Summary and book reviews of Murder on the Eiffel Tower by Claude Izner

Murder on the Eiffel Tower

A Mystery

By Claude Izner

Murder on the Eiffel Tower
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  • Hardcover: Sep 2008,
    304 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2009,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

The brand-new, shiny Eiffel Tower is the pride and glory of the 1889 World Exposition. But one sunny afternoon, as visitors are crowding the viewing platforms, a woman collapses and dies on this great Paris landmark. Can a bee sting really be the cause of death? Or is there a more sinister explanation? Enter young bookseller Victor Legris. Present on the tower at the time of the incident, and appalled by the media coverage of the occurence, he is determined to find out what actually happened. In this dazzling evocation of late nineteenth-century Paris, we follow Victor as his investigation takes him all over the city and he suspects an ever-changing list of possible perpetrators. Could mysterious Kenji Mori, his surrogate father and business partner at the bookstore Legris operates, be involved in the crime? Why are beautiful Russian illustrator Tasha and her colleagues at the newly launched sensationalist newspaper Passepartout always up-to-date in their reporting? And what will Legris do when the deaths begin to multiply and he is caught in a race against time?

Murder on the Eiffel Tower is painstakingly researched, an effortless evocation of the glorious City of Light, and an exciting opening to a promising series of eight books featuring Victor Legris.

CHAPTER ONE

Wednesday 22 June

WEARING a tight new corset that creaked with every step, Eugénie Patinot walked down Avenue des Peupliers. She felt weary at the prospect of what already promised to be an exhausting day. Endlessly pestered by the children, she had reluctantly left the cool of the veranda. If outwardly she gave an impression of dignified composure, inside she was in turmoil: tightness in her chest, stomach cramps, a dull pain in her hip and, on top of everything, palpitations.

‘Don’t run, Marie-Amélie. Hector, stop whistling, it’s vulgar.’

‘We’re going to miss the bus, Aunt! Hector and I are going to sit upstairs. Have you definitely got the tickets?’

Eugénie stopped and opened her reticule to make sure that she did have the tickets, which her brother-in-law had bought several days earlier.

‘Hurry up, Aunt,’ urged Marie-Amélie.

Eugénie glared. The child really ...

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Reviews

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Murder on the Eiffel Tower soars with its historical treatment of Paris which readers will remember long after they finish the book. Author Claude Izner is the pseudonym of two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefevre, who sell second-hand books on the Seine's banks and boast of expertise on 19th century Paris. Their experience and knowledge shine brightly in this first of a series featuring amateur detective Victor Legris.   (Reviewed by Beth Hemke Shapiro).

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Media Reviews
Le Monde (France)

A charming journey through the life and intellectual times of an era.

Financial Times (UK)

[A] clock-beating thriller . . . entertaining views of nineteenth-century Paris.

The Independent (UK)

Isabel Reid's seamless translation captures the novel's many period charms.

Publishers Weekly

The taut pacing and vivid period detail will have readers eagerly turning the pages.

Library Journal

[T[his debut of a very Gallic series will appeal to Francophiles and fans of historicals.

Kirkus Reviews

[T]he energetic curiosity of the hero dovetails nicely with readers' interest in a fascinating era. The colorful supporting cast lays a solid foundation for Victor's further exploits.

Reader Reviews
Brenda

Couldn't put it down!
This book was everything a book of this genre should be. It was romantic, charming and suspenseful and read at a quick exciting pace! I only wish it had some beautiful sketches to illustrate the story as one of the main characters is an illustrator. ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

World Expositions

Although the first world exposition officially occurred in 1851 in London, enormous get-togethers were nothing new. Expositions originate from markets in medieval times, where masses of people would converge at major commercial route city centers. Lyons, Frankfurt, and Leipzig were particularly noted for their early markets. After London's initial exposition, Paris held expositions in 1867, 1878, 1889 (the setting for Murder on the Eiffel Tower) and 1900. Other successful expositions occurred in various locations such as Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels, Barcelona, St. Louis, Turin, and Philadelphia.

While most of the construction is temporary and is dismantled upon the conclusion of the event, ...

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