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Bones of Paris: A Stuyvesant & Grey Novel    by Laurie R. King order for
Bones of Paris
by Laurie R. King
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2014 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I'm a long-time fan of Laurie R. King, for her modern day Kate Martinelli mysteries and her wonderful Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series as well as excellent standalones like Folly. Bones of Paris is the second in her Stuyvesant & Grey historical mystery series that began with Touchstone. The lead is Harris Stuyvesant, once an American Bureau of Investigation Agent, and now a private investigator.

The second major character (who tends to play smaller, though still critical) roles is Bennett Grey. Killed and revived after a wartime explosion, he was reborn as 'a human lie-detector' - he has become a touchstone who reveals others' true natures. Now he hides himself in a remote cottage in Cornwall, constantly watched by government agents who hope to use his talent once more. Harris loves Grey's sister Sarah, who lost a hand in Touchstone and then disappeared from his life.

This episode opens in the autumn of 1929 in Paris, France. Harris has been hired to find a missing young American. Twenty-two year Philippa 'Pip' Crosby, who had been modeling and acting in Paris, has been out of touch with her mother and uncle for months. Harris's investigation leads him to the bizarre Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre, where brutal, horrific events are staged with the intention of shocking the audience by 'bringing the dark things to light' - a most disturbing form of art.

Grand-Guignol's patron is the powerful Comte Charmentier, in whose environs Harris finds Sarah once more. But in the meantime, he has become involved with the missing girl's roommate, American Nancy Berger, while Sarah is in a strong relationship with a police officer looking into serial killings. As Harris's suspicions centre on a trio in the world of this bizarre art form, a clock ticks steadily towards a meeting with destiny, one that pulls Grey out of Cornwall as well.

I have to say that this is by no means my favorite of King's series, but she paints her historical Paris in vivid (though troubling) colors and gives readers yet another fascinating and convoluted mystery in Bones of Paris.

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