he didn’t say no either and she feels everything will look better in Paris. However, when she shows up, Ben is missing and a cryptic voicemail and some other mysterious clues suggest foul play. 

The longer Ben remains missing, the more Jess is provoked to start digging into his situation and the more questions she has. She discovers that Ben was investigating some criminal activity involving some of the building’s nefarious tenants.  Ben’s dysfunctional neighbors are an eclectic group and not particularly friendly or forthcoming either.  As she interviews the neighbors about Ben’s disappearance, she is met with suspicion and hostility from almost everyone. Only one young man shows her any consideration, even though he says he has no useful information for her. She begins to suspect that none of the tenants are as innocent as they want her to believe.  When Jess probes too deeply and reveals the building’s dark and sinister secrets, she finds herself isolated and in danger. As a last resort, she reports her half-brother’s disappearance to the police, however, even they seem reluctant to get involved and seem to have ulterior motives for keeping Ben’s absence uncovered.

As the twisty, yet engrossing plot unravels and the dark secrets are literally unearthed, the reader feels as though they have devoured a delectable meal, especially the last revealing chapters. The Paris Apartment is yet another entertaining and escapist mystery from the talented Lucy Foley. It’s filled with suspense, intensity, a cast of seedy, yet intriguing characters, and enough plot twists to satisfy any avid fan of atmospheric page-turners or murder mysteries. 

Looking for more mayhem from the city of lights; you can read a previous blog about another mystery set in Paris here.

Written by:
Ethan Galvin
Information and Digital Services Librarian

Enthralling Mysteries: Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen, Dashing Through the Snowbirds by Donna Andrews, and Harry Wild starring Jane Seymore

19 Oct

Lavender House
by Lev AC Rosen

Lavender House is a captivating new mystery by Lev AC Rosen set in 1952.  Andy Mills was recently fired from the police force for being caught at a gay bar.  He is contemplating ending it all when he gets a proposal he can’t refuse.  Irene Lamontaine the matriarch of the famous Lamontaine Soap Company passed away under suspicious circumstances, her personal assistant, who is secretly her widow, wants Andy to prove whether Irene’s death was a tragic accident or murder.  Andy feels a sense of safety at Lavender House, where almost everyone is gay including Irene’s son and the staff, and is able to be his true self, but he becomes increasingly suspicious about what happened to Irene.  The ending though the one I was hoping for, felt a bit simplistic for what was otherwise a fairly gritty story.  I would recommend the book for its interesting fictionalization of a tumultuous time in LGBTQ history and engaging characters.  Rosen has previously written for YA and Middle Grade audiences as well as for adults.

Dashing Through the Snowbirds
by Donna Andrews

You may remember that back in August, I reviewed Donna Andrew’s Round Up the Usual Peacocks, now only a few months later and we have received an early holiday gift in the form of her annual holiday installment in the bird themed Meg Langslow series, Dashing Through the Snowbirds.  This Christmas a herd of Canadians from an Ancestry like company have taken up residence at the Langslow residence while they work on a project with Meg’s brother’s computer programmers.  Things are going wrong with project and they get even worse when one of the Canadians turns up dead on Meg’s property.  There is also a subplot for those that enjoyed the true crime podcast storyline in the previous novel, about Meg’s nephew Kevin’s fellow podcaster, Casey, being stalked by a fan.  As usual Meg’s quirky relatives play a large part in the charm of the story.  Particularly in this novel, Meg’s grandfather causes trouble and lends a helping hand.  For cozy mystery fans Dashing Through the Snowbirds is a warm cup of holiday cheer.

Harry Wild
Literature Professor Harriet “Harry” Wild played by Jane Seymour, has just retired but instead of a life of relaxation she is drawn to solving crimes. Her son is a senior detective on the Dublin Police force, who would prefer his mother let him be the one solving cases, but she soon finds a sidekick in Fergus Reid played by Rohan Nedd, a teen in need of some adult guidance. Nedd previously was a recurring character on Whitstable Pearl. The first season of Harry Wild is a bingeable 8 epsiodes and is available to stream for Hoboken patrons from Hoopla or borrow on DVD from BCCLS libraries. Cases include a wife looking to learn the cause of her husband’s death, a mysterious kidnapping, and even the case of a murder of the wife of one of Harry’s former colleagues. For those who like cozy capers and are fans of Seymour’s Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman series or movies, this is sure to please.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

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