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Posted January 4, 2013
Dee Garretson captures Paris in 1878 with beautiful descriptions and enchanting dialog that makes me want to see if it really was how she said it was. In the Gargoyle in the Seine, you witness not only the beauty of Paris but also the darkness that lingers in plain sight.
Clary Ashton is a great main character with all of her spitfire qualities that linger in the back of your mind once you're done reading about her. She is stubborn and creative, a great mixture when it comes to reading about a book's main character. From the beginning of the book, she captures your interest and if anything, you read to see what happens to her.
All the characters, good and bad, are interestingly portrayed and you will find yourself cheering for people that you hated in the beginning. Well, maybe not hate but dislike a lot. Also in the end, you will find yourself questioning if your first opinions of characters you liked were really all that true. You learn to question the motives of everyone throughout the novel because no one is beyond betrayal.
I am not ashamed to admit that I love historical fiction, mostly because of the way the clothes are captured in the writer's mind and the way the characters speak. There is a certain amount of familiarity and difference between then and now that has always intrigued me. Dee Garretson definitely did not fall short when it came to breathing life into her version of Paris and yet, she still maintains a certain amount of today's language in the narrative to be helpful to the readers.
I really liked this book and I plan on reading it again. If you like historical fiction, you will like this.
Posted April 28, 2012
I just finished “The Gargoyle in the Seine” by Dee Garretson as my Crime/Mystery selection in my Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge . I’m completing my reader challenge using only books from authors I follow on Twitter, and I have to say that I picked a great read for this category.
Garretson has created a strong heroine in Clary Ashton, a British art student who spent her childhood traveling the American west with her father and brother. This unique upbringing has provided Clary with confidence to take on the challenge of a fellow art student’s murder.
Standing in Clary’s way is Reese Tretheway, a British undercover spy in Paris trying to protect a visiting British royal. At each step in this mystery Reese tries to cover up the clues to this international espionage that includes Russian revolutionaries, impoverished British aristocrats, and botany.
Garretson weaves an amazing grasp for art, Parisian history, and chemistry in this mystery story. Readers will find inspiring Russian proverbs, tips for the Victorian lady’s etiquette, and insights into art and music. Clary has that approachable American attitude, and Reese is the sophisticated, manly spy as sexy in a tuxedo as he is in a workman's clothing.
Without leaving gaps in this mystery story, Garretson has created a world with plenty of growth for Clary’s and Reese’s relationship that I look forward to learning about in future novels.
Posted October 20, 2011
Reviewed by Rita V for Readers Favorite
The Gargoyle In The Seine; A Victorian Mystery is a thrilling mystery novel written by Dee Garretson. Clary Ashton is an art student studying in Paris, 1878. Her brother, Sam, tells her that there is a gargoyle lurking nearby the Seine River, whose job it is to be guardian of the drowned and hopeless souls. Strolling along nearby the river, Clary runs into a past art acquaintance named, Liam, who seems a bit distraught and quickly hands her a folio and then dashes away. Clary then witnesses Liam as he plunges to his mysterious death from the bridge into the icy depths of the rippling Seine River. Who pushed Liam off the bridge? Was it suicide or did her own brother, Sam, have something to do with the murder? Caught up in politics and superstition, Clary soon discovers clues unraveling before her very eyes. She will find out that Liam had many forbidden secret scandals of his own and how it all entwines with the story that unfolds before her very eyes. Mr. Reese Tretheway steps into the picture as a secret agent and Clary finds herself as his sidekick in trying to halt a royal assassination and an imperialist spy. Will you be able to guess who the killer really is?
The cover of this book is very appealing and gives the reader a unique glimpse into this incredible Victorian Era mystery novel. The descriptive words used to describe the setting are delicately written and the reader feels like they can use all of their senses to take in the scenery and settings. I felt like I could smell the mist rose and view the beautiful iron spirals near the Seine River in person. The time period of this story brings us back to a vintage era where it is fun to imagine all the characters dressed up, speaking French and trying to solve a complex mystery. It was interesting to think that the artists Renoir and Monet were alive and interacting with the characters in this novel along with Scotland Yard. I felt a little overwhelmed with all the characters in the beginning and found it difficult to keep them all in order until Chapter 10 arrived. Then things began to fall into place for me and I could comprehend the novel better. This intriguing story truly allowed me to be my own sleuth character in Paris, fighting off danger and dark characters to seek the truth. Dee Garretson has done an incredible job of combining action, adventure, mystery, politics, superstition and art into one very well written novel.