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Die Around Sundown    by Mark Pryor order for
Die Around Sundown
by Mark Pryor
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Mark Pryor's Die Around Sundown opens a new historical mystery series. It's set in World War II German-occupied Paris, and stars French police Inspector Henri Lefort. In the summer of 1940, Lefort is ashamed that his 'city is overrun by uniformed savages from the east.' There is constant tension between cops and conquerors.

As the mystery opens, Lefort is called to the scene of a burglary/murder at the home of sixty-ish Princess Marie Bonaparte (Napoleon's great-grand-niece). Mimi is a psychoanalyst and was a friend of Sigmund Freud. She had found three servants murdered, and jewelry stolen. The Germans are about to take over her house.

The next day, the Germans insist that Lefort investigate the murder of a German major in the Louvre, giving him one week to solve it. The Boche don't make it easy for him, blocking access to the crime scene. All he's given is a list of 'Witnesses/Suspects' and the only help he has is from his spirited secretary Nicola and rookie policeman Daniel Moulin.

The trail leads them to interview Pablo Picasso and other artists. While pursuing leads, Lefort allows Mimi to talk to him about his problem (hyperphonia) with others making certain sounds, as when chewing gum or eating an apple. In return, Mimi helps him with his case. There are more deaths and Lefort fears that he will end up in front of a Gestapo firing squad himself.

As we expect, the Inspector does solve the case. Along the way, he reveals to Mimi (and to readers) a dark secret from his own past, and a fascinating revelation about his present. Good material for the sequel!

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