Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Marais Assassin by Claude Izner

Bookseller detective in 1890s Paris, a Sherlock Holmes contemporary, sounds interesting? Victor Legris is the bookseller detective, in this fourth outing, he is working on a case too close to home. Victor's business partner Kenji Mori's house is burgled and a not so expensive Goblet is lost. There seems to be nothing important about the Goblet, not ancient, not expensive just some emotional value. Who stole the goblet and why? The Goblet keeps changing hands. There are a spate of murders, some religious fanatic is killing of people for the Goblet.

The pool of suspects is very small, but Izner does a good job keeping our mind away from them and focusing on the Goblet's journey. Victor, his associate Kenji Mori and their assistant Joseph are all involved in the solving the case.

I had some problem in the beginning in understanding the dynamics of relationship between the people introduced in the first few pages. Maybe because it is the fourth book in the series and the first book I am reading. Once I understood who is who, it's smooth sailing. There are a wide array of interesting characters from different backgrounds. There is some romance - Joseph and Iris, Mori's daughter, Victor and Tasha, and Kenji and Eudoxie. And some tension too. Will Kenji give his blessings to Joseph and Iris? Who is Tasha meeting in the sly? Can Eudoxie expect some love and warmth from Kenji? Since the detectives are booksellers, there is lot of reference to books, but mostly French books.

Claude Izner is the pseudonym of two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefèvre both booksellers on the banks of the Seine in Paris, says Wikipedia.

My post for Paris in July and Gaslight Reading Challenge, and counts towards various challenges.

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