Book review and giveaway: Montmartre Mysteries – I love France #161

I LOVE FRANCE
And maybe you do too!
If you have recently read a good book in connection with France,
or watched a movie, read an article on France, etc,
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Montmartre Mysteries

Montmartre Mysteries

 

Montmartre Mysteries
By
Jean-Pierre ALAUX and Noël BALEN
translated by Sally Pane
Publisher:  Le French Book
Pub. Date:
September 3, 2015
ISBN: 978-1939474476

First published in French:
Ne tirez pas sur le caviste (2005)

Pages:  146
Genre:  Whodunit / Cozy mystery / Detective
Source: Received from the publisher for a
virtual book tour on France Book Tours

Goodreads

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ebook 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 counts for the following Reading Challenges

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MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

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Humming along with “The Winemaker Detective series “, presenting you today the 8th volume, just published today, and a unique vineyard. Did you know indeed there is still a vineyard growing in Paris? You will learn more about it in Montmartre Mysteries.
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Book review: Floats the Dark Shadow – I love France #135

I LOVE FRANCE
And maybe you do too!
If you have recently read a good book in connection with France,
or watched a movie, read an article on France, etc,
please mention it in the comment section
and add a link to your blog post if you have one.
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If it’s a book review, why not enter it in the 2015 French Bingo?

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Floats the Dark Shadow

Floats the dark shadow

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.
Floats the Dark Shadow:
by
Yves Fey
Publisher: BearCat Press
Pub. Date:
August 2012 

ISBN: 9781937356217

Pages: 322
Genre: Historical Mystery

2013 IPPY Awards: silver medal
2013 Next Generation Indie Award finalist in Mystery and Historical Fiction category
2012 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Finalist
Source: Received
from the author

Goodreads

Buy the book

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

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MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

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Historical mystery becoming more and more my favorite genre, and remembering my crush on Gilles de Rais as a teen (well, the Gilles de Rais BEFORE Joan of Arc’s death!), I gladly accepted to read Floats the Dark Shadow when the author Yves Fey contacted me. Le me tell you why this book should be better known!
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Book review, interview and giveaway: Paris, Rue des Martyrs. I love France #86

I LOVE FRANCE!
I plan to publish this meme every Thursday more or less!.
You can share here about any book
or anything cultural you just discovered related to France, Paris, etc.
Please spread the news on Twitter, Facebook, etc !
Feel free to grab my button,
and link your own post through Mister Linky,
at the bottom of this post.

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Paris, Rue Des Martyrs

Paris Rue des Martyrs - cover finalIn full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ebook 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.
Paris, Rue Des Martyrs
By
Adria J. Cimino
Publisher: Agency Editions
Pub. Date: February 10, 2014
ASIN: B00IAY344W

 

Pages286
Genre
literary fiction/contemporary fiction

Source: Received
from the author through
France Book Tours

Goodreads

Buy Links:

Available from
Amazon Kindle Store, NookPressKobo, and the Apple iBookstore


This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

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MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

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  1. Rafael Mendez, 23, from Colombia
  2. Cécile de Champigny, mother of two teenagers
  3. André Wren, member of the entertainment world
  4. Mira Galino, leaving her fiancé

What can possibly be the connection between these 4 people?
Following each one of them, one chapter at a time dedicated to each in turn, the reader gets to get acquainted with them and with one thing at least they have in common: la rue des Martyrs, in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris.

I enjoy this kind of whimsy literary device, and I am glad I followed my guts and trusted the synopsis enough to read the book. Paris, Rue Des Martyrs, in English despite its French title, is really a beautiful work of literary fiction.

I connected right away with each character, despite the diversity of their milieu: the emerald business in Bogotá, artists, painters, actors. It was actually quite amazing to see how the author managed to connect them all, for indeed you discover little by little they have a lot more in common.
Each character felt very real. The dialogues between them are very lively.
I enjoyed the interesting dynamics between all the characters, as they join, separate, and meet again, at a deeper level. besides, it was neat to grasp new details about each and their relationship, as new elements were little by little given as clues to the reader.

It was fun traveling with the characters, for if the story is mainly set in Paris, you will have to follow them to Colombia and Italy as well.

The book is also all about the quest of one’s identity, whether it be in relation with one’s past, with one’s family (who is my real mother, my real father?) or with one’s vocation: what am I to do really with my life? with my heart? with my talents?
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, just know there are also elements of mystery, of family drama, and romance.

The ambiance of Paris and of that street was very well recreated, and

My only problem with this book is, why on earth isn’t it better known?

VERDICT: if you like literary fiction, you should definitely listen to this new voice. Adria J. Cimino presents us a very artfully designed novel, with four characters who will remain with you for a long time. Paris, Rue Des Martyrs is a beautiful invitation to pay more attention to encounters in your everyday life.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

There are encounters that make a difference. The paths of four strangers cross amid the beauty, squalor, animation and desolation found on a Parisian street called the Rue des Martyrs.
Each one faces some sort of struggle:
A young man’s search for his birth mother leads him to love and grim family secrets.
An unsatisfied housewife finds her world turned upside down by the promise of a passionate liaison.
An aging actor, troubled by the arrival of the son he abandoned years ago, must make a choice: either lose him forever or put aside pride and seek redemption.
A young woman, betrayed by her fiancé, travels to Paris to begin a new life and forget about love… at least that is her intention.
Four stories entwine, four quests become one. [provided by the author]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adria J. CiminoAdria J. Cimino worked as a journalist for more than a decade at news organizations
including the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.
Adria, who grew up in the sunshine, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida.
She now lives in Paris
and enjoys sharing her adventures in the city and thoughts about the writing life in her blog “Adria in Paris.”
Her first novel, “Paris, Rue Res Martyrs,” is set for release on Feb. 10, 2014.

Website | Blog  | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter @Adria_in_Paris

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INTERVIEW WITH ADRIA J. CIMINO

reading bug Hello Adria, I enjoyed a lot your novel, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to interview you.

1. In your novel, there’s a great interaction between Colombia, Italy, and France. Why did you choose these three countries? Have you been to all three?

Adria J. CiminoI’ve never been to Colombia, but I had a very specific reason for choosing it. Several years ago, I read an article about Colombian emerald brokers and found it fascinating… The character of Rafael came to me before I even had a complete idea for the novel. When I started thinking about writing four stories in one, with four protagonists, I knew that one had to be Rafael. As for France, here we get to my inspiration for the novel itself. Living in Paris, seeing the same strangers silently crossing paths daily in the city’s neighborhoods, I started thinking about their individual stories… and what if they met? What if those encounters made an important difference in their lives? So it was clear to me that a Parisian neighborhood had to be the setting for this novel. As for Italy, it is a country I’ve been to and like very much. It rounded out my selection of international locations!

2. The world of artist is very prominent in your book, with painting, cinema, jewel designers. Why did you decide to give art such a central role in your book. Are you an artist yourself?

I’m an art lover and admire those who paint, design jewelry… I also love the performing arts. I find that I can vicariously experience life as a painter or dancer through my writing, through my characters.

3. As a writer, what connection do you see between these forms of art and the art of words?

There is a definite connection between these art forms and the art of words. In both cases, the artist/writer wants to stir up the audience’s emotions. To have that kind of result, the artist’s inspiration and passion for the art must show in every brush stroke, every dance step or every sentence. This difficult-to-describe element makes the difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary performance/book. I think it’s what every artist/writer aims for in his or her work.

4. As I was reading your novel where characters gravitate one way or another around rue des Martyrs, I kept thinking about some French authors focusing on a particular place as the common denominator of their characters. Georges Pérec’s La vie mode d’emploi is the most obvious example that comes to mind. Have you read this book? Did it influence you? What other books or authors inspire you to write Paris, Rue des Martyrs?

I started thinking about the impact of the city on people’s lives after reading Manhattan Transfer by Dos Passos. It’s one of my favorite novels, with its complexity and frenetic pace that mirrors the pace of city life. I didn’t have all of this in my mind when I developed the idea for Paris, Rue des Martyrs years later, but my desire to weave together several stories and write about city life might be a bit of a tribute to Dos Passos. I haven’t read Pérec’s work, but I will have to check it out!

5. Rue des Martyrs is indeed a street in Paris. Why did you choose this street?

For me, the Rue des Martyrs was the perfect choice because it has a neighborhood feel and a very diverse population. It’s small enough to run into your neighbor at the bakery, but also large enough to walk a bit farther along the street and lose yourself in the crowd. I wanted to give my characters a setting where they could logically meet, yet not feel hemmed in. And the diversity factor was important as well: My protagonists are each very different from one another, yet you could easily find any one of them in such a neighborhood.

6. Any out of the beaten path places you would recommend to a tourist going for the first time to Paris?

If the weather cooperates and you enjoy plants and flowers: The Buttes-Chaumont park (I call it our mini Central Park) and the Promenade Plantee (an elevated walkway of plants and trees built along old railroad tracks kind of like the High Line in New York – I have New York references for everything!).

If the weather doesn’t cooperate and you want to learn about the history of Paris: The Carnavalet museum is the place!

For more Paris history, the Arenes de Lutece is another good spot. The arena is among the only remains of the Gallo-Roman period visible today in Paris.

And finally, a must for booklovers: Stroll along the Seine and have a look at the “bouquinistes,” or booksellers right along the banks of the river. I don’t think a lot of first-time tourists take the time to do this, but it really is a fun experience!

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