Young, rich Philippa (Pip) Crosby
has traveled to post WWI Paris to experience life. When she
disappears, Pip’s mother and uncle hire their ex-FBI
friend, Harris Stuyvesant, to find her. Harris knows Paris
has a surface beauty and a seedy, sensual side frequented
by artists and the rich, alike.
Once there, he meets Pip’s roommate, Nancy Berger,
and learns that Pip was a model despite a large scar she received
in a fire. Harris sees a photo of Pip and
recognizes a woman no longer ashamed of her scars, but proud
and courageous, even beautiful. Perhaps Pip came to Paris
to reinvent herself, but the question remains: Where is she
I love Laurie King’s novels, especially the Mary Russell/Sherlock
Holmes stories. They bring foreign places to life in entertaining
mysteries that have kept me reading well into the early morning
hours. The Bones of Paris follows in that tradition, with
vividly painted images of the city and the artistic movements
that abounded in 1929 Paris. King mentions real life characters,
such as Picasso, Hemmingway, Hammett, Joyce and Man Ray, a
New Yorker like Harris. There are shadier characters, like
the gruesome Didi Moreau and the sophisticated Comte Dominic
Charmentier, who provide enough chills and suspicion to keep
the reader wondering if Pip is indeed still alive.
Certainly Inspector Doucet has doubts, for she’s not
the only young female who has gone missing.
There’s a love interest for Harris in Sarah, the sister
of his best friend, Bennett Grey. Harris himself is the narrator,
a hero with faults and a man with whom we can easily identify.
The Bones of Paris is a tantalizing read, combining
a historical travelogue and a captivating mystery that held
me in suspense until the very end,