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Folly du Jour : A Joe Sandilands Mystery
This seventh book in the Joe Sandilands murder mystery series is set at the Folies Bergere, Paris, December 1926. Joe hurries to the assistance of an old friend who has been arrested for murder. In a cell at the Quai des Orfevres he meets with Sir George Jardine, still in the evening dress stained with the blood of the dead man. The only other witness, a blonde who was sharing the victim's box, has vanished. Joe receives assistance from an entirely unexpected quarter--Francine, a young usherette, clawing her way into the world of the Paris Music Hall. It is she who becomes Joe's guide through this treacherous place where Joe is sure the killer is lurking.
In Cleverly's fine seventh 1920s historical to feature Scotland Yard's Joe Sandilands (after 2007's Tug of War), the engaging sleuth refuses to believe his old friend and mentor, Sir George Jardine, stuck a knife in Sir Stanley Somerton, Jardine's former fellow soldier with an unsavory reputation, after a chance encounter at a Paris theater. Sandilands, aided by a French detective he worked with on an earlier case, Insp. Jean-Philippe Bonnefoye, pursues the real killer. The pair get a major break when Dr. Moulin, the pathologist assigned to the Paris morgue, suggests Somerton's killing was carried out at the direction of a master criminal responsible for a number of bizarre high-profile murders over the previous four years. While the payoff is a little too predictable and the solution doesn't match the setup as well as it might, Cleverly still manages to craft a puzzling whodunit. (Aug.)
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July 27, 2009
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