Fin de siècle Paris: the world of Verlaine and Zola, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec; a time of anarchists, scientists, and occultists, when can-can skirts were raised at the Moulin Rouge and fortunes were lost on the Panama Canal. Armand de Valois was one of these latter unfortunates, stricken by yellow fever at the site of his ruin. When his widow Odette disappears into his tomb in the Père-Lachaise cemetery and never returns, her maid Denise fears the worst. Alone in the great metropolis, Denise knows just one person she can go to for help: Odettes former lover, Victor Legris. When the frightened girl turns up at his bookshop, Victor feels there must be a simple explanation for Odette's disappearance.
But it soon becomes apparent that something sinister lies behind events at the Père-Lachaise. When Denise turns up drowned in the Seine, and Odette's corpse is found buried in an overgrown backyard, Victor throws himself into his second investigation, aided by his trusty assistant Joseph and much to his lover Tasha's chagrin.
Once again, Paris and its denizens come alive, and events of world and local history give the mystery a thrilling backdrop. From the the Bois de Vincennes to the streets of Saint-Germain, from trams to carriages, from artists lofts to coffee bars, diligently researched and tightly plotted, The Disappearance at Père-Lachaise immerses readers in a fascinating mystery in the glorious City of Light.
"While some readers may find this backdrop a little bulky at times, the increasingly tight plot and several deftly constructed characters keep the story moving." - Publishers Weekly
"The chief pleasures here are the densely woven web of period details and anecdotes and the chance to rub shoulders with characters who casually embody the most piquant contradictions of a culture both foreign and oddly familiar." - Kirkus Reviews
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Claude Izner is the author of a detective series. But this nickname actually conceals two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefevre, who have written together for over ten years. Their first novels were first intended for an audience of young readers. Since 1999, the two sisters have turned to crime fiction. Here is a brief biography of the authors:
Born in 1940, Liliane initially worked as chief editor before becoming a bookseller. She has participated in the writing of several audiovisual performances and plays.
Born in 1951, Laurence became a bookseller in 1970. Alongside her work as a bookseller, she writes novels for adults.
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