My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I just finished “The Gargoyle in the Seine” by Dee Garretson as my Crime/Mystery selection in my Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge. I’m completing my reader challenge using only books from authors I follow on Twitter, and I have to say that I picked a great read for this category.
Garretson has created a strong heroine in Clary Ashton, a British art student who spent her childhood traveling the American west with her father and brother. This unique upbringing has provided Clary with confidence to take on the challenge of a fellow art student’s murder. Standing in Clary’s way is Reese Tretheway, a British undercover spy in Paris trying to protect a visiting British royal. At each step in this mystery Reese tries to cover up the clues to this international espionage that includes Russian revolutionaries, impoverished British aristocrats, and botany.
Garretson weaves an amazing grasp for art, Parisian history, and chemistry in this mystery story. Readers will find inspiring Russian proverbs, tips for the Victorian lady’s etiquette, and insights into art and music. Clary has that approachable American attitude, and Reese is the sophisticated, manly spy as sexy in a tuxedo as he is in a workman’s clothing.
Without leaving gaps in this mystery story, Garretson has created a world with plenty of growth for Clary’s and Reese’s relationship that I look forward to learning about in future novels.