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

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

by Claude Izner

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312581619
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 09/15/2009
Series: Victor Legris Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,023,734
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.84(d)

About 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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Murder on the Eiffel Tower (Victor Legris Series #1) 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
PamieHall More than 1 year ago
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.
drakestraw More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Clarepen More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
davidt8 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
One measure of a murder mystery is whether the reader can guess who the murderer is before the author reveals the truth and explains the facts. By that measure, this mystery worked for me. Misdirection fooled me, but apparently it didn¿t fool other reviewers.Some of the pleasure of historical murder mysteries lies in the historical background and the sense of place. Brother Cadfael in Shrewsbury in the 12th Century or Marcus Didius Falco in Rome in the 1st Century is appealing because the reader knows the time and place, with background and details being supplied by the authors. If the reader doesn¿t know the background, there is always Wikipedia to supply information. In this book, set in the late 19th Century in Paris, there are references to Frenchmen that I have never heard of, like General Boulanger, and artists that almost everyone knows, like Van Gogh. There are plenty of famous French authors, too, since the protagonist and his partner are booksellers, plus some obscure ones. There is a lot of grist for the search engine mill, for those readers who really want to know. Perhaps because I know far more British or ancient Roman history than French history of this period, I didn¿t put much effort into learning more.For me, there are more appealing murder mysteries than this one, although maybe subsequent books in the series will be better than the first one. The translation could be better, too. Too much was left in French, and some British words were obscure to me, even though I read a lot of British fiction. Historical mystery readers might well look elsewhere for more enjoyable books.
KayDekker on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I'm definitely looking forward to more translations of "Claude Izner", given how much I enjoyed this.
TheFlamingoReads on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The Eiffel Tower has just opened and thousands of Parisians and other tourists are crowding the upper level to get a glimpse of Paris and sign "The Golden Book" to become a part of history. One visitor is Eugenie Patinot and her niece and two nephews. Eugenie is hot, tired, and agitated, but she feels she must earn her keep while living with her sister by taking care of the children for the day. While resting on a bench she suddenly feels a sting on her neck. She falls to the ground and, within minutes, she is dead.So begins 'Murder on the Eiffel Tower". The historical aspects of the novel ring true, however, as a 'whodunnit', it fails on a couple of levels. For instance, within the first 16 pages we are introduced to no less than 14 different characters, five of whom work at a newspaper whose editor is trying to entice Victor Legris into writing for them. That many characters is confusing, especially since they all return at different points in the book as suspects and/or witnesses. And if that wasn't enough, we are introduced to at least a dozen or so more who just manage to muddy up the story, provoke Victor's raging jealousy, and/or end up dead.Victor Legris, a bookseller and amateur writer and sleuth, begins to see a pattern in the "bee sting" deaths of Euguenie and others, but can't put all the pieces together. Perhaps he is too busy trying to figure out how to get Tasha, a member of the newspaper staff, into bed. He makes himself ill chasing down one "clue" after another, but none of them make sense. It's not until the middle of the book that we begin to discover what these clues are and who they pertain to, but by this time there is so much else going on that it may not matter. The motive for the murders is explained in a posthumous confession, but it seems to be mostly feeble and senseless. The characters are barely on the verge of being interesting themselves. What really shines here is the city of Paris itself. The "author" (really two sisters who own a bookshop and are 'experts' on 19th century Paris) do a wonderful job of describing the times and cityscape. The translator has also done a wonderful job because it is a very easy read and not the usual stilted language often found in translations. Too bad the crime, perpetrator, suspects, and sleuths don't rise to the same level.
vernefan on LibraryThing 7 months ago
*Parisian Puzzle*What a delightful romp through 19th century Paris! Murder on the Eiffel Tower is the first in a series that shows much promise for many enjoyable future reads. Although this is a debut in the USA, two other installments have already been published in France, waiting for translation. The setting is late 1800s Paris at the time of the Worlds' Exhibition which dazzles the local Parisians with it's many marvels and wonders from around the world. At the same time we have the unveiling of the famous Eiffel Tower, both events showcasing a variety of mysterious murders thought to be caused by bee stings. To unravel these cryptic and unusual deaths comes young Victor Legris, a local Antiquarian bookseller caught up in the melee and who soon suspects his own business partner may be the murderer. The novel offers great character development, good plots with twists and turns, great historical backdrop and plenty of action and intrique to keep the reader turning the pages. Not being able to put this wonderful book down, I found it a breath of fresh air and a pure delight to read. I eagerly await book two and three which I have already ordered UK copies of. I simply cant' wait another year or more for US translations to get here. Dont' miss this sparkling debut. It's fun, it's different and darn good simple old fashioned murder mystery.
ClifSven on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Normally, I like mysteries. This one, however, couldn't hold my interest at all. I couldn't even finish it. The characters didn't "come alive" for me and the plot was only minimally interesting.
rdjanssen on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Murder on the Eiffel Tower was described to me as being to the World Exposition in Paris, France as Devil in the White City was to the World¿s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, USA. Unfortunately, the only similarity between the two books is being set at World¿s Fairs.There was no grand description of what the World¿s Fair was like and how much time, effort and money it took to set it up and host the event. These historical and interesting tidbits were summed up in three pages as a historical footnote. The setting at the World Exposition was only marginally important and could quite possibly have been set at any time.The murder mystery aspect was somewhat nonsensational. Not being a mystery fan I cannot comment to strongly on its caliber as a mystery. However, it did appear to have more emphasis on means rather than motive when the murder mystery was being investigated. This may be a flaw as it led me to deduce who the murder was roughly 200 pages into the book. It was a quick, refreshing read, nonetheless.If one is looking for a vivid description of the World Exposition in Paris, France in 1889 this is not the book to read; the reader will be sorely disappointed. As a historical mystery story there may be something here for you. I would recommend anything by Harold Schechter with Edgar Alan Poe as the sleuth over this book for good 19th century murder mystery.
AdonisGuilfoyle on LibraryThing 7 months ago
A quirky murder mystery in bohemian Paris. Victor Legris, bookseller by day, is a very amateur detective - the type that jumps to conclusions, and nearly gets himself killed - whose curiousity is piqued by a series of sudden deaths at the Paris Expo of 1889 (the opening of the tower). The murders start with the first chapter, and are as regularly paced as the clues (although I just sat back and enjoyed the story!) 'Claude Izner' is the pen name for two sisters, themselves booksellers on the banks of the River Seine, writing about late nineteenth century Paris, so the details are realistic and the setting evocative. The cast of characters is eclectic - Victor's Japanese business partner and father figure, and his very much put-upon shop assistant, form the 'family' of booksellers - but only roughly sketched; hopefully these will be 'fleshed out' beyond names and traits in the later sequels. And Tasha, Victor's love interest, is rather cliched - a red-headed Russian artist, savouring independence and personal freedom. Still, a very enjoyable mystery, with 'fin de siecle' Paris brought vividly to life (would have liked a map, though!)
austcrimefiction on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I suspect we all pick up a book looking forward to what is going to happen. So normally around page 50 a reader will be getting twitchy if nothing much has happened. Get to the end of the book and it still seems like you're waiting for something to happen and it's a very frustrating experience. Set during the 1889 World Expo in Paris, the Eiffel Tower has just been officially opened and is a massive attraction. When a woman dies on one of the Tower's platforms, officially she died from a bee sting. As other people also die supposedly from bee stings, the police are not particularly interested, but Victor Legris, local bookseller and man about town type, is convinced that there is something sinister to these deaths.Part of the reason that the book seems to go nowhere is that very early on the reader will find themselves being dragged down all sorts of cul-de-sacs, and dead-end alleyways into some, albeit fascinating historical aspects. What the book does particularly well is give you a great sense of the place and time - with some of those cul-de-sacs quite interesting in their own right. If only they hadn't dragged the focus away from the main plot point just once too often.None of that meandering around was much helped by the investigation style of Legris. Which seemed to amount to a lot of leaping and posturing, and very little in the way of fact gathering - or disclosure to the reader for that matter. The other problem with the book was some seriously poor character development, particularly that of Legris and his love interest, Tasha the Russian artist. He was very flat, and strangely one-dimensional and I did wonder how much the background of the author (actually two Parisian bookselling sisters) informed their view of their central protagonist. Perhaps they were aiming for dramatic and interesting, but alas ended up with melodramatic and a bit silly. Tasha didn't fare much better, as if being an artist in 1880's Paris wasn't enough of a cliché, she was Russian, she started out with a bit of potential, but quickly faded to bland.I will dip into the next book in the series, as it's here, and first books are often not a good indicator of the potential of a series, but to be honest, I had to bribe myself with a chocolate for every 20 pages read to finish this one. I hope my doctor's not going to get all over-excited about my blood sugar levels after the next one.
kellyslist on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book started out well with enjoyable descriptions of the World Exposition that unveils the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It turns out that those descriptive passages are the best part of the novel. The mystery never really made sense to me and I found it hard to like the bookseller turned detective, Victor. Half the time, he becomes physically ill after suspecting both his partner and new-found love interest of a series of murders in the city. The point of view changes quite often, making both the characters and story hard to follow. My interest in Paris and historical settings are what made me continue to the end.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The setting is the 1889 World Exposition in Paris. A series of deaths occurs in which the victims appear to have been stung by a bee. Did they really have that many killer bees or was it murder? Bookseller Victor Legris sets out to investigate. Legris is not a very likeable sleuth. He doesn't always finish what he sets out to do before going off on another tangent. Other characters seem to have a better handle on the situation than he does. He didn't even seem to have the motive determined (although others did). I was disappointed that a book with such a unique setting had such a weak sleuth. Although I'm sure the mystery suffered some in its translation from the French, it could not have suffered this much.
Joycepa on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The debut novel of a projected series, the setting is 1889 Paris and the 4th Universal Exposition, in that city. Two of the main protagonists are Victor Legris and Kenji Mori, co-owners of the Elzévir (no relation to the publishing house, as far as I could determine) antiquarian book store¿and the Expo itself. The Eiffel Tower has just been dedicated and opened to the public, and there is quite a furor over this (for that time) staggering feat of engineering. Crowds flock to rise to the different stories on the tower, there to ooh and aah over the views of Paris. Meantime, there are acres of exhibitions around the Tower, some nationalistic, others dedicated to showing the progress of human kind, such as the History of Habitation. Food vendors abound. Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild Indians are on hand to thrill visitors to the Expo with their version of life on the North American plains.Unnoticed by all this, a scavenger¿a rag-and-bone man¿dies suddenly from what appears to be a bee sting. Later, on the tower itself, a middle-aged nanny suddenly dies from seemingly the same causes. This is taken up by the press, and when other deaths follow from seemingly the same causes, the uproar spreads to all Paris. Victor, for personal reasons involving fears that Kenji Mori, his best friend, or a new female interest, Tasha, may somehow be involved, conducts his own investigation.Thus the plot, which, if truth be told, is pretty pedestrian. It doesn¿t take a rocket scientist to figure out how the murders are committed. And the murderer isn¿t that much of a surprise, either. The characters are pretty much one-dimensional, although that may be deliberate, given the apparent style (see below). In fact, it could be said the the main reason for the book's existence is not so much the plot or character development but simply as a showcase for the Expo. The writing about the Expo feels very self-conscious.The style of the book, so far as I, no reader of late 19th century fiction, can tell, appears to be modeled on Victorian-era crime fiction¿which, I found out to my surprise, was quite a lively genre at that time. The prose is overblown, the characters ¿rush" around, and all in all, the style lends charm. It¿s pretty funny to see how Victorian-era mores influenced the French, for heaven¿s sake!However, I have one really major complaint with the book. It seems to be all the rage these days in subsets of mysteries/police procedurals/thrillers to include ¿relevant¿ issues. When done well, such as in C.J. Box¿s Joe Pickett series, that adds greatly to the enjoyment and authenticity of the book. When done poorly, such as in Julia Spencer-Fleming¿s mediocre 2nd book in an otherwise superb series, it¿s boring. Another fashion in vogue is the inclusion of historical characters as either 2nd tier protagonists in thrillers such as The Eight and The Fire, by Katherine Neville, or in cameo roles. In this book, we see get a short view of Anatole France patronizing the bookstore, and we also get what seems to be a de rigueur visit to an artist¿s supply shop where the discerning owner has taken in canvasses by Cezanne and van Gogh in payment for paints and brushes, and predicts to Victor that the day is coming when museums will be fighting over these now-unknowns. Oh, spare me.Frankly, this device is being used so often and so badly that it has gone from being boring to downright annoying. As in the case with The Fire and others, it does nothing to advance the plot or even make it interesting. All it does is show that the author has done some research into the era and is tossing the stuff in either gratuitously or to prove the verisimilitude of the historical setting. It has become for me a major annoyance and I downgrade all books that just use it for glitter.There is an excellent historical note at the end of the book on the Paris Expo.All in all, unless you can get this book from the library and read it ou
mcfitz on LibraryThing 8 months ago
What should have been an interesting historical mystery is unfortunately hampered by lack of depth in both plot and character. Story is promising and description is solid, although off-center at times.Basically, the main character makes seemingly bad decisions for completely unknown or at least inane reasons. Other characters are brought on as red herrings and let drop, including the few I would have cared about, and some are not well or fully developed. The bookstore clerk is one exception, who provided some needed comic relief. In the end, we find the criminal has an incredibly lame motive for action, which should have been a keystone of the plot.The time period is fascinating and the descriptions of the city and people are very compelling. The author obviously did the research but the writing was not pedagogical in tone.Perhaps in the next book in this series, the author will flesh out the characters and create a more appealing story.
Wiskara on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I have to say that the concept of the book was a good one. This story had all of the makings for a good historical mystery except a mastery of the English language. There were so many times that the original French terms were retained that it completely distracted from the story. I would often find myself flipping back several pages to see who was talking and what they were talking about. It was a struggle to finish the book because I could never completely lose myself in the story. I found all of the historical details to be fascinating and was delighted by the way they were woven into the story. If read French and are looking for a good suspense novel with good character development and great historical detail then this book is for you - if not, I would not recommend it.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The events of Murder on the Eiffel Tower take place during the Universal Exposition of 1889, for which the Eiffel Tower was constructed. Amidst the festivities, a woman dies, apparently from a bee sting. When further deaths from bee stings ensue, bookseller Victor Legris begins to wonder if in fact a murderer is at work.The book was difficult to follow. The "detective" was unable to hold a thought for more than a few seconds. As soon as an idea popped into his head, he immediately acted on it. Before he would fully carry out his idea, another one would occur to him. He would abandon his original idea and head off in another direction. I think there was an attempt to build suspense and a sense of impending danger, but I wasn't affected by it. I was too confused. Somehow Victor eventually managed to identify the culprit, but not the motive. I thought one of the other characters would have made a better detective. In fact, the other character apparently figured things out earlier than Victor did.I have a sense that the book was driven, not by the plot, but by the Exposition and the city of Paris of that era. If the same attention to detail had been given to the development of the mystery it would have been a much stronger book.
Kasthu on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Its 1889, and people from all over the world have come to Paris for the Universal Exposition commemorating the centenary of the fall of the Bastille. One day, on top of the newly constructed Eiffel Tower, a woman dies, apparently of a bee sting. Later, an American naturalist dies, apparently of the same cause. There's no evidence to prove that these deaths are murder, but Victor Legris, a bookseller, sets out to solve the crime. The authors are two sisters who are booksellers in Paris, so the atmosphere they evoke in this mystery is pretty authentic, with close attention to details. I have a weakness for historical mysteries, so this book was right up my alley in that respect. However, I couldn't get past the characters themselves. They all seem so stereotypical: the unassuming detective with a mistress in the wings, the mysterious coworker, the red-haired femme fatale. There's not much here that's original. Victor was also really dense at times when it came to obvious clues. In order for me to want to continue reading a series, I have to want to continue reading about the characters. Murder on the Eiffel Tower did not leave me with that feeling, so it's doubtful that I'll read further books in this series.
ddelmoni on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Boy I wish I could read French - the original language this book was written in. I'd bet it was much better than the English translation.I was really looking forward to a mystery set in Paris in the late 19th century as I'm usually reading mysteries about England in the same era. Unfortunately I found everything about this book flat -- the story, the plot, and all of the characters. I had great difficulty finishing the book...oh who am I kidding... I couldn't get past page 200.
harris39 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I was very excited to receive this book through the Early Reviewers program. Unfortunately, the book itself sorely failed to meet my expectations, and was hugely disappointing. I found the characters flat, and felt as though details of the period were merely thrown in as asides, rather than used to evoke a real sense of what late 19th century Paris was truly like. I did think that the dialogue captured whimsical/lyrical quality of the French language at times, but such occasions were fleeting. The writing overall was generally uninspiring and tended to feel very expositional, with little flair.I found the story itself to be quite boring, likely in large part due to the pacing of the narrative. The first murder occurs very early on in the story (within the first chapter), yet any investigation into it on Victor's part, has yet to occur by page 80, which is where I stopped reading after deciding I really didn't care how it all turned out. On the one hand, I felt the first murder occurs too swiftly and consequently feels trivial and random, but then any advances in that case slow to a non-existent pace. Furthermore, I just couldn't get interested in Victor as a character, as he felt unidimensional and hollow to me. The draw that he's a bookseller seems misleading, as it suggests that this crime might have some sort of literary parallel (which would attract a certain type of reader), but in fact I got the sense that his profession would have little bearing on the case.In the end, I felt this book was clearly a first effort, as it lacked the polish and understanding of a more experienced writer. It lacked luster and just wasn't very enjoyable. I don't feel any desire to read any further in this series, and suspect there must be better historical mysteries out there. Save your time and go find those!
Megret on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This was a fun, enjoyable read. I had a some trouble understanding- or justifying some of the main character's actions- but overall, a this was a good mystery, and would make for a pleasant summer afternoon in the park or at the beach.
indianajane on LibraryThing 8 months ago
It is very rare that a historical novel or mystery doesn't capture enough of my attention to keep me reading, but this was such a book. I gave the book forty-five pages before I put it aside. I may try it again someday, but not any time soon.