Thursday, May 11, 2023

May Read: Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge


I recently returned from vacation and decided to try an e-book on my iPad while I was traveling. I had this book on my TBR and was delighted to see it was available on Hoopla. 

Loved this mystery! It takes place in 1949, Paris. American Tabitha has traveled to Paris to visit her Grandfather and honorary Uncle. They are two eccentric, wealthy elderly men who are delighted to have Tabitha visit. Tabitha, who speaks French fluently, is absolutely in love with Paris and has been there for eight months, with no intention of leaving anytime soon.

And best of all, across the street live Julia and Paul Child. Julia has taken Tabitha under her wing, helping her shop at the market and teaching Tabitha to cook. Julia is famous in the neighborhood for her cooking, but her worldwide fame is years away. 

Julia's sister Dot is also living in the same apartment as Julia and Paul, and she's involved in an American theater. Her friends gather at the apartment late at night for drinks, smokes, and a good time. After one such night, a horrible discovery is made: Therese, a young woman who was at the party the night before, is found dead near the garbage area in the apartment building basement. She's been brutally stabbed to death. Tabitha recognizes her, and thus begins her foray into figuring out who killed Therese, and why. 

I was charmed by the setting, the characters, and as the plot unfolded, the mystery. It never lagged or slowed down, but kept a steady pace forward. Tabitha--loved her! Just curious and smart enough to figure things out, but not one to bumble her way forward. Julia's character is big, joyful, and full of life. While the pool of suspects is small, it is not easy to figure out just who was the murderer. Putting the clues together with Tabitha was part of the fun--you don't know any more than she does. 

I absolutely enjoyed the heck out of this mystery, and can't wait for another in this series. Anyone who loves Julia Child will want to grab this one. I liked that she is not the main character who solves the mystery, but is a prominent character who brings a zest to the story. And the food! A great way to travel to post-World War 2 Paris. 

Rating: 5/6 for a mystery that unfolds amongst wine, great food, and the streets of Paris. A mystery that kept me intrigued until the very end. 

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