Thursday, October 11, 2018

Death in Paris by Emilia Bernhard: A Cozy Mystery



Sometimes I need a 'sherbert 'book between the heavy main courses in my reading life, something light and sweet and undemanding but entertaining. This month I tried out my first 'cozy mystery.' I thought they were merely mysteries without explicit gore and sex, a kind of anti-noir story. It turns out that a cozy mystery involves likable amateurs who care about people and are on a quest to seek justice. The villains are not horribly evil and always receive their just deserts.

Death in Paris by Emilia Bernhard is the first in a series of books each set in each arrondissement of Paris. American ex-pats Rachel Levis and Magda become amateur sleuths when Rachel's long-ago lover is discovered dead in his soup, a glass of Rose' on the table. Rachel is convinced someone murdered Edgar, and that the guilty party drank Rose', which Edgar abhorred and had called "sugary vinegar."

Edgar's will requested that Rachel organize his library of rare books after his death and so she has inside access to his home and meets the other beneficiaries of his will.

There are four reasons behind murder, Rachel recalls: Theft, jealousy, fear, and revenge. Edgar's ex-wife, his son, his assistant, and his former lover all benefited from the will financially. Also, of course, the butler is among those Rachel and Magda investigate.

There are twists and turns, and much self-doubt by Rachel, as new evidence, and even deaths, turn up.

It was a fun read with interesting characters. Readers who have been to Paris will enjoy the place descriptions.

I received a free book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Death in Paris
by Emilia Bernhard
Thistle Publishing/Crooked Lane Books
Publication Oct 9 2018
ISBN 9781683317685