Book review: The Paris Librarian – I love France #198

The Paris Librarian:
Hugo Marston #6

The Paris Librarian

Author: Mark Pryor
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Publication: Aug 9, 2016
Pages: 263
ISBN: 978-1-63388-177-8
paperback, also available as ebook
Genre: Mystery


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Hugo is becoming a friend of mine. I met him in The Bookseller and in The Crypt Thief. Here he is again in The Paris Librarian, investigating once again in the city of lights.

Hugo, a US Embassy employee in Paris, loves old books. So when his friend Paul, director of the American Library, informs him about an upcoming library sale, he is thrilled. Alas, when he gets there, his friend is found dead. Under mysterious circumstances.  So Hugo starts digging, helped by his friend Tom, a former CIA agent, and his girlfriend Claudia.

Paul had a difficult past. Did he just commit suicide, or did his past came to haunt him?

Miki, a journalist, friend of Merlyn, Hugo’s former colleague, has just arrived in Paris to research on special files stored somewhere in the library on American actress Isabelle Severin, who may have worked for the Resistance and even possibly killed a Nazi.
Could this be connected to Paul’s demise?

And then, murders multiply…

I thoroughly enjoyed this new mystery by Pryor, and devoured it in no time. The author has a knack for recreating so well the ambiance of Paris, especially the streets, this time around and also in the American Library (which even has a secret door, for real!), the center of this multi-layered mystery, rich in red herrings as well. There’s plenty of dubious characters whom you are not sure you should trust or not.

And it was cool spending time with the characters at Café Les Deux Magots

Les Deux Magotsmy own picture

Now, when I take notes as I read along, I insert my own ideas about the plot. So I discovered at the end that I had actually identified who did what by chapter 6 and basically how, but as usual, I had no idea why.

So the suspense got be going to the very end, with its fun twists and turns.


EN DEUX MOTS : Un nouveau mystère à élucider par Hugo, cette fois à la bibliothèque américaine. Avec un possible lien à la Résistance. Très bonne ambiance parisienne et suspense bien mené. Un régal.

VERDICT: If you enjoy mysteries and love Paris, books and libraries, you are in for a great treat.


Hugo Marston’s friend Paul Rogers dies unexpectedly in a locked room at the American Library in Paris. The police conclude that Rogers died of natural causes, but when his girlfriend is also found dead, Hugo is certain mischief is afoot.

As he pokes around the library, Hugo discovers that rumors are swirling around some recently donated letters from American actress Isabelle Severin. Some are being kept secret. The reason: they indicate that the now ninety-year-old had aided the resistance in frequent trips to France towards the end of World War II. Even more dramatic is the legend that the Severin Collection also contains a dagger, one she used to kill an SS officer in 1944.

Hugo delves deeper into the stacks at the American library and finally realizes that the history of this case isn’t what anyone suspected. But to prove he’s right, Hugo must return to the scene of a decades-old crime.


Mark PryorMark Pryor (Austin, TX)
is the author of The Bookseller,
the first Hugo Marston novel,
and the true-crime book As She Lay Sleeping.
A former newspaper reporter from England
and now an assistant district attorney
with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office,
in Austin, Texas,
he is the creator of the true-crime blog DAConfidential.
He has appeared on CBS News’s 48 Hours
and Discovery Channel’s Discovery ID: Cold Blood.

Visit the author’s website. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter

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What other good mystery set in a library have you read?


In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.

This book counted for these Reading Challenges

French Bingo 2016 logo  New-Release-Challenge2016
CDChallengebadge2016-204x300    logopolarssharon2


11 thoughts on “Book review: The Paris Librarian – I love France #198

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  5. I love haunting old bookstores and libraries. This sounds like a good series. Body in the Library with Miss Marple by Agatha Christie is a favourite of mine.


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