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Murder on the Eiffel Tower (Victor Legris Mysteries) [Hardcover]

Claude Izner , Isabel Reid
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Sep 2008 Victor Legris Mysteries (Book 1)
The brand-new Eiffel Tower is the glory of the 1889 Universal Exposition. But one day a woman collapses and dies on its second floor. Can a bee-sting really be the cause of death? Enter young bookseller, Victor Legris, who is determined to find out what really happened. This is the first of a best-selling series of French murder mysteries now available in English for the first time. The series is a colourful evocation of late nineteenth-century Paris. Murder on the Eiffel Tower was the winner of the prestigious 2003 Michel Lebrun French Thriller Prize.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (2 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312383746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312383749
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,935,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Claude Izner is the pen-name of two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefevre. Both booksellers on the banks of the Seine, they are experts on nineteenth-century Paris.

Product Description


'A charming wander through the life and intellectual times of an era.' --Le Monde

'Evokes the electric atmosphere of 1889' --Le Nouvel Observateur

Witty and creepy --Independent on Sunday

Cracking --The Guardian --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Claude Izner is the pseudonym of two sisters, both booksellers on the banks of the Seine, who are experts on nineteenth-century Paris. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye Full 22 Jan 2008
A pleasant enough introduction the exploits of Victor Legris and co - there is a nice ensemble feel already about his band of cohorts. There are some incongruities about some of the translation, minor quibble really and no doubt there are difficulties in directly translating French idioms into English to give them similar meaning.

The mystery itself is dealt with reasonably well. There is a bit of suspense along with a couple of inconsistencies in the reasoning of the murderer (who is to say that a murderer will act rationally?) and the list of suspects is soon whittled down, although I picked the wrong one of my final two suspects by the denouement so I must have fallen for some of the red herrings. As other reviewers state, this is not brilliant, but on the whole this is an excellent introduction to what promises to be an enjoyable series.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent murder mystery 13 Aug 2007
This was the first book that I read from Gallic Books. I am so glad that these publishers came into being because they allow top rated French novels to be translated and made available to people who's French may not be up to reading a full book in French.

It combines my 3 favourite aspects of an excellent read - crime, Paris and history.

I really got into the characters and found Victor to quite a hero. The descriptions of 19th century Paris are excellent and certainly add to the atmosphere of the book.

I can't wait for the next Victor Legris mystery to be available.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars French Farce 18 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was the first in a series of "mysteries" with Victor Legris, a second-hand bookseller in late 19th century Paris. I won't be trying the others. The authors (sisters with a pen name)clearly have a detailed knowledge of late 19th century Paris, yet, for all that, they failed to transport my imagination to 1889. Maybe a second-hand bookseller wouldn't make for a private detective, but then Victor seemed much more interested in chasing the heroine than solving the case. A detective of some sort is pretty much essential in crime ficion and without one a book in the genre is going to have a problem. With no help from Monsieur Legris,the other characters, in a don't take us too seriously kind-of-way, struggled to keep the plot going. I couldn't take the plot, the supposed mystery, very seriously anyway. It was all a bit silly.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read murder-mystery 10 Jun 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Eiffel Tower has just been constructed and is the pride of the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889. But its glory is overshadowed by the death of a young woman, who was apparently stung by a bee and died as a result. A couple of similar deaths, centred around the exposition, cause people (especially in the newly founded sensationalist newspapers) to suspect murder.

The suspicious deaths are investigated by Victor Legris, a young bookseller, who is determined to find out what happened.

The novel is well written and easy to read. It contains interesting information about Paris in the 1880's and also a strong cast of characters. It doesn't quite have the psychological depth of some murder mysteries but is nevertheless very enjoyable.

Good beach reading. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect vacation read! 6 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I couldn't resist the book-cover but did not know what to expect. Paris is not my favourite place in the world but the two sisters that write under the pseudonym Claude Izner, really made an impression. Their knowledge of Parisian history in the 1880s and their knowledge of their city, makes it a wonderful read.

It's not the sort of mystery that you can figure out as you read along. A lot of information is withheld from you till the end. But it still makes it an exciting read. You try to figure out things whether you want to or not. The protagonist is a very likeable man in his late 20s, a book shop owner who loves his books, taking photos and who is getting weary of his latest mistress, a married woman by the name of Odette, who drags him around shopping for dresses and beauty articles.

Before the book starts really, an old man that supports himself by collecting what other people throw away, dies while he is watching Buffalo Bill, arriving at a train station, for the world fair in Paris 1889. His last thoughts are that he thinks he has been stung by a bee. A month passes before the book really starts. Victor Legris, our book shop owner, has been invited to the Eiffel tower to meet the staff from a newly formed newspaper. The owner want to persuade him to write literature articles. While in the tower, a woman with nothing in common with the old man at the train station, having been forced to take her sister's children to see the tower, dies, stung by a bee. Victim after victim dies in Paris or at the world fair, seemingly stung by bees. Victor gets suspicious though and starts looking in to things, partly because he has fallen head over heels in love with a girl at the newspaper, who acts like she could have been guilty of the murders.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read. 8 Jan 2009
If you like light, quirky murder mysteries, then this one is a good bet. Like most books of the genre, it doesn't take itself seriously but then that's usually their major appeal. This particular book, however, also provides lots of historic colour and Gallic charm.

Set in Paris of the 1880's, I thought the location and the time (set during the Paris Exhibition) provided an interesting and lively backdrop for an adventure. Like all of these books, the crime and its perpetrator is not really the draw, it's the lead character and their exploits that keep you reading and I thought the hero, Victor Legris, and the cast of characters that surround him were engaging and surprisingly well written.

In all, it isn't great literature, but that's not what you buy these books for, but it is fun and kept me hooked from the first to the last.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks!
On time and as described. A good read! Some more useful information and atmosphere from the wonderful city of Paris.
Published 8 months ago by KSG
5.0 out of 5 stars 19th century Paris is conjured up wonderfully
As a Francophile who once sold antiquarian books, I was probably predisposed to like this one, but even I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Read more
Published on 29 May 2012 by Gina Collia-Suzuki
2.0 out of 5 stars Helas, je suis desolee.
Sorry, my keyboard doesn't have French accents. I stumbled across the Victor Legris series by accident and promptly read the first 4 in the series. Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2011 by Ms. Fiona Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Opens Every Lock
Claude Izner is the pen-name of two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefevre. Both are booksellers on the banks of the Seine, and they are experts on nineteenth-century Paris. Read more
Published on 23 Sep 2010 by Craobh Rua
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire!!
Just awful dull stuff! Yes there is some colourful detail about historical Paris BUT the characters are sketchy: unengaging and unconvinciing. Read more
Published on 26 April 2010 by Book Worm
2.0 out of 5 stars Book about books
As a fan of books about books I was so looking forward to reading this. Sadly, I was disappointed by it. Read more
Published on 25 Nov 2009 by kehs
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad...not brilliant
The book was a great insight into what it was like in Paris during the Expo, lots of detail in the setting. Something lacking in the murder mystery department though. Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2009 by R. Land
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
Published on 20 Aug 2009 by SPURS
2.0 out of 5 stars Barely passable
The only good point of this book is the period detail and local color; it does indeed give an interesting and enjoyable picture of Paris in the late 19th century. Read more
Published on 28 Mar 2009 by Maria
2.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward historical crime fiction
The French sisterly duo comprising Claude Izner wrote the whimsical Murder on the Eiffel Tower. Set in 19th century Paris at the time of the Exhibition and the installation of the... Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2009 by Feanor
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