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The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King

The Bones of Paris

by Laurie R. King

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An American detective is in Paris, looking for a missing girl he once knew, and working his way through the debauchery of the streets, bars, and artistic community of post WWI. I would label this as an average read, but the author has a talent for characters, emotions, and situations that raises it above other noir detective stories. ( )
  fuzzi | Mar 8, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Well known for her Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series, “The Bones of Paris” is the second book in a new series set in the years after World War I. Referred to as the Stuveysant and Grey novels, the 1st novel, “Touchstone” introduced readers to Bennett Gray, a reclusive survivor of the devastating impact of “the Great War” and his American former FBI investigator colleague Harris Stuyvesant.

Having read (and enjoyed) only one other King novel, “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice”, I was eager to read this advance copy of “The Bones of Paris” provided by Library Thing. The setting and feel of the nove is much like Charles Todd or Jacqueline Winspear, but the subject matter, the disappearance and as it turns out, cruel and graphic murder of young women felt more like the subject of a noir mystery. In either case the book was disappointing.

King’s premise is a good one and this reader easily succumbed to the plot in the opening pages. Bennett Grey barely figures in this second book and the focus is on Harris Stuyvesant, now kicking around Europe somewhat aimlessly three years after the affairs of the first book in the series left him traumatized and mourning his dead lover. He is hired to locate a missing rich young American woman and begins doing so in a 1920s Paris where he encounters American expats, degenerate French aristocrats and a particularly persistent French gendarme.

Very quickly the novel takes a dark and macabre turn. Young women are discovered to have been tortured and used in quasi-artistic endeavors. The plotline was fascinating at first but gradually became less and less credible. This lack of credibility was augmented by very slow pacing. Poor Stuyvesant just couldn’t seem to get a break and his suspicions and investigations seemed to drag on without any conclusion. As a true lover of mysteries I found myself looking ahead and counting pages and wondering when this novel was going to take off. In my opinion it never does take off although the culprits eventually are exposed, the loose ends tidied up and the ground nicely laid for the next book in the series.

This is a fascinating time period and almost unbeatable setting and I believe that King’s detectives are unique and hold promise. But, based on my reaction to this 1st book, I doubt that I will continue on to the third. I think I’ll pick up the 2nd in the Mary Russell series and see how I fare before deciding if Laurie J. King is right for me. ( )
  jfurshong | Feb 15, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am a big fan of King’s Mary Russell books and Touchstone, the first book in this series, so I was very excited to win this book. Reading it did not disappoint and I look forward to more of Stuyvesant’s adventures.
  amanda4242 | Jan 26, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have enjoyed King's Sherlock Holmes pastiches over the years and usually seek out any new works from this fine author. Her current novel is quite a different work than the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes stories, rather more in the vein of Stephen King or E.A. Poe. Nevertheless, I found this an interesting and worthy addition to King's growing collection of mystery offerings. It is a fine mystery in its own right and a must for fans of King looking for another side to her talents.

This book was received as an Early Reader selection from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  mldavis2 | Jan 25, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Bones of Paris is a stellar sequel to the lackluster Touchstone. The book opens in 1929, three years after the events of Touchstone. with the hero - Harris Stuyvesant - no longer with the FBI. Now a freelance private detective and jack-of-all-trades to make ends meet he knocks about cheaper Europe as work takes him.

The mother of a young woman who had been a fling several months before hires Stuyvesant to find her missing daughter. Assuming it's a simple cause of debauchery taken to extremes, he takes the case. It should be easy money, and he has rent to pay. All to soon, however, he realizes that something much darker is at work in the City of Light.

King's novel brings the city of Paris in the Roaring Twenties to vibrant life; it is as much a character as any of those that populates the novel. Seeing how Harris Stuyvesant has evolved since Touchstone is interesting. It also helps to have ready the first book, but there are enough deftly-handled clues as to what's come before to make it readable to anyone just picking this up. Definitely worth the read. ( )
  anneb10 | Jan 11, 2015 |
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For Robert Difley,

a brother in more than law.
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The envelope reached Bennett Grey early Wednesday afternoon.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345531760, Hardcover)

New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King, beloved for her acclaimed Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, consistently writes richly detailed and thoroughly suspenseful novels that bring a distant time and place to brilliant life. Now, in this thrilling new book, King leads readers into the vibrant and sensual Paris of the Jazz Age—and reveals the darkest secrets of its denizens.
Paris, France: September 1929. For Harris Stuyvesant, the assignment is a private investigator’s dream—he’s getting paid to troll the cafés and bars of Montparnasse, looking for a pretty young woman. The American agent has a healthy appreciation for la vie de bohème, despite having worked for years at the U.S. Bureau of Investigation. The missing person in question is Philippa Crosby, a twenty-two year old from Boston who has been living in Paris, modeling and acting. Her family became alarmed when she stopped all communications, and Stuyvesant agreed to track her down. He wholly expects to find her in the arms of some up-and-coming artist, perhaps experimenting with the decadent lifestyle that is suddenly available on every rue and boulevard.
As Stuyvesant follows Philippa’s trail through the expatriate community of artists and writers, he finds that she is known to many of its famous—and infamous—inhabitants, from Shakespeare and Company’s Sylvia Beach to Ernest Hemingway to the Surrealist photographer Man Ray. But when the evidence leads Stuyvesant to the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre, his investigation takes a sharp, disturbing turn. At the Grand-Guignol, murder, insanity, and sexual perversion are all staged to shocking, brutal effect: depravity as art, savage human nature on stage.
Soon it becomes clear that one missing girl is a drop in the bucket. Here, amid the glittering lights of the cabarets, hides a monster whose artistic coup de grâce is to be rendered in blood. And Stuyvesant will have to descend into the darkest depths of perversion to find a killer . . . sifting through The Bones of Paris.
The award-winning novels of Laurie R. King are . . .
“Delightful and creative.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Intricate clockworks, wheels within wheels.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Audacious.”—Los Angeles Times
“Rousing . . . riveting . . . suspenseful.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“Imaginative and subtle.”—The Seattle Times
“Impossible to put down.”—Romantic Times
“Beguiling . . . tantalizing.”—The Boston Globe

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:12:10 -0400)

Paris, France: September 1929. Private investigator Harris Stuyvesant, on the hunt for a missing twenty-two year old woman from Boston, must descend into the darkest depths of perversion to find a killer hiding in the Theatre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre.… (more)

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