Murder in Montparnasse

by Howard Engel | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 014015728x Global Overview for this book
Registered by winggypsysmomwing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 4/30/2006
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winggypsysmomwing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, April 30, 2006
I picked up this book at the Children's Hospital Book Sale for 25 cents.

Journal Entry 2 by winggypsysmomwing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, February 13, 2009
In the introduction to this book Howard Engel is described as a former journalist and broadcaster who is now well known as the writer of the Benny Cooperman mysteries. I've read several of those mysteries and while I love the character of Benny I've never found the mysteries to be all that engaging. Now along comes Murder in Montparnasse and I have to say the mystery is most intriguing but the sleuth is no Benny Cooperman. I guess I'll have to read some more Engel mysteries to see if he ever manages to excel at both in the same volume.

Michael Ward is a Canadian journalist working for the Paris office of a news agency in 1925. He encounters Jason Waddington early in his sojourn and they become fast friends. Jason is American but worked in Toronto at one time and knows many of the same people that Michael does. It's pretty obvious from the outset that Jason is a thinly disguised Ernest Hemingway. Jason has decided to write full time and he has had some success but he's pretty low on money. When you consider he has a wife and baby to support it's hard to see how he manages to spend as much time as he does in bars and restaurants. He introduces Michael to all his friends, some of whom are quite famous writers and painters. One of the women on the fringes is Laure, a teacher and translator. Laure and Michael have a passionate one night stand and then Laure ignores Michael. Michael is besotted and starts following Laure. He see Laure and Jason having a spirited discussion one night and then Laure leaves. Shortly after Michael finds Laure's purse in the street and he fears the worst. His fears are realized when it is announced that Laure has been murdered and that it appears that a serial killer is responsible. Michael has his doubts and starts to do some investigation on his own. He thinks it is one of the people in the small expat community who is responsible. Before he can determine if that is true the serial killer has to be stopped.

Paris is the true star of this book. Imagine walking in the park and having Alice B. Toklas' dog start attacking your trousers. Or running into James Joyce at dinner in a restaurant. It's the stuff of dreams. Engel has caught what I think is the true essence of this time and place (although of course I can't be sure).

I've never read much Hemingway but if I was a fan I'm sure I would have found this book even more fascinating. Just like Jason Waddington, Hemingway lost several years worth of manuscripts when he was in Paris in the 1920's. As the back cover says "Murder in Montparnasse offers a credible explanation for a puzzle that has plagued literary sleuths for decades: What really happened to the lost Hemingway manuscripts?" If that doesn't hook the Hemingway fan, I don't know what will.

I'm going to reserve this book for a later challenge.

Released 11 yrs ago (6/24/2009 UTC) at Real Canadian Superstore – 215 St. Anne’s in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada



I left this book inside the store atop the Canadian spring water. Alas as I was leaving I saw it on the customer service desk. So if you would like to read it maybe you could claim it from lost and found. This release is for the 2009 Canada Day release challenge.

Journal Entry 4 by cuda22 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, June 28, 2009
Found the book at the Superstore on Ste. Anne's Rd - Winnipeg, MB. As per the other entry, I found the book a few days ago on top of the bottled water. Never heard of the Read & Release program and was intrigued. I wasn't sure if this was a hoax or what but thought I would take it and look further into it. It's funny as when I got into the car and opened it up, the book smelled and looked like one of those mandatory reads from high school. I'm hoping that I can start my read and finish it within a few days. I'm sure alot of you can relate as it's hard to find time with 2 very young children. Once I've completed the book I will follow up and make another entry as well as "Release" the book.

Released 11 yrs ago (7/3/2009 UTC) at Island Lakes - Lake walkway path off De La Seigneurie Blvd in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada



As promised I have read this book. My thoughts on it shortly. I am releasing this book and hope it will continue it's journey.
The book itself I found less than desirable. At first the book was enticing but the plot was very slow moving on what the story was supposed to be about. I was actually able to figure out who "did it" with the over done details and I still had about 100 pages left.
Overall though, I did enjoy the read simply for it's description of time in history, the places & people.
I do hope you enjoy the book, if not please continue the release anyways for others to enjoy.
Thanks and happy reading!

Journal Entry 6 by jillybean70 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, July 03, 2009
I found the book by a pond in island lakes around 3:30 and plan on reading it and releasing it!

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