Cover image for The books of the dead : a death in Paris mystery
Title:
The books of the dead : a death in Paris mystery
ISBN:
9781643851570
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
309 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
The second book in Emilia Bernhard's charming Death in Paris series, featuring two American sleuths in the City of Lights, is perfect for fans of M. L. Longworth and Juliet Blackwell. Parisian summers are for strolls in the park . . . and solving a murder--or two. When American sleuth Rachel Levis stumbles upon an employee of the French national library strangled in the bathroom of a cafe, she's not surprised to be asked to help with the investigation by her old acquaintance Capitaine Boussicault--after all, she and her best friend Magda solved a tricky murder only eighteen months before. But right from the start, this case proves to be très difficile. When Rachel goes undercover as a librarian to determine which of his book-loving colleagues loathed the man enough to kill him, the library is rocked by more bad news: a priceless antique book has been mutilated. And the very next day, her favorite suspect for the murder is found dead in the stacks. Just as the case is heating up, Boussicault pulls Rachel from the investigation. Undeterred, she and Magda decide to forge ahead with their own investigation--even if it could put them at odds with the police and in serious danger. With evidence and suspects piling up, it will be up to them to find the culprit--and stop more innocent books from being harmed--before anyone else checks out for good.
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Summary

Summary

The second book in Emilia Bernhard's charming Death in Paris series, featuring two American sleuths in the City of Lights, is perfect for fans of M. L. Longworth and Juliet Blackwell.

Parisian summers are for strolls in the park . . . and solving a murder--or two.

When American sleuth Rachel Levis stumbles upon an employee of the French national library strangled in the bathroom of a cafe, she's not surprised to be asked to help with the investigation by her old acquaintance Capitaine Boussicault--after all, she and her best friend Magda solved a tricky murder only eighteen months before.

But right from the start, this case proves to be très difficile . When Rachel goes undercover as a librarian to determine which of his book-loving colleagues loathed the man enough to kill him, the library is rocked by more bad news: a priceless antique book has been mutilated. And the very next day, her favorite suspect for the murder is found dead in the stacks.

Just as the case is heating up, Boussicault pulls Rachel from the investigation. Undeterred, she and Magda decide to forge ahead with their own investigation--even if it could put them at odds with the police and in serious danger. With evidence and suspects piling up, it will be up to them to find the culprit--and stop more innocent books from being harmed--before anyone else checks out for good.


Author Notes

Emilia Bernhard is an American living in England. She's imagined being an actress, a wedding planner, a spy, and a liberal icon, but she's only ever dreamt of being a novelist. Born in Philadelphia, she lived in Iowa, Massachusetts, Arkansas, London, Cambridge, and Exeter before settling in Bristol, where she lives with her cat, Robert Southey.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

On a hot summer afternoon, witty and erudite poet--cum--banker's wife Rachel Levis, the heroine of Bernhard's spirited sequel to 2018's Death in Paris, stops at a Paris bar looking for a refreshing spritz. Instead, she finds a body in the restroom. This leaves her with the perplexing problem of whom to call first: her husband, best friend, or "Capitaine Boussicault, the policeman she knew from the last time she'd encountered a murder." The victim turns out to be a much-despised librarian in the rare books and manuscripts reading room of the Bibliothèque Nationale. Boussicault asks Rachel to go undercover at the library in order to find potential suspects and motives. She soon stumbles on another series of crimes, involving the theft of illustrations from antiquarian publications. Are the murder and the thefts connected, and if so, how? Bernhard keeps the reader guessing right up to the surprising finale. This mystery has it all: authentic Parisian local color, fully realized characters, amusing dialogue, and a satisfyingly complex plot. Agent: Laura MacDougall, United Agents (U.K.). (Oct.)


Kirkus Review

A charming expat and her Parisian chum help the police solve a string of murders in the Bibliotheque Nationale.Who would murder a librarian and stuff his body into a stall in a nondescript bistro in the not terribly swank 13th Arrondisement? Capitaine Denis Boussicault can't figure it out, so he agrees to let amateur sleuth Rachel Levis go undercover as a temporary replacement for Guy Laurent, the victim, who worked in the Bibliotheque Nationale's reading room. He has ample reason to think Rachel is up to the task: Her candor and charm encourage people to confide in her, she demonstrated a knack for detection in the murder of her former lover Edgar Bowen (Death in Paris, 2018), and, most important, she was the one who discovered Laurent's body in the toilettes at Chez Poule, where she had gone to investigate whether the condom machines in French men's rooms are the same as in women's rooms. Rachel unearths plenty of dirt on Laurent, who tormented his co-workers, annoyed patrons, and seems to have had an interesting side hustle in blackmail. As Rachel helps interview the eccentric library staff and the even nutsier patrons, more corpses appear. The interplay between Boussicault and Rachel, who may overestimate the power conferred by her status as police consultant and its effect on her relationship with Magda Stevens, the crime-fighting partner who helped her crack the Bowen case, drive the narrative as much as the puzzle.A worthy encore to Bernhard's Death in Paris series debut. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Curiosity about a condom machine causes amateur sleuth Rachel Levis to enter the men's room in a Paris café and come upon a man's body in a toilet stall. Guy Laurent, the victim, was a librarian in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room of the Bibliothèque Nationale. Rachel who, with best friend and fellow sleuth Magda Stevens, previously solved a murder is happy to agree to police captain Boussicault's request that she volunteer at the library to learn what she can about the victim's colleagues. She quickly realizes that Laurent was universally loathed by those with whom he worked. While Magda tends to her online business, Rachel becomes immersed in what she thinks of as her murder. When a second murder takes place, these two American sleuths in Paris take actions that result in their being pulled off the police case and undertaking their own investigation. This charming follow-up to Bernhard's debut, Death in Paris (2018), leaves Rachel and Magda debating whose name will come first in their pending business, for which they have their motto: ""We are shameless in the service of detection.""--Michele Leber Copyright 2019 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Curiosity gets the best of American expat Rachel Levis when she steps into a Paris restroom and finds a dead body. Guy Laurent, who worked in the rare books room at the Bibliothèque Nationale, was strangled; most of his coworkers had a reason to dislike him, but none will talk to Capitaine Boussicault. So Boussicault asks Rachel to volunteer at the library, blend in, and investigate, with a trusted security guard nearby. Rachel learns one colleague is a jilted lover and another is a writer betrayed. And did Guy want the department head's job? When it's discovered that pages are being torn out and stolen from irreplaceable library books, Rachel wonders if blackmail or briberty was on the table. Then the body count increases. Rachel becomes an active investigator working with police, but Boussicault removes her from the investigation for misunderstanding her assignment, and Rachel and her friend Magda charge into an investigation of their own. VERDICT Bernhard's second series mystery (after Death in Paris) is another charming amateur investigator tale. For readers for Bernhard's previous novel and fans of Mary Kay Andrews or Laura Childs.--Michelle Gilbert Doshi, Lake Forest Lib., IL