The Assassin in the Marais
The Assassin in the Marais is the fourth title in the Victor Legris mystery series set in Belle Époque Paris. For those unfamiliar with this series, the book’s cover readily reveals that Claude Izner is not a man but two sisters who sell second-hand books along the Seine and are experts on the history of Paris.
Although Victor Legris is the main character and sleuth, he is a neither a traditional policeman nor a detective. Victor’s involvement in investigating crimes and specifically murders seems almost accidental and distracts him continuously from his day job as a Paris book dealer. This particular story deals with a series of murders and a mysterious goblet that continually passes from one character to another. It is Victor, not the local police, who comes to understand that the goblet is the key to the killing spree that is gripping the city. As in previous stories, this one includes as a collection of colorful supporting characters that enhance the story’s charm and convey a sense of Paris of long ago.
There were two issues that detracted from the book: one was the continuous change in point of view, sometimes several times on one page; the second, the awkward sentence structure and peculiar vocabulary. These were not historical or foreign terms. I can only assume that something got lost in the translation.