BOOK CLUB: The Paris Mystery

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[Total: 7 Average: 4.7]

The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning is a historical, murder mystery. It is a fictional story set in Paris in 1938 shortly before the war. This is the first book in the Charlie James series.

Charlotte James is an Australian journalist who prefers to be known as Charlie. With her divorce nearly finalised, Charlie is looking for a new beginning.

She applies for and gets her dream job as a correspondent for the Times, based in Paris.

Her boss is expecting a male journalist. The pressure is on Charlie to get a “scoop” quickly and prove to her boss that she can do the job as well as, if not better than the male reporters.

Even though war is on the horizon, Paris is all glitter and glamour, balls and parties, fashion and couture houses. The rich and famous are all gathered there.

the Paris Mystery

Violet, a co-worker, introduces Charlie to Lord and Lady Ashworth. Charlie is invited to Lady Ashworth’s annual ball. This year is a circus theme with jugglers, burlesque dancers, jazz bands, fireworks, and 200 of Paris’s richest people.

Charlie plans on writing a brilliant social interest report. That is until – an important guest is murdered!

Charlie will stop at nothing to get the murder story, even if it means working with the police and solving the murder herself. She soon discovers the victim had many enemies, the social set have many secrets and there are many suspects.

This book has plenty of twists and turns that keep you guessing just who the murderer is right up to the very end.

The historical events and people in Paris at this time add another dimension to the story. The cover of the book is very striking.

This is easy to read, with interesting and likeable characters plus a murder to be solved. All this makes it a book that’s very hard to put down.

I can’t wait to see what Charlie, journalist and crime detective gets up to in her next book. Thank you to Allen and Unwin and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read The Paris Mystery.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning. You can read their feedback in the comments below, or add your own review.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Paris Mystery

  1. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for my copy.

    To sum this book up in one sentence I would say it’s a light, but very entertaining murder mystery set in pre -war Paris.
    Charlotte (Charlie) James from Sydney, lands her dream job as a correspondent for The Times in Paris and hits the ground running into the glitzy world of Paris society. Fashion, parties, secrets, affairs and murder make this an exciting read without being too complicated.
    The book moves along comfortably until a murder occurs at a ritzy party and things get really interesting.
    I really enjoyed the investigative skills and clever sleuthing techniques of Charlie that could have easily doubled as skills a detective would use to try and solve a case.
    Violet is an absolute gem and was my second favourite character after Charlie.
    There were plenty of potential suspects but I didn’t guess the killer.
    3.5 stars

  2. I really enjoyed this one…it was easy to read and entertaining. I’m a sucker for the old glamour era and I adored the fashion descriptions and designs….Charlie was a fabulous main character and I will definitely read the next book In the series when this comes out. I enjoyed the characters and the descriptions of 1930s Paris. A really great rainy day or beach read.

  3. Thank-you Beauty & Lace for giving me the chance to read & review ‘The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning’.
    This murder mystery is based around the main character Charlie James, a new arrival in Paris from Australia as the new correspondent for The Times newspaper. Her first assignment is to become involved with high society to interview Lady Ashworth, giving her access to high society of the 1930’s. What Charlie was not expecting was to be involved in a murder mystery where everyone has their secrets and many people had a reason for the murder.
    I really enjoyed this book, a fun read that had a good pace, interesting characters and it didn’t get bogged down by the details. I look forward to reading more about Charlie in her future endeavours amongst the Parisian society in the 1930’s. Thank-you ‘Beauty & Lace Bookclub’ for the opportunity to read ‘The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning’.

  4. Thankyou Beautyandlace and Allen&Unwin for the opportunity to review ‘The Paris Mystery’ by Kirsty Manning.
    The prologue begins the story, at a Fete where circus acts are being performed to the delight of the guests. Then, a tragedy takes place!
    Chapter one commences when we are introduced to Australian ‘Charlie’ (Charlotte’) James who has recently begun employment as a reporter for ‘The Times’ in Paris.
    She is working with the immaculately dressed and elegant Violet who runs the ‘The Times’ office.
    charlie’s first news feature is to be an interview with the wealthy and social Lady Eleanor Ashworth in her villa in Versailles.
    Lord and Lady Ashworth are known for their extravagant parties and Charlie has secured her invitation to Lady Eleanor’s annual party, held in the summer of 1938.
    Such a great ‘whodunit’, so many varied and interesting characters, each with their own history.
    Kirsty Manning had me hooked from the beginning to end.
    The descriptions throughout the book had me transported to another time. To the glamour and social scene that was Paris prior to the second world war.
    We will read more of Charlie James in future series I’m sure!

  5. Crime stories are not usually a genre I choose, but I am so glad I gave this one a shot!
    I loved this story, and especially the characters. It is so nice to read a fictional crime story about a reporter, rather than a detective.
    Charlie is such a likeable character, and the change and growth in her as the story unfolds, is brilliant.
    She is thrown into a whole new world after a marriage breakup, as she takes up a post as a newpaper reporter in France. She just has to leave here mark, or be back where she started.
    The descriptions of the parties, the glamour, and Paris life in the late 1930’s, was captivating.
    The lives of the rich and famous, love them or hate them, are described so well. It is easy to visualise their homes , the window views, their lavish lives in general, and most of all the couture.
    Charlies new co-worker Violet, soon becomes her best friend. I could almost picture her stepping out of a Parisian fashion magazine, as everything about her and her designer outfits, were so richly described.
    Twists and turns in the story throughout, kept me wanting more, and the story conclusion was wrapped up perfectly, and leaves us excited for the next installment.
    I will definitely be looking out for the subsequent ‘Charlie’ books. I do hope she finds love in future stories with her Inspecteur Benoit, as they would make for a fabulous team.
    Thank you Beauty & Lace, and Allen & Unwin, for the opportunity to read ‘The Paris Mystery,.

  6. Thanks Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Kirsty Manning’s The Paris Mystery.Charlie is an Australian journalist who accepts a job in Paris – the story is set amongst the rich and is a real whodunnit- the characters are real and you get caught up in the twists and turns of the story – I did not pick the outcome at all – a great read – 4 stars from me.

  7. I absolutely loved The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning. I loved the descriptions of the settings – who wouldn’t love to go to a masked ball at the petite Trianon at Versailles?! Charlie, the main character, surprised me a bit with her very modern attitude to sex, marriage and women in the workplace during the 1940’s when I didn’t think any women thought like that. I liked the way the mystery unfolded and was solved, given that there were no modern day CSI technology available and they just had to rely on their brains. This is the first book in a series and I will definitely be reading the rest as they come out. Thank you Beauty and Lace for letting me review this book >:o)

  8. It is 1938 and Australian journalist Charlie (Charlotte) James has arrived in Paris as the new correspondent for The Times newspaper. Charlie is leaving behind her soon to be ex husband and is excited about starting a new life in carefree Paris.
    Charlie is keen to impress her new boss with a scoop so she makes sure she attends the right parties to make the right contacts. Lady Eleanor Ashworth and her husband Lord Ashworth are hosting the annual summer solstice Ball which Charlie will cover. The Ball is amazing!! A circus theme of tightrope walkers, burlesque dancers, knife throwers, fireworks and a jazz band playing. Charlie is in awe of the event and the people she is meeting; however, the event ends in tragedy as there is a murder and Charlie is front and centre to get the scoop of a lifetime.
    A well known merchant banker and philanthropist is murdered and Charlie with a host of wonderful characters investigates who is the murderer. There is motive after motive and suspect after suspect and when another death occurs Charlie begins to piece all the elements together to work out who is behind the murder.
    This is the first in a series of Charlie James books and I can’t wait to read the next story and continue Charlie’s journey in Paris pre WWII.
    Charlie is a character you can’t help but like. She is Australian and doesn’t shy away from finding the truth. Her ability to connect with people and makes them trust her shines through. I loved the descriptions of Charlie’s life in Paris: the scenery, the fashion, the parties and all with a glass of bubbly in hand.
    This is a real ‘Paris Mystery’ with glamour and intrigue.

  9. The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning is an entertaining mystery set in pre-war Paris.

    Australian journalist Charlotte ‘Charlie’ James is given the opportunity of a lifetime working for The Times. In her newly appointed role in Paris, she is hoping to prove to her boss that she is more than capable of performing better than male reporters. However, when she attends an extravagant party hosted by Lord and Lady Ashworth, she becomes entangled in a mysterious murder.

    This was a very hard to put down novel. Beautifully written, I was engrossed in the glitzy glamour of Paris and felt like I was a part of this exuberant lifestyle. With twists and turns, I certainly was engrossed in the mystery. Being the first book in a series, the protagonist, Charlie was an easy character to love, and I look forward to reading more of her adventures!

    Thank you, Beauty and Lace, for the opportunity to read this great book. I recommend this novel for lovers of suspense and mystery.

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