Less than twenty-four hours after fleeing to Paris, Maya Sinclair is the prime suspect in a brutal murder—and targeted by the real killer. When she’s viciously attacked in the gardens of Versailles, Maya barely escapes with her life thanks to sexy French journalist Simon Girard.
Simon has been investigating the mysterious death of his brother, an art forger with ties to the woman Maya is suspected of killing. Still healing from heartbreak of his own, Simon reluctantly joins forces with Maya, who has awakened feelings within him he thought long dead.
Their search for answers uncovers the existence of a secret society, and puts them on a quest to find a missing crucifix rumored to hold the key to everlasting life. Together, Maya and Simon race through Paris one step ahead of a killer who will do anything to ensure some secrets remain buried forever…
The Paris Secret by Angela Henry has everything that I look for in a great mystery. The heroine Maya is sassy (but not too sassy) and smart, the pacing is fast and you feel like you are pulled along by the seat of your pants from one scene to the next with mysteries and clues that aren’t boring or predictable. Add an attractive man to the mix with a healthly dose of romance while the author isn’t afraid to leave a trail of dead as the story progresses along with descriptive, natural writing and I’m won over instantly. And The Paris Secret is all of these winning things with the added bonus of subtle paranormal nuances.
Librarian Maya should be vacationing in Paris with her boyfriend. But when he unexpectedly dumps her to go back to his ex, he gives Maya his ticket to Paris and she decides to go abroad solo. While that isn’t something that I would do, that should give you a bit of insight into the kind of woman Maya is: independent, proud, brave, and headstrong. The trip is a disaster almost immediately after her feet hit European soil — first when the hotel overbooks and she is forced to have a roomate overnight.
Snooty Dr. Juliet Price turns up dead in their shared hotel room’s shower and Maya becomes the prime suspect. But once she is released from police custody, the real adventure and danger begins for Maya when the real killer is on her trail to recover an artifact the murderer is convinced Juliet gave to Maya. And they will stop at nothing and go through anyone to get this priceless artifact because it will lead to an even more priceless artifact that can supposedly bring eternal life.
Journalist Simon rescues Maya in the gardens of Versailles while she is being beaten and attacked. Together, they go on the run to find the artifact and piece together the clues of the secret society and who the killer actually is. The attraction between Maya and Simon is instantaneous and they don’t deny themselves. And the book and their relationship is that much stronger for it too, when they don’t spend half of the book struggling over their attraction to each other. Their relationship isn’t without bumps, however, but it was nice to read one without all of the angst!
Maya and Simon criss cross the City of Love on the hunt for the Moret Crucifex while dodging attacks from an unknown killer. But as they put together the clues and mark off the suspects that keep turning up dead, who will be left in the end even if they are lucky enough to survive themselves? The cast of secondary characters in The Paris Secret is diverse and a bit quirky at times, but they add depth and atmosphere.
The city of Paris is another character in this book. Angela Henry does such an amazing job of describing the sights, smells, sounds, and especially the food and drinks of France in vivid detail without bogging down the narrative. I really loved the French chapter titles and the French phrases throughout the book. It gave me a chance to use my very rusty French skills and I really enjoyed that.
Overall, The Paris Secret is a fast paced murder mystery with a hefty dose of romance, thriller, action, suspense, and paranormal aspects. Maya is a very believable and sympathetic female protagonist, while Simon adds the charming, bristling French male bravado (complete with misquoted common America sayings – which were really funny). The twists and turns of the mystery weren’t predictable and the final reveal was unexpected. With each turn of the page (or push of the forward button on my Kindle), I didn’t know which characters to trust.
I give this a five out of five. The Paris Secret is one of the best mysteries I have read. And I sincerely hope that I can someday read more about Maya and Simon’s adventures. While this book is set as a standalone novel, I would love to see more from our spunky librarian and hunky journalist.
Want to win your own e-copy of The Paris Secret? Just enter your name and email address into the form below by midnight, July 13, 2011. One winner will be picked at random.
But wait, there’s more. As part of The Paris Secret book tour by Kismet Book Touring, you can enter to win the Grand Prize Pack that will be given away on Angela Henry’s blog on Tuesday, July 26, 2011!
The Grand Prize Pack includes: a beautiful Eiffel Tower Pendant, delicious Lip Gloss, a Signed Poster, The Paris Secret Music Playlist and an Audible Gift Card (2 audio book downloads).
To get one chance to win the grand prize pack on this tour stop, all you have to do is answer this question in the comments below:
“Having a kick-butt heroine is crucial to a good romance. What’s your favorite trait in a leading lady?”
Contest rules for the Grand Prize give-away
- In order to enter to win the Grand Prize pack including a beautiful Eiffel Tower Pendant, delicious Lip Gloss, a Signed Poster, The Paris Secret Music Playlist and an Audible Gift Card (2 audio book downloads), you must answer at least one question in the comments on any of the tour stops. You may answer as many of the questions as you like, for up to 15 entries in the tour. Only one answer per tour stop will be considered valid.
- No purchase, affiliation, status as follower to a certain blog or any other association is required to enter.
- Full rules for the contest can be found at The Paris Secret’s tour home page.
- Winner of the Grand Prize pack give-away will be announced on Angela’s homepage on Tuesday, July 26th.
Be sure to visit all of Angela Henry’s Kismet tour stops for The Paris Secret and comment on each stop to get up to 15 entries to win the grand prize pack. The stops are listed below
Monday July, 4th – Julie, That’s Swell / Guest Post, Maya’s Map of Paris
Tuesday, July, 5th – Tishia, Paranormal Opinion
Wednesday, July, 6th – Heather, Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, July, 7th – Jules, The Great, The Good and The Bad / Guest Post, Visitor Tips for Paris
Friday, July, 8th – Mysterious Books / Interview with Angela
Monday July, 11th – Deea, Deea’s Book Journal / Guest Post, The Paris Secret Playlist
Tuesday, July, 12th – Sarah, Workaday Reads
Wednesday, July, 13th – Lisa, Baffled Books / Guest Post, What’s In Maya’s Bag
Thursday, July, 14th –Yiota, Splash of our Worlds
Friday, July, 15th – Lori, Romancing the Darkside
Monday July, 18th – Penelope, The Reading Fever / Guest Post, A Day in the Life
Tuesday, July, 19th- Mandy, The Well Read Wife
Wednesday, July, 20th- Rebecca, Kindle Fever
Thursday, July, 21th- Missie, The Unread Reader / Guest Post, When I’m Not Writing
Friday, July, 21th – Crystal, Elegantly Bound Books / Interview with Angela
E-copy of The Paris Secret was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair review. A big thank you to the ladies at Kismet Book Touring for asking me to be a part of this tour.