Fin de siècle Paris: the world of Verlaine and Zola, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec; a time of anarchists, scientists, and occultists, when can-can skirts were raised at the Moulin Rouge and fortunes were lost on the Panama Canal. Armand de Valois was one of these latter unfortunates, stricken by yellow fever at the site of his ruin. When his widow Odette disappears into his tomb in the Père-Lachaise cemetery and never returns, her maid Denise fears the worst. Alone in the great metropolis, Denise knows just one person she can go to for help: Odette’s former lover, Victor Legris. When the frightened girl turns up at his bookshop, Victor feels there must be a simple explanation for Odette’s disappearance.
But it soon becomes apparent that something sinister lies behind events at the Père-Lachaise. When Denise turns up drowned in the Seine, and Odette's corpse is found buried in an overgrown backyard, Victor throws himself into his second investigation, aided by his trusty assistant Joseph and much to his lover Tasha’s chagrin.
Once again, Paris and its denizens come alive, and events of world and local history give the mystery a thrilling backdrop. From the the Bois de Vincennes to the streets of Saint-Germain, from trams to carriages, from artists’ lofts to coffee bars, diligently researched and tightly plotted, The Disappearance at Père-Lachaise immerses readers in a fascinating mystery in the glorious City of Light.
Parisian bookseller Victor Legris takes a little too long to appear in this sequel to Izner's Murder on the Eiffel Tower(2008), but eventually Denise Le Louarn, a maid worried about her missing mistress, Odette de Valois, finds her way to Victor's bookstore. As Odette's former lover, Victor feels obliged to help-plus, he loves a good mystery. Victor discovers that a delusional old man has inadvertently carried off Odette's body from the Père-Lachaise cemetery, where she was murdered while following a spiritualist's advice to honor her "dead" husband. Then Denise turns up drowned in the Seine, another body surfaces and an unexceptional painting of the Madonna commands exceptional interest. Historical and cultural references-to literature, art and music-vividly evoke Paris in 1890. While some readers may find this backdrop a little bulky at times, the increasingly tight plot and several deftly constructed characters keep the story moving. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.