The Paris Winter
This historical mystery is set in the glitzy Belle Époque of Paris in the early years of the 20th century, a period when the arts flourished and many masterpieces gained recognition. Young Maud Heighton flees her small English town to take art lessons at the esteemed Académie Lafond. But life in Paris is expensive, and Maud sinks into poverty. Alone and hungry, she is overjoyed to gain employment as a companion to the wealthy Sylvie Morel. Maud is gradually drawn into the Morels’ secret world, and, as the new year of 1910 dawns, a terrible deception catapults Maud into the bleak and dangerous underworld that lurks beneath the elegant Parisian streets.
In The Paris Winter, the author provides a wonderfully atmospheric picture of early 20th century Paris via an intriguing storyline. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of certain works of art at the beginning of several of the chapters. The reason for this was not initially obvious but gave me a nice surprise in the final twist in the tale. I felt there were a few too many characters for a story of this length, which made it difficult to relate to all but the main ones. And, despite a few minor plot holes, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this compelling story of secrecy, greed, deceit and revenge to lovers of historical mysteries.