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Lethal Beauty
Anne Cartier Series #4

by Charles O’Brien

      Anne Cartier is back for a fourth case, this time investigating why the painting of a recently deceased countess has been defaced. The biennial exhibition of art at the Louvre is a very public place for such an outrage, and naturally the countess’s husband, the Comte de Serre, wants to know who is responsible. Anne and her husband, Paul, undertake to find the culprit, but soon they have a murder to worry about...

What follows is a tortuous, well-plotted tale of intrigue, murder and extortion. Anne is a sensible, very modern woman whose unusual position (and the fact that she is a foreigner) places her at the hub of whatever is going on. Whether dining with a count or putting on an apron and helping in the kitchen, she enjoys confidences of high and low alike. How realistic it is for a senior policeman’s wife to join in with investigations and even be licensed to bear arms I don’t know, but whether fact or fantasy, a good lively tale seems to be the result every time. I would like to see Paul develop a character for himself beyond useful and indulgent spouse, but this aside, there is plenty to enjoy. There is less about the political and economic scene in this book than in the others, although we still see those aristos riding roughshod over the peasants. I look forward to seeing how Anne handles herself in the Revolution - will she be a female Scarlet Pimpernel?

The Book

Severn House
May 2005
Historical Crime - 1787, Paris
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NOTE: Deaf Characters featured

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006