Mastering the Art of French Murder

Highbridge Audio. (An American in Paris, Bk. 1). Apr. 2023. 9:56 hrs. ISBN 9781696610612. $24.99. M
Launching her second historical mystery series, Cambridge (Phyllida Bright mysteries) invites listeners to join plucky Detroit native Tabitha Knight in exploring post–World War II Paris. On an extended visit with her French grandfather, Tabitha struggles to decipher what the future holds for her now that the returning soldiers are taking their jobs back from Rosie the Riveter. While on a grocery-shopping trip with her new neighbor, Julia Child, Tabitha stumbles over a dead body and directly into a mystery that proves to be as complex and twisty as the Paris streets at night. Narrator Polly Lee juggles the wide array of voices in this melting pot of a story, with a talent that makes it sound easy. Tabitha’s faintly nasal and firmly Midwestern tones bounce perfectly off the French-inflected accents of those around her, including her charming, wily grandfather and the austerely grave Inspector Merveille. The delightful standout is, of course, a not-yet-famous Julia Child. Though still taking cookery lessons at Le Cordon Bleu, Lee’s Julia has the booming voice and infectious sense of mischief that fans will know and love from her television appearances.
VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of Rhys Bowen and Jacqueline Winspear.
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