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Review of The Paris Librarian by Mark Pryor

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The Paris Librarian is a rollicking good read – mystery, dead ends, murder, drama and a little romance too.

Mark Pryor’s series of Hugo Marston stories makes for seriously good reading and this book can be read as a stand-alone or continuation.

The Paris Librarian

The witty, likeable and slightly dark hero, Hugo Marston, is an American working in Paris for the US Embassy. When his friend Paul Rogers dies unexpectedly in a locked room at the American Library in Paris, the conclusion drawn by police is that the man died of natural causes. Hugo’s instinct is to think otherwise, he’s an ex-FBI man with a nose for mischief and a tendency to be suspicious.

As he pokes around the library, Hugo discovers that rumours are swirling around some recently donated letters from American actress Isabelle Severin. The reason: they may indicate that the actress had aided the Resistance in frequent trips to France toward the end of World War II. Even more dramatic is the legend that the Severin collection also contains a dagger, one she used to kill an SS officer in 1944. Is someone after the the secret letters?

Hugo delves deeper into the stacks at the American library and finally realizes that the history of this case isn’t what anyone suspected. But to prove he’s right, Hugo must return to the scene of a decades-old crime, placing his life in danger. Paris fans will love the descriptions of the city, recognise favourite places and feel they can see the scenes as the story unfolds and the author creates the scenes. I’m not going to tell you too much of the plot as you’ll not thank me when you read the book but let’s just say, it twists and turns, is full of intrigue and has a neat and unexpected ending!

The plot is deftly weaved, intelligent and fast paced and this modern day Sherlock Holmes – think Jack Reacher if he was cultured – isn’t perfect a perfect hero, but you’d definitely want him on your side.

Clever, sharp, appealing Hugo Marston – a terrific character and a great read.

Available from Amazon.

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