Sequels to Cezanne’s Quarry, and if you didn’t like the first book I wouldn’t recommend reading more in the series. The books are all very similar in their overall tone and structure, only the specifics of the plot and setting have changed for each one.
I picked these up because I was looking for a fiction book set in Paris to read for my book club’s retreat – we’re all reading a “book flight” with the overall theme of Paris. Two nonfiction books were assigned, and then the fiction book was the choice of several options. I’m ridiculous about reading series in order, so before I could get to The Missing Italian Girl (the one set in Paris), I had to read the first two in the series.
Honestly? The series isn’t worth it. It’s not terrible by any means, but it’s not compelling at all. I advised against anyone else selecting it as their pick, and was disappointed at how little the Paris setting mattered. The first two in the series seemed like the setting was much more important to the book, while for the third it was the time period that mattered most.
If you’re a die-hard historical mystery fan, and want something in this time period you may want to give it a try. For anyone else, I’d give the series a pass.
Publisher’s Description for The Blood of Lorraine:
In the wake of the Dreyfus Affair, the murder of two Jews in Nancy reveals the darker side of human nature.
In the wake of the Vernet murders in Aix-en-Provence, magistrate Bernard Martin moves to the town of Nancy in Lorraine, France, along with his pregnant wife Clarie, who is as fervent about Republican ideals as her husband. They are not in Nancy long when an infant boy is found dead, his tiny body mutilated. The wet nurse and mother say that this was a case of “ritual sacrifice” by a “wandering tinker,” or Jew.
Yet as Bernard delves deeper into the different personalities surrounding the case, he struggles to reconcile his Republican beliefs with the subtle nuances of Nancy’s Jewish Diaspora, all while balancing the racial tensions and politics within the courthouse. Meanwhile his beloved Clarie, now reeling from the death of her own child, seems to be falling prey to the propaganda being spewed throughout town, forcing Bernard to acknowledge the frailties of the human psyche. Fearing a vigilante mob sparked by the church, Bernard must unveil the murderers before Nancy experiences her own pogrom.
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