The Montmarte Investigation-Claude Izner

The Montmarte Investigation

Claude Izner

Minotaur, Sep 14 2010, $24.99

ISBN: 9780312383763

In 1891 Paris at an outing of the C. Bontemps Boarding School, Elisa borrows Iris’ red shoes to run away with twenty-one years old Gaston.  Some time later on Montmartre, a female body is found; her face burned with acid so it is unrecognizable; the corpse is barefoot.  A red shoe is delivered to the the Bookshop owned by Victor Legris and Kenji Mori.

When Kenji recognizes the shoe as one he gave to his goddaughter Iiris, he assumes logically and mournfully she is the dead victim until he learns from her she lent them to her friend.  Victor follows Kenji to the school and once he catches up with what the shoe denotes he insures Iris is safe as ahe may have been the intended target.  Gaston’s body is found in a wine cask on the wharf.  Having solved two cases (see The Disappearance at Père-Lachaise and Murder on the Eiffel Tower), Victor fancies himself a detective so he is determined to solve the case before his rival police Iinspector Lecacheur can.  When Elisa’s mother is also murdered, the three killings appear linked to a cold case in Lyon, but why and who is the avenger remains unknown.

This is an exhilarating French historical mystery that gives armchair detectives a taste of late nineteenth century Paris when cabarets and wine houses were the rage.  Real historical figures add to the atmosphere while anchoring the time and place of the storyline.  Secrets from the past prove either deadly or joyful as Victor investigates the serial murders linked to a cold case.

Harriet Klausner

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