A Riveting Investigation in 1940s Paris

Mark Pryor returns with the second installment of the Henri Lefort series, The Dark Edge of Night, an interesting blend of mystery and historical drama set in 1940 Paris. Police Inspector Henri Lefort tackles two challenging cases amidst the chaos. The first involves the suspicious death of a Frenchman during a botched robbery. The second, imposed on him by the Gestapo, revolves around the mysterious disappearance of a neurologist involved in secretive work at a Paris hospital. As Lefort digs deeper, he discovers a chilling connection to several missing children’s cases. Pryor excels in character development, presenting Lefort as a likable yet complex protagonist whose sharp instincts shine in the […]

Read more...

Science Novel Critique

Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict tells the story of Rosalind Franklin, an unsung hero of science who braved the storm of gender bias to map the structure of DNA, despite constant harassment and undermining in the late 1940s and 1950s. As an X-ray crystallographer, Franklin battled not only the complexities of scientific discovery but also the demeaning attitudes of her male colleagues in academia. Despite her pivotal contributions, the theft of her work shadowed her achievements by other scientists who later won a Nobel Prize. Benedict, who has a knack for bringing the stories of overlooked women in history to light, paints Franklin as a tenacious and intelligent trailblazer. […]

Read more...

The Wildest Sun

“I am the daughter of a proud father and a delightfully vain mother. I am a girl who has always known that her destiny must lead to greatness, and that I must achieve it whatever it costs me.”—Asha Lemmie, The Wildest Sun. This coming-of-age tale whisked me away to postwar Paris, where we meet Delphine Auber, a young aspiring writer with dreams as big as the Eiffel Tower. From the get-go, Delphine’s journey captivated me. Having shouldered the weight of her alcoholic mother’s care since she was a child, her story is one of resilience and determination. But it’s when she sets sail for the bustling streets of Harlem, where […]

Read more...

Mastering the Art of French Murder

Tabitha Knight arrives from Detroit for an extended stay with her French grandfather. Thanks to her neighbor and friend Julia Child, she is learning how to cook for her Grandpère and Oncle Rafe. The night after Child’s sister, Dort, hosts a party at Child’s apartment, a guest named Thérèse Lognon is discovered dead in the basement. The murder weapon is a knife from Julia’s kitchen. When Inspector Merveille reveals that a note, in Tabitha’s handwriting, was found in the dead woman’s pocket, Tabitha conducts her own investigation to find the actual killer before she or one of her friends ends up in prison. Much to the inspector’s consternation, Tabitha gathers […]

Read more...

Jacqueline in Paris

  Ann Mah’s novel is a portrayal of Jacqueline Bouvier’s transformative year abroad in postwar Paris. As a junior at Vassar College, Bouvier spent the year 1949/1950 studying at the University of Grenoble and the Sorbonne in Paris. The journey begins with Bouvier boarding an ocean liner, embarking on an experience that will change her life. As the only Vassar student, she finds herself with a group of lively Smith students with whom she will later study. This voyage marks the start of Jackie’s immersion into an exhilarating world brimming with champagne, châteaux, theater, art, jazz clubs, and quaint cafés. She lives with a host family, headed by Comtesse de […]

Read more...

September 2022 Picks and Pans

No five-star reads this month, but The Happiest Man on Earth was definitely life-changing. I gave one novel a 2-star rating, which is rare for me. I read two books set in the Philippines, which is totally random. I’ll be curious to hear what you have to say. Circle back to Facebook and let me know!   The Happiest Man on Earth By Eddie Jaku “Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you.” Eddie Jaku, The Happiest Man on Earth. In this uplifting memoir in the vein of The Last Lecture and Man’s Search for Meaning, a Holocaust survivor pays tribute to those who […]

Read more...