While I was reading, I was trying to remember whether I visited the Palais Royal when I went to Paris. I don't think so...but as I read I enjoyed recognizing many of the other places where the story leads.
Moisture blurred the air, settling on the gold-spike-tipped fence and misting the double row of lime trees guarding the village-like enclave. Once the residence of Cardinal Richelieu and the duc d'Orleans, in the nineteenth century the Palais Royal had welcome commerce under the arcades, with the gambling clubs and courtesans. Napoleon had strolled, wooing Josephine in the garden, and the cafes had been meeting places of the Revolutionaries. How many scenes has she read in Balzac, Zola and de Maupassant set here?
The story is centered there because what Aimee is investigating -- the apparent suicide of Nicholas Evry, a man she helped put in prison after the torching of a synagogue in the Marais, and a coincidental (or connected?) threat against her partner and her agency -- involves Gabrielle de la Pechary, a high-powered PR officer at the Ministry of Culture (headquartered there), her son Olivier, and her husband Roland, who is about to be invested as a government minister, as well as Clemence, a waitress in a bistro in the Palais Royal arcade, who was Evry's lover and is now blackmailing the de la Pecharys over Olivier's involvement in the crime.
Faint light emanated from Le Grand Vefour, the Michelin-starred restaurant, where Colette had kept a regular table. But ahead of her in the north corner lay crumbling, soot-stained columns, a forlorn, shabby elegance.I would go back and read more of the books in this series, if only for the pleasure of reading about Paris. The author, Cara Black, has a website (here) with some tours of Paris that were fun to watch.
The uneasiness filled her. Was she walking into a trap?
I have some ideas for more Paris in July reading and recipes, but I also have a huge stack of other library books beckoning to me. There's a biography of Jane Austen to finish, and I've also started reading Corduroy Mansions, by Alexander McCall Smith (only to find out that there was a serialized sequel that I also missed!), plus a few (!) others. So I may not be back in Paris for a week or so. A bientot!