The Paris Mystery

Vintage. (Charlie James, Bk. 1). Aug. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593685549. pap. $17. M
In 1938, journalist Charlotte “Charlie” James flees her failed marriage in Sydney, Australia, heading for a new job with The Times, a British newspaper in Paris. Surprised to learn that his new reporter is a woman, Charlie’s boss tells her to ingratiate herself with Lady Eleanor Ashworth, wife of a British diplomat. Lady Ashworth knows everyone who counts in Paris, and Charlie is expected to cover her annual Circus Ball. With the help of The Times’ administrative assistant, Charlie finds her way into the world of high couture and money. The Circus Ball is as decadent as everyone predicted, with tightrope walkers, bare-bosomed burlesque dancers riding ponies, and murder in the garden. When another journalist shows up with the knife that killed a powerful man, Charlie works her way into the case, consulting with inspector Benoît Bernard who is running the investigation.
VERDICT This atmospheric historical mystery by the author of The Jade Lily reveals a Paris on the verge of war, in all its captivating beauty and excess. Suggest for fans of Cara Black or Betty Webb’s Lost in Paris.
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