Come back in time and join the book trail tour of Paris of 1889 and the opening of the Universal exhibition –
The story in a nutshell-
The brand new Eiffel Tower, some 300 metres high, towers above theParis Universal Exposition, May 1889.
The eager crowds are clamouring to sign the visitors’ Golden Book and to get a special personalised copy of Le Figaro newspaper.
Victor Legris, a Parisian bookseller and photographer, is there to see the exhibition but to also meet Marius Bonnet, a friend who wants him to contribute a column to the newspaper he has just started – Le Passe-partout
Suddenly a woman, Eugénie Patinot collapses on the second platform of the tower and dies. Apparently stung by a bee.
When other people die from supposed bee stings, Victor is keen to find out what exactly is going on, and what the link between the victims might be. Does there seem to be a link with the Expo and is Victor himself about to stumble on a dangerous truth?
Setting – Paris and the Universal Exposition of 1889
Wander down the the cobbled streets of nineteenth century Paris – where there is a huge wave of excitement of the start of the Paris Expo – Eugénie Patinot is taking the children to the fair like so many others that day –
She plunged headlong into the fray. A huge crowd was jostling around the multicouloured kiosks, forming a human tide of French people and foreigners of all races….The Exposition seemed to come at them from all sides.
The air filled with excitement, food, flowers and horse dung –
On the top of the eiffel tower, we get to see how it must have felt to be at the top of that tower and how it still feels to be there now to be honest –
Do you realise we can see Chartres from her? It’s a hundred and twenty kilometres away. And there are the towers of Notre-Dame and there, those of Saint Sulpice. Then there’s the done of the Pantheon, the Val-de-Grade. It’s amazing, like being in Gulliver’s Travels!’
but then – The lift operating on the southern pillar had been hailed on their floor…..
Victor, using the snippets of information included strategically throughout the book that sometimes he seems to miss them as he is too close to the goings on around him. He takes us on a thrilling tour of Paris looking for clues and literally chasing people up and around the narrow streets –
A – the Eiffel tower and the Champ de Mars – location of the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition
B – 18 rue des saint pères paris where the bookstore is
C – Rue Notre-Dame de Lorette, where Tasha in the novel lives
D – Galerie Véro-Dodat, where the newspaper offices are
A nice touch is the description of the old bookshop where Victor works – acting as a touching introduction into the unique and unforgettable environment of Paris second hand and antique bookstores. How I wish the Elzevir, New and Antiquarian Books really existed!
In the shop windows, which were set in wood paneling of a greeny-bronze colour, novels by Maupassant, Huysmans, Pail Bourget and Jules Verne (whose latest title Two Years Vacation, was prominently displayed)
In one corner he made out Kenji Mori, sitting at a small desk, writing. Surrounded by shelves covered in books, and piles of works that were waiting for a place to be found for them …
A murder, mystery and an old style romp around the hustle and bustle of Paris at one of the most exciting times of its history! Published by Gallic books – you can visit their bookshop here – http://gallicbooks.com/