Murder on the Eiffel Tower (Victor Legris Series #1)

( 20 )

Overview

The brand-new, shiny Eiffel Tower is the pride and glory of the 1889 World Exposition. But one sunny afternoon, as visitors are crowding the viewing platforms, a woman collapses and dies on this great Paris landmark. Can a bee sting really be the cause of death? Or is there a more sinister explanation? Enter young bookseller Victor Legris. Present on the tower at the time of the incident, and appalled by the media coverage of the occurrence, he is determined to find out what actually happened. In this dazzling ...

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Murder on the Eiffel Tower (Victor Legris Series #1)

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Overview

The brand-new, shiny Eiffel Tower is the pride and glory of the 1889 World Exposition. But one sunny afternoon, as visitors are crowding the viewing platforms, a woman collapses and dies on this great Paris landmark. Can a bee sting really be the cause of death? Or is there a more sinister explanation? Enter young bookseller Victor Legris. Present on the tower at the time of the incident, and appalled by the media coverage of the occurrence, he is determined to find out what actually happened. In this dazzling evocation of late nineteenth-century Paris, we follow Victor as his investigation takes him all over the city and he suspects an ever-changing list of possible perpetrators. Could mysterious Kenji Mori, his surrogate father and business partner at the bookstore Legris operates, be involved in the crime? Why are beautiful Russian illustrator Tasha and her colleagues at the newly launched sensationalist newspaper Passepartout always up-to-date in their reporting? And what will Legris do when the deaths begin to multiply and he is caught in a race against time?

Murder on the Eiffel Tower is painstakingly researched, an effortless evocation of the glorious City of Light, and an exciting opening to a promising series of eight books featuring Victor Legris.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Izner combines a sparkling puzzle (reminiscent of one of Agatha Christie's most famous novels) with complex characters and appealing descriptions of Paris, and Murder on the Eiffel Tower is a well-executed beginning to a series with great potential." — The Richmond Times Dispatch

"An extremely satisfying traditional mystery with lots of suspects and panache. Izner writes in a witty, breezy style, which conjures up the Paris of 1889 and the huge sprawl of the exhibition. The plot is terrific, and who can't enjoy another good time in the City of Light..."—Providence Journal-Bulletin

"Fans of quality historical will welcome Izner's debut. The taut pacing and vivid period detail will have readers eagerly turning the pages." —Publishers Weekly

"...the energetic curiosity of the hero dovetails nicely with the readers' interest in a fascianting era. The colorful supporting cast lays a solid foundation for Victor's further exploits." — Kirkus Reviews

“Reading Izner is like taking a ride into the belle epoque in a time machine. A wonderfully breathtaking ride.” —-Boris Akunin, author of The Winter Queen, The Turkish Gambit, and Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog

“I read this charming, evocative, and suspenseful book with the mounting excitement I always get when I realize I’ve found a new series—-I can’t wait for the next Victor Legris book. What a pleasure it is to visit Paris with such an expert tour guide!” —-Charles Finch, author of A Beautiful Blue Death and The September Society

“A book of great charm—-full of delightful historical detail—-and deftly written.” —-Frank Tallis, author of A Death in Vienna and Vienna Blood

“[A] clock-beating thriller . . . entertaining views of nineteenth-century Paris.” —-Financial Times (UK)

"A charming journey through the life and intellectual times of an era." —Le Monde

"Evokes the electric atmosphere of Paris...in 1889" —Le Nouvel Observateur

"Isabel Reid's seamless translation captures the novel's many period charms." —The Independent

"...a charming and amusing whirl around a time of rapid social an intellectual change." —The Morning Star

"...original...well-plotted and atmospheric." FidraBooks.co.uk

"The plot is ecxiting and the story just raced away...an enjoyable introduction to this author." —CrimeSquad.com

"A fascinating book...strong and intriguing." —MonstersAndCritics.com

Publishers Weekly

Fans of quality historicals will welcome Izner's debut, the first of a series to feature an engaging and fallible amateur sleuth. In 1889, Parisian bookseller Victor Legris finds himself in the midst of a baffling series of deaths connected with the newly opened Eiffel Tower. The victims all apparently died from bee stings, but Legris suspects foul play. His inquiry coincides with another role outside his usual occupation, as a contributor to Le Passe-partout, a new sensationalist newspaper. Almost as soon as the bookman seizes on a promising suspect, that person turns up dead as well, leaving him with a dwindling pool, which, to his chagrin, includes Le Passe-partout's attractive illustrator, an enigmatic Russian woman with whom he's become besotted. The taut pacing and vivid period detail will have readers eagerly turning the pages. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

At the 1889 World Exposition in Paris, bookshop owner and photographer Victor Legris witnesses the death of a woman, apparently from a bee sting, atop the new Eiffel Tower. More deaths soon follow, launching an emotional investigation concerning everything that Victor holds dear. Coauthored by two Parisian sisters and booksellers writing under a nom de plume, this debut of a very Gallic series will appeal to Francophiles and fans of historicals. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ5/1/08; a Minotaur First Edition selection; library marketing campaign.]


—Jo Ann Vicarel
Kirkus Reviews
The excitement of the 1889 World Exposition is muted, then intensified, by murder. With Paris abuzz over the debut of Gustave Eiffel's magnificent tower, the death of a rag-and-bone man at a parade for Buffalo Bill's visiting troupe merits little attention. Weeks after the fatality is ascribed to a bee sting, maiden aunt Eugenie Patinot succumbs to a similar fate during the world expo for which the Tower serves as an entrance arch. Nearby, bookseller Victor Legris meets his dogged journalist friend Marius Bonnet to celebrate the latter's newspaper, Le Passe-partout. Also in attendance are Victor's mysterious business partner Kenji Mori and Russian emigre Tasha Kherson, who works as Bonnet's illustrator. Romantic sparks flash between Victor and Tasha even before Bonnet publishes an anonymous note suggesting that Eugenie was murdered. When another "bee sting" death occurs outside the Colonial Palace, Victor's insatiable curiosity turns him into an amateur sleuth who juggles clues about the crimes, a budding affair with Tasha, elbow-rubbing with celebrities like Anatole France and an attempt to prove, at least to himself, that his friend Mori is not the killer. In this series kickoff from Izner (pseudonym for a pair of collaborating sisters), the energetic curiosity of the hero dovetails nicely with readers' interest in a fascinating era. The colorful supporting cast lays a solid foundation for Victor's further exploits.
The Barnes & Noble Review
On a sweltering summer day during the 1889 World Exposition, a woman collapses and dies while visiting the newly opened Eiffel Tower. The police believe it's the deadly result of a bee sting, but bookseller Victor Legris -- also on the Tower that day -- has his doubts, especially when other victims of the ?killer bees? start dropping dead in the City of Light. This first in a series of mysteries by Claude Izner (a pseudonym for two sisters who are Parisian booksellers) follows the often clueless Victor through the bustling Exposition as his list of suspects grows with each new body. While the mystery has its share of problems -- among them: thinly drawn characters and wooden dialogue -- it's also full of period details that provide a vibrant backdrop for readers who like murder encased in history. --David Abrams
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312581619
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Series: Victor Legris Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 492,291
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Claude Izner is the pseudonym of two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefevre. Both are secondhand booksellers on the banks of the Seine and experts on nineteenth-century Paris.

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Customer Reviews

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( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    GREAT READ FOR LOVERS OF PARIS

    I bought this book based on the title and cover. I love France and especially Paris. When leaving on a recent trip to Paris, I selected this book for the plane. I figured it would be a great way to get in the Francophile mood. I have always loved mysteries and history. This book easily combines the two, carefully weaving the 1889 Exposition in Paris with a series of mysterious deaths. The characters are interesting and believable; the descriptions were excellent, making it easy to envision the people and places, at that time. The story is light, sometimes funny, sometimes romantic and also informative. I searched Paris for the 2nd book in the series, but was only able to find it in French! Ordering it now on bn.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    In some ways more a historical thriller than an amateur sleuth, MURDER ON THE EIFFEL TOWER is in either case a terrific tale

    In 1889 while the Buffalo Bill show parades through the streets of Paris as part of World Exposition extravaganza, a rag and bone man dies from a bee sting. Soon afterward at the top of the new Eiffel Tower, Parisian bookstore owner and photographer Victor Legris watches as a woman, Eugenie Patinot, apparently dies from a bee sting.

    Victor meets with his business partner Kenji Mori, his friend reporter Marius Bonnet and Russian illustrator Tasha Kherson. With a common interest to spark them, Victor and Tasha become an entry. When a third "bee sting" death occurs near the Colonial Palace, Victor investigates hoping he can write an article for Le Passe-partout.

    In some ways more a historical thriller than an amateur sleuth, MURDER ON THE EIFFEL TOWER is in either case a terrific tale. Readers will be caught up with Victor's energy as he escorts the audience around Paris at an exciting time for the city. The whodunit is cleverly devised to provide fans with a strong mystery, but the entertaining story line belongs to the hero and his supporting cast especially late nineteenth century Paris at a time when technology is booming.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent historical detail; plot/characters need work

    I was excited to read this book because I am an avid fan of historical mysteries AND the amateur sleuth in the novel, Victor Legris, was a Parisian bookseller. What an unbeatable combo for any bibliophile!

    Set in the glittering world of 19th-century Paris, the author effortlessly whisks readers to the vividly painted world of the City of Light during the 1889 World Exposition, a heady event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, which dazzles visitors with its many wonders from around the globe and whose highlight was the sensational unveiling of the then-tallest structure in the world: the Eiffel Tower. And it's at the Eiffel Tower that a string of seemingly unrelated deaths occur that compel bookseller and amateur sleuth Victor Legris to investigate what he believes is actually murder. Thus begins an engaging romp around turn-of-the century Paris in pursuit of the truth.

    "Murder at the Eiffel Tower's" best aspects are how it transports readers to the streets and inner sanctums of fin de siècle Paris as well as serving up a host of tasty tidbits about the art and book world of the time. FYI, Claude Izner is actually the pen name for two French sisters who are modern-day booksellers in Paris who are touted to have expertise in this time period, thus the reason why this historical whodunit has such well-researched period details that are so spot-on and pitch perfect. You will also especially like this book if you are a fan of French architecture. The actual mystery aspect of this volume seemed, to me, less masterful and many of of the characters, especially the secondary ones, felt less than fully fleshed out. However, the author does hold potential: I did enjoy the story and would check out another book by this author (especially as this book launches an 8-book series featuring Victor Legris) to see how "they" are developing their craft.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    Not my cup of tea

    I was looking for a new author to read, but this is not the one. The book lacked something - not sure what, but it didn't hold my interest much. I thought most of the characters were jerks and didn't connect with them. Won't buy the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

    Slow starter....

    This one seemed to move rather slowly for me. I had a difficult time really getting into it. I wouldn't rush out and buy another book by this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Throw it off the Tower

    Besides being poorly written and terribly translated, this book is just simply not very good. If I did not have a compulsion to finish every book I start, I would have tossed this one after reading the first third of it. Initially intriguing, I found this book to be terribly plodding and unrealistic. Given the time period, Izner took what could have been fascinating and turned it into a hack that may have been written in a week, if not less. I would not recommend anyone wasting a day on reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2014

    Perhaps it was the translation but this was a difficult story to

    Perhaps it was the translation but this was a difficult story to endure. The first chapters were promising as a mystery but then the main character Victor appears. His internal and external ramblings comprise most the rest of the story. He is petty, jealous, confused, insecure, and, considering he finds but does not recognize the murder weapon even though it had been stolen from his book store, inept. I was also not impressed with the depiction of the World Exposition nor Paris. The only character for which I had any affinity was Joseph, an employee Victor mistreats. I have no interest in continuing the series.

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  • Posted July 4, 2012

    When I first saw this book, I thought this book would be great.

    When I first saw this book, I thought this book would be great. But to my disappointment, there was extremely confusion and awkward in the characters. Fortunately for me, I borrowed this book from a local library. Whew...

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    A futsy, fussy waste of time

    Despite the nom de plume Claude Isner, it is obvious this book is written by two women, who are not quite in sync. The prose and dialog is wordy and awkward and the story moves along in fits and starts and I found myself losing interest. The first few times I thought i was just tired, but I could only read a few pages before my mind started wandering to other things. My wife had the same problem and she reads everything. Her vote was "its okay." My vote is that a committee cannot write a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2009

    very disappointed

    Unfortunately I felt this book read exactly as if two people had written it. It was disjointed and drawn out. I found myself skipping entire sections just to keep the motivation to finish the book. I did not develop any attachment or connection with the characters. I don't believe I will be reading any more from this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2010

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    Posted October 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted December 7, 2009

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    Posted October 9, 2010

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    Posted January 29, 2010

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    Posted October 28, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2010

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    Posted September 1, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2009

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    Posted December 19, 2011

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