Izner, Claude - 'Murder on the Eiffel Tower' (translated by Isabel Reid)
Monsieur Victor Legris, Parisian bookseller and photographer is invited to the opening of the new Eiffel Tower, amidst the exuberance of the Paris Universal Exposition of June 1889 and is horrified to experience the death of a middle-aged woman who is accompanied by three children. The woman is convinced that she has been stung on the neck by a bee but then collapses and quickly dies. Victor had been invited to contribute articles to a new newspaper and met the publisher and some of the other staff at the Tower. The publisher and the others immediately use the death for purposes of journalism and do a series of articles on the subject.
Further deaths follow, all apparently attributed to stings from killer bees. Victor suspects various persons close to him of doing the deadly deeds, but is he just exhibiting signs of paranoia, or are there more sinister things happening?
Victor is given a lot of false leads and is strongly suspicious of his business partner and a press artist whom he is romantically attracted towards. The bodies are piling up and more and more clues are appearing directing the reader to believe a particular character could be the guilty party.
All in all an excellent introduction to the detective adventures of Victor Legris, of which this is the first. If you have visited or intend to visit Paris frequently, as I do, the various place names and descriptions of French foods and the way of life will add to the fascination as will the accurate depiction of 19th century way of life. I look forward in the future to reading more of the adventures of Monsieur Victor Legris.
'Claude Izner' is the pen name for two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefevre, both Parisian booksellers and experts on nineteenth century Paris.
Terry Halligan, England
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