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Mayhem (The St-Cyr and Kohler Mysteries)
 
 

Mayhem (The St-Cyr and Kohler Mysteries) [Kindle Edition]

J. Robert Janes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A Frenchman and a German search for a killer in occupied Paris
Police inspector Jean-Louis St-Cyr watches the German tanks roll into Paris from his office window. When Gestapo agents burst through his door, he is destroying confidential documents with the care that is his trademark. As the Nazis take control of the city, they allow St-Cyr to remain at his post, solving the everyday crimes which do not stop simply because there is a war on. He is assigned a partner, Bavarian detective Hermann Kohler, a bullish man who is as brutal as St-Cyr is refined. Though their politics differ, neither man is the sort to let a bad deed go unpunished.
 
Today their work takes them to a suburban forest, where a well-dressed young man has been found murdered and stripped of identification. Nearby lies an expensive beaded silk purse. Although it appears to be a crime of passion, its roots lie in the savagery that wartime nurtures and occupation lets run free.

Synopsis

Inspector Jean-Louis St-Cyr of the Surete Nationale is called in to investigate a murder in German-occupied Paris, but he is being shadowed by a maverick Gestapo officer who has been assigned to follow the progress of his investigation.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1354 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road (5 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007XP6ASG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #395,447 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mayhem - 1st St-Cyr and Kohler Mystery 11 July 2012
By S Riaz HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have long been a fan of this series, so am delighted that not only have they been released on kindle, but that there is a new book announced after a long wait. Jean-Louis St-Cyr is a detective in occupied Paris, discovering burning files when the Gestapo roll in. Despite this, he is allowed to continue his work and is now partnered with German detective Hermann Kohler. They are partners, but not equals, as Kohler has control of St-Cyr's weapon and, which probably rankles more, his car.

These books take the interesting premise of who investigated crimes during wartime and when the body of a young boy is found in a forest, the two are sent to solve the murder. St-Cyr thinks it is a crime of passion, but there are complications - the discovery of a handbag containing diamonds and the interest from Berlin about what seems "a nothing little murder". What complicates matters even more are the missing negative of a crime scene photograph showing the two detectives together, when the Resistance is looking for evidence of complicity with the enemy. As the two detectives track the crime from a nightclub, to a chateau, to an abbey and there is involvement from the SS, the Gestapo and the army, it is seems this crime may lead the detectives directly to the Russian front, in Kohler's case, or forced labour in that of St-Cyr.

There are several books in this series, the next being Carousel: A St-Cyr and Kohler Mystery. Each novel leads on to the next and they are best read in order, in my opinion. These are not easy reads - they are often quite complicated and hard to unravel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I think my copy was incomplete 17 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I fear my copy of this book had a few chapters missing as the characters did some abrupt scene changes , although the page numbering is correct. Apart from this the book was fantastic. Great characters, wonderful sense of time and place ,and a very clever plot. The protagonists , the inspector from the Surete Jean Louis St Cyr and his colleague Hermann Kohler from the Gestapo, investigate the murder of a young man in the forest near Fontainebleu. They seem to run foul of everybody including the resistance and the SS. The prose is dense , there is a lot going on and you need to keep your wits about you as you try to keep up with what is happening to each of the protagonists. If you want to leave detective lite aside for a while and enjoy a well plotted mystery then this is the book for you. If you are looking for something light and frothy look elsewhere.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Murder in 1942 Nazi occupied Paris 17 Jun 1999
By Susan Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mayhem, originally published as Mirage in the United States, is the beginning chapter of the continuing series of an unusual partnership in an unusual time. It is December 1942, in Nazi occupied Paris. Our heroes, Jean-Louis St Cyr of the Surete and Herman Kohler of the Gestapo, are called to a rural area near the Fontaineblue forest where the body of an attractive young man was discovered. The Nazis suspect the crime to be Resistance related and want it solved speedily or threaten to send our Herman to the Russian Front. Our detective pair discovers that clandestine sex, family secrets, and greed are the motives rather than the assumed patriotism. This series has been a favorite of mine. Janes's descriptions of the culture of scarcity in everyday Paris and in the historically accurate scenes of Parisians coping with the defeat are so vivid that the reader feels the cold, the hunger, and the dark. However, this particular novel fails to work as well as the sequels. Try a later book in the series.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Premise, Execution Needs Work, Reads Like a Monet 22 May 2010
By Douglas S. Wood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
J. Robert Janes is a Canadian author who has managed to create one of the more interesting detective duos among the many such pairs available in popular detective literature: a detective in the Paris police or sureté, Jean-Louis St. Cyr and a former Munich detective now in the Gestapo, Hermann Kolher. The two work as homicide detectives - after all even during the Occupation there were murders to be solved.

Mayhem is the first book in the series. As a persistent consumer of detective fiction, perhaps the most instructive things I can offer is to reveal that I am presently reading my third book in the series (Kaleidoscope after Carousel (St-Cyr and Kohler)). Mayhem provides much of the back story you need to understand the protagonists and their developing relationship. St. Cyr is attempting to hold on to his dignity and his patriotism and is quite wary of Kohler. Fortunately, Kohler is a detective first and a Gestapo only several steps distant and not a Nazi at any step however far removed.

The relationship between St. Cyr and Kohler is evolving; the relationships between them and their bosses and between those bosses and the competing German and French security forces is, to say the very least, complicated. Lines of authority are constantly blurred as theses forces vie for superiority. Among the goals of the leaders are the accumulation of loot and the exercise of brutal power. This complexity is a primary strength of Janes' writing that gives him a voice of vérité.

The clarity of his writing also suffers from this penchant for complexity. His stories are difficult to follow and are perhaps best appreciated like a Monet painting for the total picture they reveal.

I was thrilled to come across two more volumes (Sandman (St-Cyr and Kohler) and Mannequin (St-Cyr and Kohler)) in my favorite used bookstore, the Chequamegon Books in Washburn, Wisconsin. The Sandman attained recognition as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1997. I do recommend reading Mayhem first as it provides much of the background for the protagonists.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mayhem - 1st St-Cyr and Kohler Mystery 11 July 2012
By S Riaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I have long been a fan of this series, so am delighted that not only have they been released on kindle, but that there is a new book announced after a long wait. Jean-Louis St-Cyr is a detective in occupied Paris, discovering burning files when the Gestapo roll in. Despite this, he is allowed to continue his work and is now partnered with German detective Hermann Kohler. They are partners, but not equals, as Kohler has control of St-Cyr's weapon and, which probably rankles more, his car.

These books take the interesting premise of who investigated crimes during wartime and when the body of a young boy is found in a forest, the two are sent to solve the murder. St-Cyr thinks it is a crime of passion, but there are complications - the discovery of a handbag containing diamonds and the interest from Berlin about what seems "a nothing little murder". What complicates matters even more are the missing negative of a crime scene photograph showing the two detectives together, when the Resistance is looking for evidence of complicity with the enemy. As the two detectives track the crime from a nightclub, to a chateau, to an abbey and there is involvement from the SS, the Gestapo and the army, it is seems this crime may lead the detectives directly to the Russian front, in Kohler's case, or forced labour in that of St-Cyr.

There are several books in this series, the next being Carousel: A St-Cyr and Kohler Mystery. Each novel leads on to the next and they are best read in order, in my opinion. These are not easy reads - they are often quite complicated and hard to unravel. If you like the author's style, then you will find yourself immersed in his world, but if you do not then you might find the novels simply confusing and long winded. As these are on kindle, I would suggest taking advantage of the ability to download a sample and try reading a few pages before buying the book. Hopefully, you will like these novels as much as I do, as they are something quite unique and I am delighted to find them available again after being out of print for too long.
12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting concept 8 Feb 2000
By Laura Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I picked up this book thinking that the idea of a Gestapo investigator teamed with a French Surete officer investigating a murder during the occupation of France in WWII was an interesting idea. It was, but the book was confusing and unfocused. Hopefully others in the series will be better written.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book 14 Aug 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As I am always on the lookout for historically-set novels, I stumbled across this book. The concept, setting and descriptions in this book are 5-star. The plot carries through much of the book but loses a little steam at the end. This is not Tom Clancy, but who wants to read that garbage anyway? I look forward to reading the remaining books in this series.
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