A close friend recommended this book, Murder on the Eiffel Tower by Claude Izner*. She knew that I like books set in different times in history and in different places. Even better, there are several books in this series.
Victor Legris owns a bookstore in Paris (a good start) in the year 1889. There is a World’s Fair going on in the city to celebrate the Centennial of the French Revolution. The Eiffel Tower has just opened to the public and is the centerpiece of the celebration. Victor’s surrogate father is Kenji Mori, who also is his partner in the store. Their tastes are complementary in many aspects of life and the bookstore. The bookstore is thriving and has many loyal customers of diverse interests and personalities.
Victor becomes involved with several mysterious deaths ascribed to bee stings. Included among the victims are a rag and bone man, an American explorer, a Russian art collector, an aspiring opera singer and a nanny. The only link between them is that they all signed the Golden Guest Book on the second level of the Eiffel Tower. Suspects include a pretty, redheaded Russian artist, Victor’s partner Kenji, the opera singer, the Russian art collector and other persons. Several of the characters are employees of a startup newspaper that is making major inroads in the world of Paris media with its sensational (think “yellow journalism”) reporting.
Along the way to the solution, we see life in Paris in the late 19th Century. Politics, performing arts, fine arts and politics are among the topics touched on. I found it to be very entertaining and I look forward to reading more books by Izner.
GO! BUY! READ!
–Jim Harris, retired sales rep
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*Fun fact: “Claude Izner” is the pen name for a pair of siblings who are booksellers in Paris!