Known for writing spy novels based in Europe during the '30s and '40s, Alan Furst has remarked, "In that period of time, there was real villainy and real heroism. The world was embroiled in it, and it didn't let anyone off the hook." In Mission to Paris
, he returns to the cities and themes that have often figured in his work, combining movie-making with fictional actor Frederic Stahl's dabble in espionage - an unexpected task that leads the Viennese-born Paramount star to glimpse Kristallnacht, among other disturbing events, and to mingle with characters that range from an accomplished female spy to intellectual émigrés.
Stahl, who has been targeted by Nazi officials for the likelihood of his drawing the media in France, gathers information regarding Germany's impending plans in Europe (Poland especially) that may prove useful to the White House. Specifics...
Beyond the Book
Around 250-300 BCE, the capital of what is now known as France (or, more formally, The Republic of France) was established on the River Seine.
It was inhabited by an Iron Age Gallic tribe, the Parisii. In 52 BCE, it became a Roman settlement, known as Lutetia Parisiorum
, and by approximately 300 CE was known as civitas Parisiorum
, the precursor to the City of Paris.
Comprised of twenty arrondissements
(administrative districts) arranged in an outward spiral from the city's center (see map at right), Paris includes two natural islands - Île de la...