Murder on the Eiffel Tower soars with its historical
treatment of Paris which readers will remember long after they finish the book. 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.
Some readers might be reminded of author Anne Perry's English Victorian detective novels as they are drawn into Izner's portrayal of Paris and its 1889 World Exposition. Like Perry, Izner interjects small, captivating tidbits about the period:
Fried-fish vendors and left-over food sellers were setting up their stalls in the wind. Dishes of beetroot sat alongside rounds of cold black pudding .The drinking dens, the low doorways in decrepit facades, the stands selling second-hand clothes and scrap iron, all set the scene perfectly for a Parisian Jack the Ripper.
In addition, the book includes extremely detailed descriptions
of the exposition, such as accounts of its national pavilions, indigenous
villages, and other architectural treasures. Many different cultures are
represented from around the world, bringing with them their clothing, dance, and
food so that, as Legris pursues suspects through the expo, readers can sense what it
would have been like to be present at this global event.
Originally planned as a series of eight books, a comment by one of the authors on a fan-site indicates that there will be at least nine books in the Victor Legris series (the US publisher also confirms the existence of a ninth book). Eight are currently available in French (listed on the authors' website); but only four are currently available in English, of which two are available in the USA.
The bibliography below shows the UK and USA publication dates:
This review was originally published in October 2008, and has been updated for the September 2009 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.
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