|Toulouse-Lautrec. Image from page 9 of "Le peintre-graveur illustré : (xix et xx siècles)" (1906) |
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There's an amusing quote about pronunciation of Montmartre in C. Alan Bradley's latest mystery, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce Novel. Flavia described a facial characteristic that "can come only from speaking French from the cradle." She deduces which faculty member at her new school is the French teacher because of this trait; she supports her conclusion in a discussion of a woman in Bishop's Lacey, England. "She was from Montmartre, pronounced through the nose."
Flavia says so many pithy things, that I probably would not have noticed the Montmartre reference, if I had not just finished reading a more macabre mystery. The Devil in Montmartre: a mystery in fin-de-siècle Paris by Gary Inbinder is a sometimes gruesome historical mystery. Toulouse-Lautrec is one of several suspects, which include Jack the Ripper and some international visitors. The characters include artists, art dealers/agents, writers, doctors, photographers, dancers, prostitutes, ragpickers and acrobats, to name a few categories. The story takes place near the end of the Paris Exposition universelle de 1889. That was the World's Fair; the Eiffel Tower was created for the event. A young detective on the case tries to get his superiors to accept the use of fingerprints as evidence; he has read about them. This case provides an opportunity to experiment with techniques for collecting fingerprints, and interpreting the results logically. Look out for plot twists!
Since I'm on a Montmartre kick right now, I looked around for other historical mysteries related to the topic.
Murder in Montmartre: an Aimee Leduc Investigation, by Cara Black is not available from SSJCPL's system, but I just requested this book through Link+. It's good to know there's another Aimee Leduc mystery that I have not yet read! I like this fast-paced series, which takes place in modern Paris. Aimee Leduc is a young private investigator with a computer-savvy partner. Because Paris has been around for so long, investigations often touch on objects or subjects which have a link to the past.