Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Hotel in Paris-Margot Justes

A Hotel in Paris
Margot Justes
Echelon, 2008, $12.99
ISBN: 9781590805343

After being betrayed by her boyfriend back in the States and with no other ties, talented artist Minola Grey accepts a teaching position at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. She stays in a hotel in which she has visitors late at night, but the staff respect and like her. When her English Lord Yardleigh is murdered just a few rooms from her, the Police Nationale lead the official investigation, but asks Interpol to send Agent Peter Riley to assist as he was working a money laundering case involving the deceased’s company.

When Peter and Minola meet, they have an instant attraction, but he assumes she is a hooker. However, as she and her best friend Sally interfere in the inquiry, he revises his opinion of her, but remains unaware of what she does as he refuses to look her up in the police database. Sally’s fiancĂ© Robert arrives adding to Peter’s confusion about how much he desires Minola. However, when she sees Peter’s former fiancĂ©e, the victim’s wife Alexa, Minola knows she cannot compete with the beautiful woman for Peter’s affection. Still she helps on the case with her artist’s eye for detail and with hosting a party for Sally and Robert that includes several suspects. Meanwhile Peter knows she is the one for him; he just has to convince her that when this investigation ends to stay with him in A HOTEL IN BATH (next book) or to tour with him again and again Rodin’s Museum as his wife.

This is an entertaining police procedural romance with the changing relationship between Peter and Minola intermingled with the investigation. The cooperation between Police Nationale, New Scotland and Interpol is probably too smooth as no petty jealousies surface. Still the mystery investigation is fun as it is built around the concept that “Cherchez l’Euro supersedes “Cherchez la Femme” in the modern world, but it is the loving rapport filled with self-doubts between Peter and Minola that make A HOTEL IN PARIS a fun read.

Harriet Klausner

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