Beatrice “Trixie” von Falkenburg, a Countess of English/Czech decent, is drawn into helping her uncle discover the truth behind the death of her uncle’s former military aide. Outside of reading Sherlock Holmes, the Countess is totally unprepared to be an amateur sleuth, but what she lacks in worldly experience and guile, she makes up for in pluck and intuition.
Before long, Trixie is chasing down disreputable actors, an international thief, a Russian ballerina and an ingenious scientist. Learning as she goes, the Countess travels from Prague to Paris, on to London, and finally to a climactic meeting between Edward VII and Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm in the Czech spa resort of Marinbad.
The evolution from the Countess Beatrice von Falkenburg to Trixie the detective, is the delightful bit about this book. Her husband, the Count, has lost his ancestral home and most of his fortune but is off attending several “bachelor” hunting parties throughout the book. They write letters back and forth, he agreeably sends her money when she asks, but he is never there when she needs him. So, the reader, and eventually Trixie herself, begins to realize that maybe she doesn’t need him at all.
Film director, Stephen Weeks, paints a rapidly changing society that is ten years away from a World War. He propels the beautiful Countess on a confusing and often frightening adventure with masterful superfluities of wit and sparkle. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
I love, love, love French private detective, Aimée Leduc! This series is like sitting down to a cup of espresso and a slice of tarte tatin, I have to pace myself. When it comes to Parisian ambiance, Cara Black does not disappoint.
Aimée is juggling her young daughter, an on-site computer security job, a possible blackmail, the return of her baby’s father and a host of other nuisances in the broiling August heat on the back of her unreliable pink Vespa. She doesn’t really have time to take on another investigation but her old friend Suzanne Lesage, is haunted by events she experienced during her stint in Serbia as part of an elite counter-terrorism team. Suzanne swears that the vicious war criminal Mirko Vladi is back from dead. When other members of the French team start dying, Aimée must contend with the consequences of a possible conspiracy and the safety of her child.
This is the 17th book in the series. You don’t have to read the series in order but, if you haven’t read these books yet, it’s easy to get hooked. The author is a master at running different plot lines at one time and her reoccurring characters and their backstories are fascinating.