Thursday, June 7, 2012

SPL Shelf Life [adult]

The Assassin in the Marais: A Victor Legris Mystery, by Claude Izner@SPL: FIC Izner
In the Parisian spring of 1892, more things are changing besides the colour of the grass. The Belle Epoque era is on the wane, bohemia is taking over. The world of man is shrinking as horizons expand past old fashioned ideas of the 19th century, and socio-political unrest has had the City of Lights under siege, with the terrorist bombings of the criminal Ravochol.
Antique bookseller Victor Legris does not welcome all these changes, but cannot resist poking his nose into a series of bizarre coincidences surrounding a unique goblet. The goblet leaves a trail of mayhem through Paris, and Victor, his partner Kenji and their assistant Joseph all follow its various tangled leads.
Victor’s amore Tasha is being secretive. Kenji’s past comes to play. A senile patriarch may know something, but Joseph has a hard time interpreting his paranoid gibberish.
All the while the goblet remains tantalizingly out of their reach, and out of the reach of the fervent assassin who doggedly pursues them all, murdering nearly all who come into contact with the relic. Is he after the jewels that adorn the cup’s cat-like face? Or does the clue lie in the chalice’s origins?
This is the third in the Victor Legris series, penned by sisters Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefevre (under the pseudonym Izner), and although there is some character development, it is great as a stand-alone mystery as well. The authors are historians of the period, so their novel is very evocative of turn-of-the-century Paris in all its dirt and glory.
Fans of the Belle Epoque era, historical mysteries or just Paris in general will like this series.
This review appeared in The Stratford Gazette on June 7, 2012. Written by Robyn Godfrey, Librarian.

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