The Ghosts of Paris

Dutton. (Billie Walker, Bk. 2). Jun. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780593182680. $27. M
Postwar Sydney, London, and Paris come alive in Moss’s intense sequel to The War Widow, emphasizing political dangers in the aftermath of World War II. In 1947 Sydney, the detective agency of war correspondent–turned–private eye Billie Walker is finding its way, mostly working cases for women who want to locate or divorce their husbands. A new client seeks out Billie and her assistant Sam: the wealthy Vera Montgomery, hoping to track down her ad exec husband who has disappeared while abroad. She wants to send Billie and Sam to Europe to find her husband, and she’ll pay twice their daily rate—fortuitously for Billie who’s also searching for her own husband, a war photographer who disappeared in 1944 during the Warsaw Uprising. On arriving in Paris, Billie learns that Richard Montgomery was also a photographer, one who used his camera to uncover secrets and may have disappeared to save his own life. She soon encounters resistance from Richard’s friends and from a secretive Parisian group that’s threatened by Billie’s reputation as a Nazi hunter.
VERDICT A richly detailed historical mystery that spotlights social issues like postwar persecution of LGBTQ communities in both Sydney and Paris. Readers of Sulari Gentill’s “Rowland Sinclair” mysteries, set in interwar Sydney, will appreciate Moss’s riveting series.
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