Cremona, Italy. On the eve of an important performance, local luthier Gianni Castiglione is called on to examine Il Cannone, the violin once played by Niccolò Paganini, which would be played that night by competition winner Yevgeny Ivanov. A minor adjustment is made and at the recital both violin and musician perform flawlessly. The next day, however, a concert attendee, a French art dealer, is found dead in his Cremona hotel. Two items are noted among his possessions: a locked golden box and a torn corner of a music score from the night’s previous performance. Gianni’s police detective friend, Antonio Guastafeste, enlists his help and the two soon find themselves on an international chase, on the trail of not just a murderer but of a priceless historical treasure, one worth killing for.

January 5, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, France, italy, Mystery/Suspense, Sleuths Series, United Kingdom

FOREIGN BODIES by Cynthia Ozick

Cynthia Ozick, author of THE SHAWL and TRUST, two of my favorite books, has written a gem of a novel in FOREIGN BODIES. A slithering and taut comedy of errors, this book examines issues of betrayal and trust, literal and emotional exile, regret and rage, Judaism in post-World War II Europe and the meaning of art in one’s life. While based on themes similar to Henry James’ THE AMBASSADORS, this novel is distinctly and uniquely Ozick’s.

November 19, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, France, Humorous, Literary, y Award Winning Author

THE CORAL THIEF by Rebecca Stott

Well before Charles Darwin presented the theory of evolution in 1859, there were scientists who thought along similar lines—who believed that species “were mutable and that Nature was on the move.” Much like scientists who came even earlier and set forth what were considered equally radical ideas, these people too—many of whom were in France—were labeled godless heretics.

When Daniel Connor, a freshly minted medical student, travels to Paris in July 1815, his professor in Edinburgh had already warned him about these “heretics”—also known as transformists. “Paris is riddled with infidels, Professor Jameson had warned me back in Edingburgh. ‘They are poets, those French transformists, not men of science,’” Connor recalls.

November 1, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, France

STONE’S FALL by Iain Pears (1)

A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, STONE’S FALL is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies. Chronologically, it moves backwards–from London in 1909 to Paris in 1890, and finally to Venice in 1867– and in the process the quest to uncover the truth plays out against the backdrop of the evolution of high-stakes international finance, Europe’s first great age of espionage, and the start of the twentieth century’s arms race.

May 18, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, France, Mystery/Suspense, Thriller/Spy/Caper, United Kingdom

STONE’S FALL by Iain Pears (2)

Iain Pears’ STONE’S FALL traces back the lives of arms mogul John William Stone and his beautiful wife Elizabeth (aka Lord and Lady Ravenscliff), as well as others around them. The densely detailed novel opens in Paris in March of 1953 as a journalist attends a funeral and is given a package.

May 18, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, France, Mystery/Suspense, Thriller/Spy/Caper, United Kingdom


Mon Dieu! Elegant Parisian PI, Aimee Leduc, owner of Leduc Detective Agency is back for Murder in the Rue de Paradis, the eighth mystery from author Cara Black. It’s August 1995, and to Parisians, that means it’s vacation time and everyone who can leave the city departs from the dust and heat for friendlier climes. Aimee, however, isn’t taking a vacation. She’s just landed a big contract, and feeling pleased with herself, she heads back from her late business meeting. On her way home, out of the blue, Aimee’s former lover, investigative journalist Yves Robert shows up without explanation.

May 15, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Sleuths Series