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Cezanne's Quarry: A Mystery Paperback – September 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus; Reprint edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605980609
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605980607
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Could Paul Cézanne be a killer? Pope animates her canvas with plenty of vivid period detail. Francophiles and history buffs will find much to savor. A provocative debut. (Publishers Weekly)”

Cézanne's Quarry is a highly accomplished, compelling novel. Beneath an exquisite veneer of historical detail lurks a thoughtful exploration of science and religion, of old values and new, and of a woman's place in the world. (Hallie Ephron, The Boston Globe)”

About the Author

Barbara Corrado Pope is a historian and the founding director of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Oregon. She is the author of the novels Cézanne’s Quarry and The Blood of Lorraine.  Barbara lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband.

More About the Author

Barbara Corrado Pope is the author of three historical novels set in late-19th-century France. Long an admirer of a variety of European mystery writers like Simenon, LeCarre, Pears and Mankell, she strives to meld her love and knowledge of the past with the page-turning styles of these masters. Her first novel, Cezanne's Quarry, was nominated for an Oregon Book Award; her second, The Blood of Lorraine received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Her third, The Missing Italian Girl, arrives in February 2013.

She has a PhD in the Social and Intellectual History of Europe from Columbia University and has taught history and women's studies in places as diverse as Hungary, Tuscany, the University of New Mexico, and Harvard Divinity School. Her longest stint was at the University of Oregon, where she was the founding director of women's studies.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Barbara now resides in Oregon. She is married, the mother of a daughter, and the mistress of one cat.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alain Jehlen on June 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Most good mysteries are puzzles. You follow the detective trying to put together the clues, and try to figure it out before he or she does. But generally, the detective isn't changed as a person in the course of solving the crime. This book is different. It's a great mystery, but also an engrossing novel. I connected with Bernard Martin, the young, novice judge, an outsider with a difficult past and problematic future, who suddenly finds a dramatic murder case dumped in his lap. The dead woman is fascinating, but I cared as much about his fate as hers. A great read!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chapati VINE VOICE on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Plot Summary:
In late summer, 1885, a woman's body is found in a quarry near Aix-en-Provence, France. She was raped and murdered. Bernard Martin, a shy new judge in the district, is assigned to the case along with the rough-and-tumble constable in the district, Franc. At first the case seems simple. The woman, Solange Vernet, was probably murdered in a jealous rage by her lover, the English geologist Charles Westerbury. But then they learn that the artist, Cezanne, had a relationship with the woman as well. So maybe it was he who killed her. Underlying the case, and running as a theme throughout the novel, is the French criminal justice system in the late 1900s, the terrifying prospect of being a woman with little means at the turn of the century, and the battle between science and religion.

Review:
Barbara Pope Corrado really packs a lot into a pretty quick read. In addition to a murder mystery (or two, or three), she gives readers a primer on French law and the country's difficulties choosing between religion and science. The murder mystery was interesting, but I didn't feel any particular affinity for any of the main characters in the novel, and so I didn't really care whether anyone was guilty or innocent.

I did, however, find the historical context fascinating, particularly the struggle for supremacy between science and religion. I didn't realize that it was a subject battled so openly and passionately at the turn of the 19th century, but Pope makes it clear that in France, at least, it certainly was.

I also don't know much about the French law system, but it seems like it was fairly unjust at the time. And, as usual in history, when laws are lax or unjust, it is often the women who suffer by them. This story certainly highlights that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Chapin Massey on September 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Barabara Pope puts you in the picture. With wonderful detail, she leads you into the Provencal quarry that Cezanne painted over and over again. Lying on the multi-colored rocks you find the body of a beautiful woman and you wonder if Cezanne murdered her. You are immediately immersed in debates about evolution and faith, the tensions between social groups and the perils of being both a woman and poor. Pope's mystery shocks and surprises, in part, because it is such a superb history. Don't miss this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By judy petsonk on February 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Like a Cezanne painting, Cezanne's Quarry builds a portrait that is both allusive and elusive, of the region, the characters and motivations, and the plot. Bernard Martin, the sleuthing judge, is appealing, with real emotions and frustrations connected to a real job, rather different in the French judicial system from what we assume in America. The red herrings are a more subtle rust color than red so you don't feel misled when you end up guessing wrong until the very end. And although Cezanne, a suspect, isn't the focus of the quest,you end up learning a few fascinating facts about the character along the way. With a historian's faithfulness to detail and a Francophile's attention to flavor, Cezanne's Quarry gave me a taste of a just-out-of-reach past world that I had not known before.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. D. Foster on October 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this in hardbound -- see my review under the hardbound edition -- but now that it is out in paperback I'll buy copies for my friends. (I guess I'm too cheap to buy a bunch of HB's.)
I found this first novel by Professor Pope absolutely fascinating, and can hardly wait for her new one coming out soon.
Unlike the prior reviewer, I found the characters well-portrayed and interesting. The historical context added to story, as did the rather sociological -- but never stuffy -- information on French society at that time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Hackland on May 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A really great story. Have not read many historical mysteries, but this one got me hooked. Since reading this book I have read the other 2 by the same author.
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