From A Paris Balcony by Ella Carey is a mystery historical fiction novel set in Boston France and England, in 2015 and the 1890s.
It is the third in a series, The Secrets of Paris, but can easily stand alone.
Sarah West is recovering from the end of her marriage and the death of her parents. While going through her father’s personal effects, she discovers a hidden chest containing a letter written to the Viscount Henry Duval, from the famous courtesan Marthe de Florian.
Henry was married to Sarah’s Boston-born great-great aunt Louisa West who supposedly leapt to her death one night in Paris. Her tragic circumstances were never investigated, and if they knew any details, the family remained silent.
With no family members left to ask, and in need of a dramatic change, Sarah decides to investigate her ancestor herself.
Her adventure takes her to Paris, to de Florian’s actual apartment which she excitedly rents, sharing the space with the infamous artist Laurent Chartier.
Making new ties, Sarah discovers interesting similarities between herself and her great-great aunt, as well as the complicated and unexpected lives of Louisa and Henry which ultimately led to Louisa’s untimely demise.
Fans of historical fiction will appreciate that From A Paris Balcony by Ella Carey gives us an intimate view of the Golden Age of Europe with its class divisions and tight expectations of behavior on one hand, and outrageous glitz and glamour on the other.
Fans of a mystery-to-sink-your-teeth-into may not be so enamored.
Although nicely-written and descriptive, and containing an interesting backstory, there isn’t enough hard-core mystery for me.
Rather, Ella Carey’s From A Paris Balcony is a nice, relaxed read; a light mystery mixed with light romance set in a fabulous location and time.
See what you think.
From a Paris Balcony
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