Murder on the Eiffel Tower Book Review

Murder on the Eiffel Tower Book Review

Title: Murder on the Eiffel Tower – a Victor Legris Mystery
Author: Claude Izner
Published: September 15, 2009, Minotaur
No. of Pages: 320
Cover Price: $18.99 Paperback, $7.99 Kindle

Murder on the Eiffel Tower is the debut novel in the Victor Legris Mystery series. Set in France around 1889 when the Eiffel Tower was just finished and generated publicity and thousands of visitors from all over the world, Victor Legris, owner of a Paris bookstore, is visiting the tower when another visitor is stung by a bee and dies. Several other deaths occur under the same suspicious circumstances, and Victor finds himself fascinated by the deaths. He begins investigating them since he learns that his business partner, Kenji Mori, whom he considers his surrogate father, has been present at the scenes of all of the deaths by bees. Tasha, a beautiful Russian girl and talented illustrator for the sensationalist newspaper Passe Partout, is also present at the deaths, and while Victor thinks he is in love with her, suspects she also may be connected with the deaths.

As with most books written in a foreign language and translated, this book is a bit difficult to follow. While the storyline is interesting, and there is plenty of suspense, the events seem a bit disjointed and take some concentration to understand what is actually happening. The characters are interesting, but since Victor has had no training in investigations, and is young and inexperienced in life in general, readers may wonder why he is in the middle of an investigation as complex as this one. The police believe that it is simply a bee sting that is killing victims who, on the surface seem unrelated, but Victor believes that it isn’t bees at all, and that the victims are being murdered.

As with all good thrillers, there is a surprise ending, and Francophiles will want to read the novel even though it isn’t an easy read. Izner definitely captures the ambience and culture of late 1800 Paris, and it is evident that he has done research into the period; the book seems to be true to historical accounts, so even though it’s fiction, there is much to learn on a historical level.

This book is recommended for anyone who enjoys historical thrillers with suspenseful events, and who doesn’t mind reading between-the-lines to fill in what was left out during translation. The story is interesting, the characters very foreign, and the book is definitely different from the run-of-the-mill thrillers on the bestseller lists today.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this novel.

This book may be purchased at Amazon:
Murder on the Eiffel Tower: A Victor Legris Mystery (Victor Legris Mysteries)

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