An Art Lover’s Guide to Paris and Murder by Dianne Freeman @difreeman001 @diannefreemanwrites @KensingtonBooks @Austenprose @sophiarose1816

Posted July 7, 2024 by Sophia in Blog Tour, Book Review / 8 Comments

An Art Lover's Guide to Paris and Murder by Dianne Freeman

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

An Art Lover’s Guide to Paris and Murder by Dianne Freeman @difreeman001 @diannefreemanwrites @KensingtonBooks @Austenprose  @sophiarose1816An Art Lover's Guide to Paris and Murder by Dianne Freeman
Series: Countess of Harleigh Mystery #7
Published by Kensington Books on June 25, 2024
Genres: Historical Mystery
Pages: 300
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Frances and her husband, George, have two points of interest in Paris. One is an impromptu holiday to visit the Paris Exposition. The other is personal. George’s Aunt Julia has requested her nephew’s help in looking into the suspicious death of renowned artist Paul Ducasse. Though Julia is not entirely forthcoming about her reasons, she is clearly a woman mourning a lost love.

At the exposition, swarming with tourists, tragedy casts a pall on the festivities. A footbridge collapses. Julia is among the casualties. However, she was not just another fateful victim. Julia was stabbed to death amid the chaos. With an official investigation at a standstill, George and Frances realize that to solve the case they must dig into Julia’s life—as well as Paul’s—and question everything and everyone in Julia’s coterie of artists and secrets.

They have no shortage of suspects. There is Paul’s inscrutable widow, Gabrielle. Paul’s art dealer and manager, Lucien. Julia’s friend Martine, a sculptress with a jealous streak. And art jurist, Monsieur Beaufoy. The investigation takes a turn when it’s revealed that George has inherited control of Julia’s estate—and another of her secrets. While George investigates, Frances safeguards their new legacy, and is drawn further into danger by a killer determined to keep the past buried.

Was the artist murdered?  What were Julia’s secrets?  The Paris art world and Paris World’s Fair become the setting for Frances and George’s latest case.  Dianne Freeman does a bang up job at setting the historical scene, writing a good twisting mystery and providing a pair of delightful amateur sleuths.

An Art Lover’s Guide to Paris and Murder is the seventh in the Countess of Harleigh series of connected, but standalone historical cozy mysteries.

Set during the late Victorian period in July 1900, the pair are hoping to catch a break and get that honeymoon they missed due to the last murder dropping in their laps.

But alas, George and Frances are not surprised when George’s Aunt Julia contacts him to investigate artist Paul Ducasse’s death which she believed was murder.  Then, when they get there, she has changed her mind.  Not long after, her own death is staged to look like an accident when a bridge collapses.  George and Frances find the timing too pat and realize soon enough that they must dig into the past for answers to these deaths.

I’ve only read one of the earlier books, but I was anticipating their sparkling dialogue and fun partnership which creates a light, entertaining tone, but also the amazing detail of the Victorian time period in backdrop, manners, social activities, historical events like the World’s Fair, period art styles and the dialogue, I mentioned earlier.  All of that comes together with a murder mystery to form a deliciously layered story.

This was a twisting one and I had no idea who was behind it all.  There were people in both Paul and Julia’s pasts right there in Paris who had motive.  Oh, and a not so fun blast from Frances’ past when it comes to one of her late husband’s infidelities is one of the cast.  More than one secret had to be teased into the light and the danger isn’t over with Julia’s death and, yes, though this is Paris and a new police detective, Inspector Cadieux isn’t any more desirous of amateurs like Frances mucking about in his case than the London police.  I suspect a few of the characters will make their regular appearance in the series now.

And, so, another delightful delve into the Countess of Harleigh series.  I said when I read book five that I needed to go back and get it from the beginning.  This time I mean to do it.  Whether hardcore historical mystery fans or those who like the lighter side with cozies, this one sits somewhere in the middle and I can highly recommend the book and series.


About Dianne Freeman

Dianne Freeman is the acclaimed author of the Agatha and Lefty Award winning Countess of Harleigh Mysteries, a two-time finalist for the Macavity’s Sue Feder Memorial Award, and a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She spent thirty years working in corporate accounting and finance and now writes full-time. Born and raised in Michigan, she and her husband now split their time between Michigan and Arizona.

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Posted July 7, 2024 by Sophia in Blog Tour, Book Review / 8 Comments

8 responses to “An Art Lover’s Guide to Paris and Murder by Dianne Freeman

  1. Oh I love the sound of this one! It’s hard to beat a Paris setting. I need to see if I can find the earlier books in the series. Great review!

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