Monday, October 1, 2012

The Paris Deadline-Max Byrd

The Paris Deadline

Max Byrd

Turner, Oct 16 2012. $27.95

ISBN: 9781618580122

In 1926, Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent Toby Keats is stationed in Paris though being in France serves as a reminder of serving as a tunneler corps underground bomber in what only idiots in the home front called the misnamed “Great War”. With the murder of septuagenarian automate dealer Patrice Bassot, Toby gains possession of the eighteenth-century notorious Vaucanson's digesting duck automaton that even Voltaire admired.

However holding on to Vaucanson's duck even one that may be a Houdini fake proves difficult as many people covet the automaton. A banker and Elsie Short of the Thomas Edison Doll Company want to buy it. Meanwhile war traffickers also desire owning the gizmo because these profiteers believe they can duplicate the inner mechanisms of Vaucanson's duck to produce weapons for Germany.

The Paris Deadline deftly uses the real “digesting Duck” as created by automata inventor Jacque de Vaucanson as the underlying cause for this entertaining historical suspense thriller. The support cast including the duck is solid while the hero keeps the tale focused. Fast-paced, fans will enjoy Max Byrd’s exhilarating ode to Paris between the wars.

Harriet Klausner

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