- Series: Victor Legris Mysteries (Book 1)
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (September 15, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312581610
- ISBN-13: 978-0312581619
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,186,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Murder on the Eiffel Tower: A Victor Legris Mystery (Victor Legris Mysteries) Paperback – September 15, 2009
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From 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bookseller Victor Legris investigates when several people die of apparent bee stings during the Universal Exposition of 1889 in Paris. The disparate group of victims includes a rag picker, a poor relation, a wealthy collector, and a budding opera star. Did these people really die of bee stings, or are they being murdered? If so, why? Victor looks for the connection between the four, and to his horror it appears that the link may be either Kenji, the man who raised him after his father’s death, or Tasha, the woman he is beginning to love. This leisurely paced mystery, steeped in the sights and sounds of nineteenth-century Paris and the Universal Exposition—and full of details about the newly open Eiffel Tower—pairs a methodical investigation with a love interest, carefully researched historical facts, and details of the literary world of the time. The only quibble is that the many secondary characters are rather underdeveloped and, hence, difficult to keep straight. Izner is the pseudonym for two sisters who are secondhand booksellers. --Sue O'Brien --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Claude Izner" is the pen name of two sisters who are booksellers in Paris, so the atmosphere they evoke in this mystery is pretty authentic and detailed. 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.
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.
A love struck --make that obsessed-- bookseller chasing after a newspaper illustrator makes up most of the plot. Based almost entirely on coincidence (but mostly because his name is in a visitor's book at the top floor of the Eiffel Tower) the bookseller suspects his boss as the murderer. Then he shifts his suspicion (based on the same absurd "reasoning") to the woman with whom he is obsessed. His "detective" work is the stuff of juvenile adventures like the Hardy Boys books (pretending to be a reporter, asking the neighbors nosy questions, etc.) It's all nonsense.
I give the book credit only for the painstakingly researched historical aspects of the Parisian exposition. That portion of the book is at least interesting and at times illuminating. The mystery plot? Mystery is a perfect word to describe the plot. It baffled me, had me scratching my head, often I would catch myself saying "What the...?" aloud. I like to be stumped or surprised with a detective story, but I would like it to have some kind of coherence. In the end, the outrageous motive for the murders is VERY 21st century. I find it hard to believe that anyone thought like that in the late 19th century. I'm really tiring of historical novels with characters whose personas and psyches are firmly planted in the future rather than in the era in which the book is supposedly set.
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(#1 Victor Legris series)
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