Die Around Sundown

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Henri Lefort, Bk. 1). Aug. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781250824820. $27.99. M
The author of the Hugo Marston mysteries launches a historical series set in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1940. When French Inspector Henri Lefort shoots a robber in the home of Princess Marie Bonaparte, he unfortunately draws the attention of a German officer. He’s promoted to the murder squad but assigned a case by Sturmbannfuhrer Ludwig Vogel. A German officer was murdered in the Louvre while cataloging artwork. Vogel gives Lefort one week to find the killer, and hands him a list of five suspects and describes the crime scene. The French are not allowed in the Louvre, not even the police, so Henri cannot investigate at the site. He knows failure will make him a scapegoat. Henri is a shrewd detective who works with a police secretary to interview witnesses, including Pablo Picasso. Running through the novel is Henri’s story of service during the Great War, a history that reveals secrets he’s kept hidden for over 20 years.
VERDICT Convoluted and contrived at times, but the novel’s historical aspects and police detective will intrigue fans of World War II mysteries.
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